INSPECTED Civil War Antique COLT 1861 NAVY Revolver
Made 1862, One of a Few Hundred Purchased by Govt
Here we present an antique Colt 1861 Navy Percussion Revolver, made in 1862 in Hartford, Connecticut, during the American Civil War. The introduction of the 1861 Navy was simply an update to the very successful 1851 Navy, with the primary differences being the round barrel instead of octagonal, and the addition of the creeping style of loading lever. These updates made for a sleek package that very much resembled Colt’s crowning achievement, the 1860 Army. The 1861 Navy still retained its .36 caliber, making this the preferred firearm for many not wanting to step up to a .44 like the Army, while still sharing most of its dimensions.
The Colt 1861 Navy was purchased by the Union government was used by both the Army and the Navy. Numbers estimated at several hundred. Many of those sold to the military were never martially inspected or marked. Of course, there was a healthy commercial market for these during the war, and many soldiers privately purchased these revolvers as well. In a slightly smaller and lighter package than its 1860 Army big brother, many soldiers and cavalry preferred the Navy in .36 caliber. Of course, these weapons continued to be used well after the Civil War, especially during Westward Expansion.
This example was early production with a four digit serial number. Only 38,000 of these were produced from 1861-73. It features a roll engraved cylinder scene of the naval Battle of Campeche, with the Texans victorious over the Mexican Navy after their declaration of independence. The scene was engraved by Waterman Ormsby. It bears single letter inspector proof marks throughout and the oval outline of the government inspector cartouches on the left side of the grip. The top of the barrel is marked “ADDRESS COL. SAM COLT NEW….” as the barrel seems to have split right along that line both on top and bottom, then been repaired. One of the chambers also appears to have been sleeved indicating that this revolver may have been overcharged. The cylinder and the left side of the frame is marked “COLTS PATENT”. The left grip has a faint cartouche.
The overall condition is very good. The metal surfaces have been cleaned and are regaining a patina. The markings are legible. The serial numbers match. The walnut grips are in great shape. The bore is in good shape. The action on this revolver is excellent. Here is a rare and fascinating example of Colt’s 1861 Navy!
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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