Original U.S. Civil War Colt M1851 Navy .36cal Revolver named to Confederate Capt. James P. McMullen with Holster & Belt - Serial 37114 made in 1854
Original Items: One of a Kind Set. This is a fantastic collector’s opportunity! This is a fantastic U.S. Civil War named Confederate officer’s set, consisting of a named Colt Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver, Holster, and Belt. Included with the set is a copy of the 25 page biographical article THE ACCIDENTAL PIONEER: CAPT. JIM McMULLEN AND THE TAMING OF THE PINELLAS PENINSULA by Donald J. Ivey. This gives lots of biographical and historical information regarding the owner of this lovely set.
James Paramore McMullen, born June 11, 1823 as the sixth of twelve children, was the descendant of Scottish immigrants, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1775. They family then moved South to North Carolina, where his grandfather is said to have served as a Drummer boy in Granberry’s Company of the North Carolina Militia during the American Revolution. The family moved to Georgia and in 1842 James contracted "consumption", known today as tuberculosis. To spare his relatives, he took himself to the Tampa region of Florida to regain his health. He intended to return to Georgia but on the way met and Married Elizabeth Campbell from the PINELLAS PENINSULA on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
By the outbreak of the Civil war some years later, James had become a very successful businessman, but was still one of the first to volunteer in Captain William B. Hooker's Company of Florida Mounted Volunteers. His wartime responsibility was to coordinate Cattle Drives of Beef from Florida up to the Confederate front lines during the period of hostilities. His time in actual combat action was therefore quite limited. He finished his time in 1865 as a Lieutenant but was promoted Captain and released to civilian life once again. He continued to live in the same Tampa area becoming even more successful and died on April 17th 1895. His legacy was that he became Nationally known as "THE TAMER OF THE PINELLAS PENINSULA". A 25 page Internet Biography. is included with this set.
The percussion revolver is a standard Colt M1851 Navy, which features a standard 7 1/2" barrel and mostly matching serial number 37114 on many parts including the barrel, frame, grip frame, cylinder, and trigger guard! The serial numbers on some other components has been worn away by decades of cleaning. Serial number records indicate production in 1854, so this was made years before the outbreak of the Civil War. McMullen doubtless had purchased it long before, as it would been useful in the relatively wild areas of Florida at the time.
The top of the barrel does still have the old style Colt "New York CIty" address marking:
- ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW-YORK CITY -
The COLTS PATENT marking is still visible on the left side of the frame, and the trigger guard and grip frame have a lovely polished look. The revolver is in very clean and tight condition retaining no original finish and is basically polished bright with some age staining in the corners. It has a Brass trigger guard nice engraved along the back strap:-
CAPTAIN JAMES P. McMULLEN
1861 C.S.A. 1865
This was almost certainly put onto the revolver after the war as a remembrance of that time. It still does function, but has definitely seen quite a bit of use. The grips still look great, and it really is a lovely piece.
Additionally the Revolver comes with its original Cavalry Officer's flap top brown leather holster and officer’s brown leather belt. The belt still bears the correct original Officers buckle embossed with Oak leaves and, interestingly enough, the circular male portion of the buckle which has had the Union markings filed away and is now perfectly plain. Truly amazing that BOTH the Officer's Holster AND the Officer's waist belt with buckle have remained with the revolver and in such good condition showing only 150 years of wear.
Offered complete with the printed out Biography. This is a very desirable CONFEDERATE SET. Ready to add to your Civil War collection and display!
Year of Manufacture: 1865
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 7 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 13 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver
History of the 1851 Navy Colt Pistol:
The Colt Navy Model 1851 Percussion Revolver in .36 caliber was widely used by both sides in the U.S. Civil War. 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.
The .36 caliber Navy revolver was much lighter than the contemporary Colt Dragoon Revolvers developed from the .44 Walker Colt revolvers of 1847, which, given their size and weight, were generally carried in saddle holsters. It is an enlarged version of the .31 caliber Colt Pocket Percussion Revolvers, that evolved from the earlier Baby Dragoon, and, like them, is a mechanically improved and simplified descendant of the 1836 Paterson revolver. As the factory designation implied, the Navy revolver was suitably sized for carrying in a belt holster. It became very popular in North America at the time of Western expansion. Colt's aggressive promotions distributed the Navy and his other revolvers across Europe, Asia, and Africa. As with many other Colt revolvers, it has a six-round cylinder.
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.
The .36 caliber (.375-.380 inch) round lead ball weighs 80 grains and, at a velocity of 1,000 feet per second, is comparable to the modern .380 pistol cartridge in power. Loads consist of loose powder and ball or bullet, metallic foil cartridges (early), and combustible paper cartridges (Civil War era), all combinations being ignited by a fulminate percussion cap applied to the nipples at the rear of the chamber.
Famous "Navy" users included Wild Bill Hickok, John Henry "Doc" Holliday, Richard Francis Burton, Ned Kelly, Bully Hayes, Richard H. Barter, Robert E. Lee, Nathan B. Forrest, John O'Neill, Frank Gardiner, Quantrill's Raiders, John Coffee "Jack" Hays, "Bigfoot" Wallace, Ben McCulloch, Addison Gillespie, John "Rip" Ford, "Sul" Ross and most Texas Rangers prior to the Civil War and (fictionally) Rooster Cogburn. Use continued long after more modern cartridge revolvers were introduced.
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