COLT "BABY" PATERSON REVOLVER: This engraved Paterson was Colt's first revolver following his 1836 patent and saw limited use in the Seminole War and on the Texas Frontier. Commercially it was a failure and by 1842, Colt had turned his attention to developing harbor mines and submarines.
COLT MODEL 1851 REVOLVER: While most of the standard production run of the “Navy” Colt model came out of the Hartford factory with a 7.5 inch barrel, this c.1853-made engraved example with ivory grip panels is quite a bit shorter, coming in at just 4 inches. Custom presentation examples like this truncated Colt are extremely rare, but the small sideways “2” following the cylinder number may indicate that this revolver was one of a pair.
Colt Navy Revolver Mystery: Part I-Sam Colt’s M1851 revolver bore a roll engraving of a naval engagement on its cylinder & gained its nautical nickname from that feature. Our well-worn example bears SN 73232. From the Colt ledgers we know the GOTD was made in 1857 & a check through the National Archives military records reveals that close SNs 73095 & 73569 went to the 2nd Illinois Cavalry in 1863. Could our US-marked .36 caliber Colt have served with the cavalry? There's no way to tell for sure.
Colt Shoulder-Stocked Revolver- From Indian brave to buffalo hunter, this shoulder gun would have been prized by either in the 1870s-80s. This .45 ca Colt Single Action Army revolver has embellishments in both silver and gold and a longer barrel to match that golden skeletonized shoulder stock. Like the original Buntline revolvers, this modern production six-gun also has a folding rear sight that neatly nestles in the frame’s topstrap. At the NRA National Firearms Museum lobby at Fairfax, VA.
New Smith & Wesson Donation - Smith & Wesson’s first cartridge revolver was the Model No. 1, a diminutive seven-shot .22. But the first examples, termed by collectors as First Issue production were just a little bit different. This example, which bears serial number 376 has the early “bayonet” style latch and is considered a “second variation.” Donated by William & Martha Albershardt, this rare revolver is also associated by provenance with an Am. Civil War soldier.
Colt M1862 Police revolver - 150 years ago, the Colt factory had a bad day. It burned down. Believed started by Confederate agents, the Colt fire in 1864 put a real crimp in the company’s percussion revolver production for the remainder of the year. But one gun that didn’t burn up in Hartford, CT was this engraved Colt .36 caliber revolver. This five-shot handgun probably sold for an elevated price in the high demand market of 1864. At the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA.
Colt Navy Revolver Mystery: Part II- While the cylinder serial is 74083, the rest of the gun is 73232. Soldiers cleaning or re-assemblying their handguns together might inadvertently swap the cylinders from one gun to another. So that cylinder’s SN we can track exactly to the 10th Illinois Cavalry in 1863. Chances are much better that this revolver did serve in the cavalry. We may never know exactly what regiment it served with, but this Colt likely rode through the Civil War on horseback.
Presentation Dragoons: Colt Third Model Dragoon Revolvers - Presentation engraved by Gustave Young for a member of the Mounted Rifles, this pair of six-shot percussion revolvers represents one of the finest sets given as a shooting prize by the Colt company. A total of 10,500 Third Model Dragoon revolvers were made from 1851-61. At the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA.