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3175: Very Fine U.S. Colt Model 1851 Army Contract Navy

Lot 3175 View Catalog

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Manufactured in 1857, this is a very nice example of a 3rd Model 1851 "Army-Navy" revolver in the 42000-80000 serial number range which were purchased by the U.S. Army prior to the Civil War. Revolvers in this serial number range were issued to the 1st and 2nd Cavalry Regiments and were used extensively in campaigns against hostile Indians in and prior to the Civil War. These revolvers also saw service during the Civil War and saw additional service on the Frontier after being sold as surplus.The term "Army-Navy" is derived from the fact that the Army purchased more of these revolvers than did the Navy. The top of the barrel flat is marked "--ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW YORK CITY.--" and the left side of the frame is marked "COLT'S / PATENT / U.S.". The left side of the barrel lug at the bottom is stamped with the single inspection letter "T", next to the wedge screw is "D", with an "H" on the opposite, "H" on the top of the back strap, "K" directly behind the trigger guard bow and there is a "R", and two "D"s on the cylinder. The matching serial number is marked on the bottom of the barrel, frame, trigger guard, and back strap, with the partial serial number "9136" marked on the loading lever, wedge, cylinder and cylinder pin. Standard brass cone front and hammer notch rear sights, blue barrel and cylinderand casehardened frame, loading lever and hammer. Fitted with the correct matching serialized (last four digits, "9136" in ink under back strap) one piece oil finished walnut grip with a crisp and clear "CGC" cartouche on the left side and "WAT" on the right.
BBL: 7 1/2 inch octagon
Gauge: 36 percussion
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grips: walnut
Serial Number: 79136


Very fine. The barrel retains 85% plus original military blue finish with some areas thinning to a smooth plum patina. The cylinder shows a smooth bluish gray patina with clear naval engagement scene markings. The frame retains 50% original faded case colors, with the balance having a smooth mottled gray patina. The brass, which was never silver plated, is some what bright on the back strap and has a pleasant mellow aged patina on the trigger guard/front strap and butt, which also shows a few tiny dings. The grip is excellent with minimal lower edge wear and tiny ding on the right toe and a couple along the bottom edge and a couple small minor dents on the lower right side. As noted above the cartouches are crisp and clear. All remaining markings are clear and crisp. The action is excellent.
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Estimate $20,000 – $30,000
Starting Bid $10,000

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8:00 AM - Apr 22, 2012
Rock Island Auction


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