Colt 1849 Baby Dragoon Pocket .31 Caliber Percussion Revolver Antique

SOLD FOR: $1,525

WOA#: WY240120EC004

Make: Colt

Model: 1849 Pocket (Baby Dragoon)

Serial Number: 10538

Year of Manufacture: 1849 (

Caliber: .31 Caliber Cap and Ball

Action Type: Single Action Percussion Revolver

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “ADDRESS SAML COLT / NEW YORK”.  The cylinder is marked “COLTS / PATENT / 10538”.  The bottom of the barrel assembly, frame, trigger guard, and grip frame are marked “10538”.  The left side of the frame is marked “COLTS / PATENT”.  The right side of the trigger guard frame is marked “T”.

Barrel Length: 4” Octagonal Barrel

Sights / Optics:  The front sight is a shallow brass post to the barrel at the muzzle. The rear sight is a “V” notch at the front of the hammer, visible when cocked.

Stock Configuration & Condition:  The grip is one-piece smooth walnut. The grip has heavy handling wear with some scattered nicks, compressions, and scratches. There are no chips or cracks however there are some small losses at the front edges of the grip.  Overall, the grip is in Very Good condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blued, Case Color & Silver-Plated Brass, Most of the finish is gone and is worn to white.

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is dark bright with well defined rifling. There is some light erosion spread throughout the bore.  In this writer’s opinion the bore rates 5/10 for antique.

Most antique firearms have bores that will show erosion.  This is not only due to age but also to the use of black powder. When fired, black powder reacts corrosively.  NRA Antique Firearm Conditions Standards are quite lenient for bores.  In some cases, the NRA standards disregarded the bore’s condition for collector’s firearms.

Overall Condition: This revolver retains about none of its metal finish. The steel parts have mostly worn to white or gone to a light patina. There is general surface erosion and some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The action shows operational wear and there is wear on the rear face of the cylinder with the safety stud worn or sheared off. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with usable slots thorough marred. The markings are generally clear, some are worn, but the stagecoach scene is gone.  Overall, this revolver is in about Fair condition as Antique.

Mechanics:. The action functions correctly. The barrel has minor play to the frame. The cylinder locks up with little play on each chamber. We have not fired this revolver. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: Following the development of the Paterson revolver, the 1847 Walker and the subsequent Dragoon, Colt found there was a demand for a more concealable, and generally more convenient to carry, revolver. In late 1847, a diminutive .31 caliber pistol was developed, dubbed simply “Pocket Pistol”. While collectors today are familiar with a dizzying array of Colt revolver models, at the time they were only producing the Dragoon and the Pocket, so this model designation wasn’t too confusing to their customers. The introduction of the Pocket model was well timed as the Gold Rush would see a spike in demand so significant that while the guns were originally priced at $25, they would be sold for nearly $300 by the time they made it to the West coast.

While the larger Dragoon had a loading lever, this feature was omitted on the Pocket model for ease of carry and size considerations, instead having a concave end to the cylinder arbor, allowing it to be used as a ramrod when charging the cylinder, an interesting if not particularly expedient feature.

The revolver is in Good condition as Antique, retaining strong mechanics and a surprisingly nice bore. The 1849 Pocket model would go on to sell more than 300,000 pieces and become exceedingly popular during the high risk era of the American Gold Rush.  Please see our photos and good luck! – L.S.

Colt 1849 Baby Dragoon Pocket .31 Caliber Percussion Revolver Antique
Colt 1849 Baby Dragoon Pocket .31 Caliber Percussion Revolver Antique