Colt Model 1851 Navy .36 Cal Percussion Cap & Ball Revolver, 1866 Antique

SOLD FOR: $1,406

WOA#: WY240321BS047

Make: Colt

Model: 1851 Navy

Serial Number: 196966

Year of Manufacture: 1866 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)

Caliber: .36 Caliber Cap and Ball

Action Type: Single Action Percussion Revolver

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “-ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA-”. The left of the frame is marked “COLTS / PATENT”. The left of the trigger guard is marked “36 CAL”. The bottom of the barrel assembly, frame, trigger guard and backstrap are each marked “196966”, the bottom of the arbor is marked “6966”. The cylinder is marked “COLTS PATENT No 6966″ and has a roll-engraved naval scene.

Barrel Length: 7 1/2″, Octagonal

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the front of the barrel, not original to the gun. The rear sight is a “V”-notch in the hammer.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is one-piece smooth walnut. The grip has minor wear with only a few light marks. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grip is in Fine Plus condition as refinished and/or replaced.

Type of Finish: Blued, Case Color & Brass

Finish Originality: Some parts show signs of polishing, remaining finish appears Original to the parts. Some parts have been replaced, notably the loading lever, wedge and nipples.

Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright. The rifling is sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There is scattered light erosion and pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 6 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 35% of its metal finish. Strongest finish is in the brass grip frame and the replacement loading lever’s case color. The steel parts are mostly worn to white or gone to a light patina. There is scattered surface erosion. There are some nicks, scuffs and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with a usable slot. The remaining markings are generally clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Very Good condition as Antique and not parts-original.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder lockup has very little play. The barrel assembly has minor play to the frame. The trigger is crisp. 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: This revolver comes in a custom wood display case with a powder flask.

Our Assessment: The Colt 1851 Navy revolver was produced by Colt up until 1873 when the Single Action Army cartridge revolver was introduced. It derived its name from the naval battle scene on the cylinder that Colt chose to commemorate the victory of the Second Texas Navy at the Battle of Campeche in 1843. Texas had previously ordered the Colt Paterson revolver, Colt’s first big success, and Colt wished to show gratitude. The 1851 Navy was carried as a belt gun by armies on both sides in the Civil War, and was a favorite of General Robert E. Lee. This revolver is a Colt Model 1851 made in 1866, just after the Civil War, but many ’51 Navies were carried in the immediate postbellum Old West. This revolver shows its age, but retains matching serial markings on its numbered parts (though some have been replaced) and stronger mechanics than many of these models we have seen. We only wish it could tell us its story. It will make a nice display piece with other Civil War era small arms or a nice addition to an early Colt revolver collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Colt Model 1851 Navy .36 Cal Percussion Cap & Ball Revolver, 1866 Antique
Colt Model 1851 Navy .36 Cal Percussion Cap & Ball Revolver, 1866 Antique