U.S. Martially inspected Colt Model 1851 Navy percussion revolver s/n 50837, manufactured circa 1856. This Third Model revolver, in .36 calibre, has a three-screw frame, not cut for shoulder-stock, six shot cylinder and 7½ inch octagonal barrel, with attached loading lever. The barrel and cylinder are military blued with a casehardened frame, hammer and loading lever. The brass back-strap and small rounded brass trigger-guard remain plain and not silver-plated, as found on civilian models. This is a military contract revolver, with a U.S. stamped on the left side of the frame below ‘COLTS / PATENT’.
There are government inspector cartouches on both sides of the oiled walnut one-piece grips. The left grip bears the ‘LCA’ cartouche for Lucius C. Allin and on the right side of the grip, is stamped ‘RHKW’ cartouche of US government inspector, Captain Robert Henry Kirkwood Whiteley, who inspected Colt firearms from 1848-1875. There are also government inspector’s marks, which on serial number 50837, is a letter ‘K’, stamped on various metal parts of the revolver, including, the cylinder, top of the left side of the back-strap, on the rear end of the left side of the trigger-guard and on the front bow of the trigger-guard. There is also ‘K’ stamped in the wood, on the left side of the grip, close to the rear of the frame. The roll engraved cylinder scene depicts the battle between the Texas Navy and that of Mexico.
This military revolver has all matching numbers 50837, including the wedge which is numbered 0837. Bright 9/10 bore, all six pins remain on the rear of the cylinder, although two pins are somewhat squashed, 98% cylinder scene, all screw heads are excellent. Overall in fine to excellent condition. The action is good and everything is in good working order. This is the best military contract Colt 1851 Navy revolver, that has passed through my hands, in more than forty five years of dealing and collecting.