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Original Civil War Era European Colt Brevete Copy of a Model 1851 .36cal Navy Revolver - circa 1860

Regular price $1,595.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Here is a true COPY of a Colt 1851 Navy model revolver made in Europe for the Confederate Market in the Southern United States. This was not Confederate made, but we believe properly manufactured by Belgian Gun Makers in the city of Liège, some of the best in the world. There are very few markings on the revolver, one of which is COLT BREVETE on the barrel over the breech end, basically French for "Colt Patent", which gave rise to the nickname. There is also a CROWN / U on the left side of the barrel, usually associated with Germany, but the style of crown is wrong, so this is a Belgian proof. Research indicates that this is the "countermark of the controller" used 1853 to 1877, which puts it right in the Civil War period.

The rear of the cylinder between the nipple cones bears the E / L G / * in an Oval proof, indicating manufacture in Liège, Belgium, and there is another CROWN / U proof as well. The front of the cylinder is marked with a script L over what looks to be GILON, possibly for maker Nicholas Gilon or A. Gilon, both known makers in Liège. There were other known Belgian makers with the same surname, which we assume were related.

Seeing a market in the Confederacy these Colt Brevete model revolvers were quick to find their way into rebel hands in the 1860s. Fitted with a 1 3/4" long cylinder in .36 caliber percussion, the revolver has the standard shaped trigger guard, unlike the "Squared" examples we see sometimes. It has a simple "ivy" or "grape vine" engraving on the cylinder, not a full scene like would be on a U.S. made revolver. The minimal markings on the revolver indicates the manufacturer was not keen to be discovered, again indicating possible Confederate usage.

The revolver is marked with serial number 7342 on the barrel, frame, and trigger guard, with 43146 on the loading rammer, which definitely looks to have been replaced. The style of numbers suggests it may have come from an actual Colt, though it does not quite line up right. The retainer for the loading rammer also shows modification to fit the different rammer. The revolver definitely has an interesting mix of U.S. style designs and Belgian. Overall condition is quite good, with a lot of the bluing on the barrel still present, while the rest of the steel and iron components show a gray patina. The plating on the brass grip frame is mostly worn away, leaving a nice golden color.

The chambers on the cylinder measure out to about .376", while the barrel measures about .355", so it is in .36 caliber, however the barrel is completely smooth, with no sign of rifling. It is still mostly bright and shiny, so we assume it was made smooth bore. The revolver cycles well if it is pointed somewhat downwards, as the spring on the hand is weak or broken, so it does not engage the ratchet properly if the revolver is angled with the muzzle up. All six of the cap nipple cones are still clear, though they definitely show oxidation and mushrooming from hammer strikes.

Presenting very well very possibly used by the Confederacy but made in Europe. A Fine Example, ready to be displayed!


Year of Manufacture: circa 1860s
Caliber: .36cal
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 7 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 13 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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