Original London Colt Model 1851 Private Purchase Navy Revolver Made in 1866 - Serial 197427

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available: This is a very nice and interesting LONDON COLT NAVY marked percussion .36 caliber revolver, in very nice shape. It has been polished quite a bit over the years, which has removed the original finish and all of the cylinder scene. It still does however have the COLTS PATENT marking on the frame. The revolver also shows MATCHING NUMBER # 197427 on the Barrel, Grip, Frame, Cylinder, and trigger guard, indicating production in 1866.

The top of the barrel marking on this example is still clear:


Actual production started in 1852 in London and stopped at the end of 1855. Thereafter LONDON Marked Colt Revolvers were prepared in the United States and shipped over as required, the serial number ranging from about 15,000 at the close of the London production line and in 1856 around 40,000 for those made in the U.S. for the London market with London Markings. This revolver is therefore a RARE LONDON marked Navy made in the U.S.

It is interesting that despite this being a real "LONDON MARKED NAVY" it does NOT bear any British Proof marks required by British Law if sold in England. One can only assume that this particular Revolver was ORDERED in London most likely by a BRITISH OFFICER and delivered to him overseas. Very likely directly to South Africa, where problems with the Natives and the Dutch Boers was requiring British Military attention.

The other possibility is of course to India which Britain had taken over the governance of from the Royal East India Company from in 1859 after the Sepoy Rebellion. In fair shape, absolutely no finish left on the cylinder or any trace of the original cylinder scene. Otherwise with a pleasant bright finish, ready to display!

The revolver cycles correctly, with a strong trigger pull and good cylinder lock up. As with any revolver of this age though, it can be finicky. The bore has clear lands and grooves, however the finish is mostly oxidized.

This  interesting revolver would be a credit to any Collection. Ready to display!

History of the 1851 Navy Colt Pistol:

The Colt Revolving Belt Pistol of Naval Caliber (i.e., .36 cal), later known as the Colt 1851 Navy or Navy Revolver, is a cap and ball revolver that was designed by Samuel Colt between 1847 and 1850. Colt first called this Revolver Ranger model; but the designation Navy quickly took over. It remained in production until 1873, when revolvers using fixed metallic cartridges came into widespread use. Total production numbers were exceeded only by the Colt Pocket models in concurrent development, and numbered some 250,000 domestic units and about 22,000 produced in the Colt London Armory.

The cylinder of this revolver is engraved with a scene of the victory of the Second Texas Navy at the Battle of Campeche on May 16, 1843. The Texas Navy had purchased the earlier Colt Paterson Revolver, but this was Colt's first major success in the gun trade; the naval theme of the engraved cylinder of the Colt 1851 Navy revolver was Colt's gesture of appreciation. The engraving was provided by Waterman Ormsby. Despite the "Navy" designation, the revolver was chiefly purchased by civilians and military land forces.

Rare and seldom encountered, the London Colt revolver was made in very limited production. Quantities total some 42,000 London pieces of all variations. Serial numbers are recorded in the following ranges: 17,000, 24,000 34,000, 37,000, and 39,000. Samuel Colt designated the term "Navy" to imply the caliber (.36) of the weapon, as he did with its later and heavier companion, the Colt Model 1860 Army (.44 caliber).


Year of Manufacture: 1866
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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