Sold For: $ 3,305.00
Model: 1851 Navy
Serial Number: 62174
Year of Manufacture: 1856 (Proofhouse.com)
Caliber: .36 Caliber Ball
Action Type: 6-Shot, Single Action, Cylinder Loaded Percussion Revolver
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW YORK CITY”. The underside of the barrel lug, frame, trigger guard plate and toe of the trigger guard frame’s butt are marked with the serial number. The underside of the barrel wedge, loading lever and cylinder pin are marked with the last four of the serial number, also found written in pencil on the back of the stock. The left of the barrel is marked “S”, the left of the frame is marked “COLT’S / PATENT / U.S.”, the left of the trigger guard is marked “M”, the bow is marked “U”. The cylinder is marked with the serial number and faintly shows the famous Naval Battle Scene engraving. The butt of the grip frame is marked “U*S*N”, the butt of the grip is marked “I / J.M.M.M.”, which is the inspection mark of Lieutenant J.M.M. Mullany.
Barrel Length: 7 ½”, Octagonal
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a conical brass post, screwed into the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” notch on top of the hammer.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are a one piece oil finished walnut stock with correct Navy inspection marks on the bottom. The stock has some small chip losses around the edges, the right side shows heavier compression, indicative of items worn on the right side of one’s belt. There are no cracks or major damages. The grips rate in about Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue with Case Hardened Frame
Finish Originality: The surfaces look to have been cleaned over the years; the surfaces have NOT been refinished.
Bore Condition: The bore is dark and the rifling is still defined, but interrupted by light to moderate depth erosion with a few deeper spots of pitting. There is surface erosion throughout the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 0% of its metal finish. The surfaces look to have been cleaned multiple times throughout history, resulting in some abrasive marks, but the markings remain clear. The cylinder has some heavier indentations on the edges, the surfaces of the revolver have dark spots of erosion and moderate depth handling marks, please see our pictures. The screw head slots range from light to moderately tooled. The markings are clear, unless otherwise noted. Overall, this handgun rates in about Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is no play in the barrel to frame fit, however the barrel wedge has some trouble staying put, believed to be caused by the upper leaf retainer. The cylinder produces light play in full lockup of all 6 chambers. The hammer has a strong mainspring. 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: None.
Our Assessment: This is a scarce Colt Model 1851 Navy (referred to as the “Early Navy-Navy), made in about 1856, with all serialized parts matching, the proper inspector mark for the period and “U*S*N” proudly stamped on the butt of the grip frame, with “U.S.” on the left of the frame. The revolver looks to have seen some interesting times, the stocks are free from major damages and the action still functions correctly. About 15,000 1851’s were purchased by the Navy and one can only imagine how few have survived, especially given the harhness of the sea, which will all but destroy metal on contact. This should make for a fine addition to your Colt or percussion collection. Please see our pictures and good luck.