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MadJohn 04-10-2010 04:56 PM

1851 Navy Colt variation
Hello all,
I have been a gun collector for little over 40 years and recently become in serious collecting of Early Colt Firearms. I am looking for information concerning rare variations of the 1851 Navy model. I just purchased one I had never seen and wondered just what I have. It has the normal barrel length of 7 inches, blued barrel and case hardened frame. The serial number places if in the 1857 year of production. Manufactured at the Hartford Ct. operation. All of the furniture (triggerguard and gripstrap) are steel, silver plated, of which only about 40% still remains. Small round triggerguard. It is a four screw model (Cut for shoulder stock) like the 1860 army. It also has a sling swivel mounted forward of the trigerguard. Nice bore, sharp edges and all numbers match, including the wedge. Sharp clear barrel address.
I do not know where to place the rarity of this type Navy in comparison to other Navy revolvers. Thanks, MJ

hroberts 05-11-2010 03:48 AM

1851 variation

I don't know if you have had any replies. You have a rare '51 Navy cut for shoulder stock. This is the third variation, which is most common as it is a 4 screw and has a cutout in the recoil shield and a notch in the bottom of the backstrap. Most of these are in the 77,XXX serial range and have Hartford barrel addresses. Contrary to popular conception there is no record of these Navies used by the military. Bob Jordan is coming out with a new book on the Colt Navies in the future. Swayze does not have much to say about this model.
Hope this helps.

MadJohn 05-12-2010 02:10 AM

Hello hr,
Thanks for the reply. I am aware of the information you provided. I have Swayze's book and several others. Sometimes ther are otherr collectors out there that know information not in the "books". I have been collecting antque firearms for over forty years, specializing in Colt and Smith & Wesson. I do have other manufacturers in my collection but mostly those two. I have seven different 1851 Navy Colts. From type 1 small square back triggerguard to a custom order 9 inch barrel model. My best Navy is my type 1 Nimsche engraved, one piece ivory grips, dovetailed silver sight, serial number
1X. My main specialty is the Model 1877 DA. Thanks Again MJ

hroberts 05-12-2010 02:56 AM

You are welcome Mr. Lenz,

I too collect variations of the Colt Navy. I have been collecting guns for about 67 years, although rather new to Colts. I collected Winchesters and Sharps until I couldn't lug them around to gun shows. I have had several Gustav Young engraved Colts, I still have two cased ones. The rarest one I have is the 2nd type cut for shoulder stock. It has the milled groove in the butt plate, 3 screws, not cut out in the recoil plate and a slot cut in the backstrap, like the 1855 Springfield pistol-carbine. I have only seen one more like it. It was at the Houston Gun show and the gentleman had it at a table next to mine. It was only 3 or 4 numbers from mine. Rapley has a photo of one in his book on Colt Accoutrements. I don't have any long barrel Navies but I do have a factory 5 1/2" I like the Navies in the 98,XXX-100,XXX that were shipped south from Jan-Apr 1861. I should have try letter more of these instead of selling them or swapping them off.

Best to you in Collecting

hank roberts

MadJohn 05-13-2010 01:56 AM

1851 Colt Navy
Hello Hank,
I too am fond of the Navy Colt, but they are very difficult to get lettered. It seem that there aren't much records for the pre-war guns. I hate throwing away three hundred bucks so I rarely get letters unless it is an incredible piece. SAAs are easier to letter but rarely do they reveal much history.
Collecting Sharps is impressive! I always liked them but was not in the financial market and now anything nice is almost out of the question. I do have a couple carbines, one is a converted 65 and the other is still percussion. I have one 1853 slant breech 44 sporting rifle. I do have an abundance of trapdoors and rolling blocks. My besr Remington is a Model 1 long range, heavy barrel cased target rifle. 34 inch barrel in .44-120 straight, with a Hepburn high cheek stock, serial number 13. This is a real "hoot" to shoot. It does gather some attention when take it to the range.
Take Care my friend, John

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