Specializing in pre-1898 Antique Firearms
Q & A Database
·Submit A Question
·Browse Questions
·Search Questions
For Sale
The Bulletin
·Current Issue
About Ron Gabel
·Ron Gabel's Profile
·Parts Dealers
·Heston's Speech
·Contact Us
·Links Page
·Terms of Use
Please donate to help cover our costs

Question and Answer - View Question

Go Back

Here is Ron Gabel's answer to question number 2796


I have inherited what appears to be a Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver. The cylinder is engraved with a scene of a naval engagement, and is stamped with the text "ENGAGED 16 MAY 1843" and "Engraved by W.L. Ormsby New York". Four serial numbers read 17897 and a fifth on the butt reads 7897. "COLTS PATENT" is stamped on the frame above the trigger. Finally, the octagonal barrel is stamped with "ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW-YORK CITY." How should I go about determining if it is an original Model 1851 and its year of manufacture, a reproduction from a later production run, or a copy? Thanks for your time.


The regular cylinder engraving on the pocket Navy revolvers from 1849 was a stagecoach holdup being repulsed by men armed with revolvers, on all models except the 1851 Navy, which showed an engagement between auxiliary steam warships. This engraving was put on with a roller-die cutting process, the original dies for most of which being cut by W.L. Ormsby of New York. Some of the dies in some models are signed, and the naval battle on the '51 pistols is also marked, in fine, lightly stamped lettering "Engaged May 16, 1843". Sounds to me like your revolver is A-OK.

Submitted By: Bob Strickland On: 11/13/2002 7:37:51 PM

Copyright © Expert Computer Solutions 1997-2017
Report any problems with this website here.