This is a strong example of the Colt Model 1849 Pocket Revolver manufactured in 1863 at the height of the Civil War. Great Condition with lots of original blue and vivid case colors remaining. The 1849 was Colt's best selling model during the 19th century with over 340,000 produced from 1850-1873. Many were purchased during the Civil War by soldiers in both the Union and Confederate armies as personal carry weapons. This one has a desirable six-shot cylinder which is encountered less often than the five-shooters. Standard 4" octagon barrel, .31 caliber, with varnished walnut grips. Barrel has the later style one-line New York address. The serial number is 238,900 which dates it to around mid-1863. The numbers are matching with the minor exception of a factory typo error on the loading lever. It should read "8900" but was marked "8500" instead. Given the fact that these numbers were applied by hand and mistakes were frequent, the matching condition to the rest of the gun, and the numerical proximity, it is unquestionably original to the gun.
Overall Condition grades well into the NRA Antique Fine range and is worthy of a factory wooden box. The frame shows 80% original case color which are still quite vivid. The cylinder was the component that was most prone to wear. It bore the brunt of the wear from the sides and saw corrosion from powder residue. The finish was usually worn off long before the finishes on the rest of the gun deteriorated. That is not the case here. Not only does this one have a strong roll-engraved stagecoach robbery scene but there is 50% original blue still remaining. It shows very little wear and the balance of the loss appears to be more due to flaking than usage which has turned to pleasing plum patina. Rear of cylinder still has all six safety pins intact with four very good and two partially mashed. Hammer has 60% good case colors while screws and trigger have 80% original fire blue. Barrel shows 65% original blue with the balance flaked to a mostly smooth brown patina with a few specks of light corrosion along the edges. Loading lever shows 75% discernable case colors. The brass trigger guard and gripstrap show only 5-10% original silver plating. This is normal for this vintage as Colt's plating was quite thin on wartime and postwar Colt Percussion Revolvers. While Colt may have skimped a bit on their plating, they did not with their varnish. Their varnish must have been Violin Grade finish and it's amazing to look at a 150 year old gun like this and it's in better shape than the paint on a late model used car. The varnish on this one is 99% with that great light reddish orange hue that hasn't darkened. There are just a few minor handling marks but the wood to metal fit is perfect with no chips, cracks, or repairs. Mechanics are Excellent, very crisp. The bore is mirror bright with strong lands and grooves. Excellent+ Overall. Just a really nice untouched example of the Model 1849 with six-shot cylinder.