Museum quality, low numbered cased Colt Hartford-London Dragoon percussion revolver serial number 3 with rare hand-engraved barrel address “SAML COLT LONDON” reading from breech to muzzle (only three known with this address). Also with hand-engraved “COLT’S / PATENT” on the left side of frame. The grips are of one-piece varnished select highly figured walnut, with a factory screw assembly to reinforce the grip to give it extra strength. Only three revolvers are known to have this rare feature. They are serial numbers 2, 3 and 125.
British proof stampings are found on the breech end of the cylinder over each chamber and also on the left side of the barrel lug with a crown over a V and a crown over GP. The revolver is blued with case-coloured frame, hammer and loading lever with silver-plated brass back-strap and trigger-guard. The cylinder is roll-engraved with the Texas Ranger and Indian scene. All matching numbers including wedge and also the hammer. This London Dragoon with many rare features, was manufactured circa 1853.
Original early oak case with full accessories including:
“J & G W HAWKSLEY / SHEFFIELD” bag-type flask with nozzle graduations of 1, 7/8 and 3/4 drams, brass .44 calibre brass mould with sprue-cutter, stamped COLTS/PATENT, Dragoon size nipple key, two “JAMES DIXON / & SONS / SHEFFIELD”, “ELEY BROS” gold topped cap tin and a small quantity of round and conical shaped lead bullets.
Overall in very good to fine condition with strong blue and faint case colours. Good working order, with bright 8/10 plus bore.
Colt Hartford-London Model 1848 Dragoon percussion revolver
Range of serial numbers: 1 – 700
Date of manufacture: 1853 to 1857
Total production: 700
Length of barrel: 7½ inches
Earliest and rarest address: ‘SAML COLT LONDON’
Second rarest address: ‘COLN COLT LONDON’
Standard address: ‘-ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW-YORK CITY-’
Weight: 4 pounds 2 ounces
The component parts for the Colt Hartford-London Dragoon percussion revolver were manufactured in Hartford using Third Model and also some Second Model Dragoon parts (mainly the square-back trigger-guards). These parts were shipped to London and the revolver was assembled and finished at Colt’s London factory and sold circa 1853 through to 1857. Approximately 700 were assembled in a serial range from 1 through to about 700. The lowest number known at this time is serial #2 and the highest is #695. As many as 200 revolvers were returned to Hartford in 1861 for use in the Civil War.
The most common address is ‘-ADDRESS SAM’ COLT NEW-YORK CITY-’ with a dash either end or brackets with a finial at either end. The rarest address is hand-engraved ‘SAML COLT LONDON’ (only three recorded including #2 and #3) found on very early specimens or hand-engraved ‘COLN COLT, LONDON’ (only fifteen recorded). The left side of the frame on most cases is stamped ‘COLTS/PATENT’ whilst on some it is hand-engraved (thirty eight recorded).
Pete Holder and Philip Boulton of Southampton, England have collated and recorded a survival rate of at least 27% of the original 700 production of Hartford-London Dragoon revolvers with 37.5% of those recorded to be factory engraved. For in-depth reference on Colt Dragoon revolvers see ‘The Book of Colt Firearms- 3rd Edition’ by R.L. Wilson.