Antebellum COLT 1851 NAVY .36 Caliber Revolver
Manufactured in 1856 in Hartford, Connecticut!
Here we present an antique Colt 1851 Navy Revolver, made in 1856 in Hartford, Connecticut. The 1851 Navy was one of Colt’s most famous and successful lines, reaching a production total of 257,348 from 1850 to 1873 (right up to the time of SAA production) from both Hartford and London factories. From Hartford alone, 185,000 were made by the end of the American Civil War. Many of these saw service during the conflict on both sides. There were some military purchases and lots of private purchases by soldiers going off to war. In addition, the Model 1851 was carried by Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and was a favorite of “Doc” Holliday and “Wild Bill” Hickok, who carried two of these most famously in his red sash.
Truly, the Colt 1851 Navy revolver ushered in the era of the gunfighter. Among the many guns that were used on the western frontier, none was more popular in its day than the Colt percussion revolver designated the 1851 Navy. This single action revolver weighed in at roughly 42 ounces. Prior to the Navy’s introduction, hand gunners had to make do with the Colt Walker and Dragoon revolvers, both of which weighed over four pounds. These big guns were best suited for carry in pommel holsters on the saddle. The Colt Navy was the first popular single-action revolver that could be worn comfortably on the belt. Prior to the beginning of the Civil War, the state of Missouri was a hotbed of trouble that often broke out in shooting fights. Bill Anderson, Jesse and Frank James, and the Youngers all cut their teeth on this border trouble and were ready to go when leaders like William Quantrill enlisted them in his guerilla band during the war. The boys from Missouri became quite proficient with their six-guns and generally carried a brace of Dragoons on their saddle pommels and a brace of Navy revolvers on their hip.
The overall condition is very good. This revolver has been re-blued. The markings are clear. The Battle of Campeche cylinder scene is in fine shape. The serial numbers match with the exception of the trigger guard. The walnut grips are a bit shy but are smooth and solid. The bore is in very good condition with sharp rifling. The action is excellent.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 7-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .36 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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