SOLD FOR: $2560
Model: 1861 Navy with Centerfire Richards-Mason Conversion
Serial Number: 4638
Year of Manufacture: 1862 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup), Converted in the early 1870’s
Caliber: .38 Long Colt Centerfire
Action Type: 6-Shot, Single Action, Side-Gate Loaded Revolver
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “-ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW.YORK U.S. AMERICA-”. The underside of the barrel lug, frame, trigger guard, backstrap, underside of the cylinder arbor, and rear of the cylinder are marked with matching serial number “4638”. The rear of the loading gate and top of the cylinder arbor each have assembly number “961”. The left of the frame is marked “PAT. JULY, 25, 1871 / PAT. JULY, 2, 1872”, which is struck over the original “COLT’S / PATENT” mark, the left of the trigger guard is marked “36 CAL”. The rear of the cylinder is marked “H”, the outside is marked “COLT’S PATENT No. 4013”. The rear face of the barrel assembly is marked “H I” between the indexing studs. The butt is marked “U.S.N.”.
Barrel Length: 7 1/2”, Round
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a german silver blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” notch in the hammer, visible when cocked.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are one piece smooth walnut stock. The grip has some scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches. The grip is generally well fit to the grip frame. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grip is in Very Good-Fine condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Blue, Case Color & Brass
Finish Originality: The uniformity of finish loss may indicate that the surfaces were polished bright intentionally. There’s no evidence of a new finish being applied since conversion.
Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There is scattered light erosion and pitting in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 15% of its metal finish. Most remaining finish is in the brass grip frame. There is a spot of case color around the external loading gate spring on the right of the frame and there is some blue in protected areas of the ejector housing. Otherwise, the steel parts have mostly worn or been polished bright with scattered light surface oxidation and some minor surface erosion. The brass grip frame has scattered discoloration. There are scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches with tool marks around the wedge and some screw heads. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with a useable slot. The markings range from clear to worn and incomplete. Overall, this revolver is in Good-Very Good condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with minor play on each chamber. The barrel has no play to the frame. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This revolver comes with a brown leather Brauer Brothers holster. The holster shows scattered wear, discoloration, verdigris at the metal parts, and some fraying.
Our Assessment: This revolver started life as an 1861 Navy model in .36 Caliber Ball and was converted sometime in about 1872 to accept .38 Long Colt centerfire cartridges with the Richards-Mason patent. The right of the frame was milled and a loading gate was installed, along with an ejector and rod housing. The revolver was originally sold to the U.S. Navy as a percussion revolver, and has the proper features of one which was converted to fire center-fire cartridges for the U.S. Navy. The revolver must have seen some very interesting times having been available for military service during the Civil War in its percussion form and the American Indian Wars after conversion. This will make a great addition to a collection, whether you’re focused on Colt revolvers, early cartridge guns, or U.S. Navy small arms. Please see our pictures and good luck.