Fine to excellent ,Civil War period, Colt Model 1861 Navy Revolver s/n 15414, manufactured circa 1863. It is in 36 calibre, with a six shot cylinder and 7½ inch round barrel, with a creeping style loading lever. The grips are one-piece varnished walnut. It has a casehardened frame, hammer and lever with the remainder blued. The brass backstrap and triggerguard were silver-plated. The Barrel address is: “- ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA.-” with COLTS/PATENT stamped on the left side of the frame. Also 36 CAL is stamped on the left shoulder of the trigger-guard and there is a number “2” stamped on the front bow of the trigger-guard. The cylinder scene shows the battle between the Texas Navy and the Mexico Navy.
All serial numbers are matching, including the wedge which is numbered with the last four digits “5414”. The bore is 10/10 bright. This hard to find, Civil War period revolver, is in great condition and in good working order.
The Colt Model 1861 Navy Revolver was a streamlined version of the Model 1851 Navy. It was manufactured from 1861 through to circa 1873 in a serial range from 1 through to approx. 38843.
The main variations are as follows: The first one hundred manufactured had fluted cylinders with no cylinder scene. They were stamped PAT. SEPT 10TH 1850 within one of the flutes. Examples with the third type shoulder stocks are found only in the serial range from 11000 and 14000. Only about one hundred were produced with four screw frames with the recoil shield cut for engaging the stock yoke. It is rare to find a canteen shoulder stock with this model. Several hundred 1861 Navies were sold to the Army and Navy during the Civil War with many showing no inspector markings. When present they appear as cartouches on the grips and single letters on various parts of the metalwork. It is very rare to find U.S.N. stamped on the brass butt of naval contract revolvers and to find U.S. stamped below the COLTS PATENT on the left side of the frame.
Some 1861 Navies were shipped to the London Pall Mall Agency from the Hartford factory with iron grip-straps. A very few of these feature the ultra rare barrel address of ‘-ADDRESS COL. COLT LONDON’.
Philip Boulton of Southampton, England has collated and recorded a survival rate of only 2.90% of the original production of 38,864 revolvers. For in-depth reference on Colt Model 1861 Navy percussion revolvers see ‘The Book of Colt Firearms- 3rd Edition’ by R.L. Wilson. For values, check out ‘Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms… and their values’ by Norm Flayderman.