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Question and Answer - View Question

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Here is Ron Gabel's answer to question number 2796

Question:

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.

Answer:

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

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