This is a very nice Colt Model 1849 Revolver in .31 caliber. For an 1849, it has a good combination of features which includes a desirable six shot cylinder (most 49's were five shots), the six inch barrel (4", 5", 6" were standard lengths), and a great early Civil War serial number in the 196,000 range which puts its date of manufacture right at the end of 1861. With Sam Colt's untimely passing in early January of 1862, this very well could have been one of the last Colt's produced under Colt's tenure as president and inventor. The Model 1849 made its debut during the California Gold Rush in 1850 but remained extremely popular a decade later with soldiers, both Union and Confederate, during the Civil War. Most were privately purchased by the soldiers themselves or presented by family members. If words aren't enough, it's really quite amazing to see how many of these little Colts turn up in the hands or tucked into the belts of soldiers posing in Civil War era ambrotype photographs. All in all, Colt produced just over 350,000 Model 1849's from 1850-1873 at its Hartford and London factories.
Being produced in late 1861, this revolver has the 2nd style one-line New York address which reads: ADDRESS COL SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S AMERICA. The left side of the frame is stamped COLT'S PATENT. The numbers on this gun are matching (barrel, frame, cylinder, trigger guard, backstrap, loading lever, arbor pin, and inside the grips) with the one exception of the barrel wedge. That said, the wedge, which is the most commonly lost and/or broken part on a Colt, is a perfect replacement. The number on it matches the gun but is a very good re-stamp. The six shot cylinder is roll engraved with a depiction of a stagecoach robbery and gun battle followed by the words "COLT'S PATENT" above the serial number.
Overall Condition, NRA Antique Very Good with sharp edges, excellent markings, smooth surfaces that have mostly aged from a grey to a light brown patina. The brass trigger guard has 10% silver plating remaining which has tarnished to black. Traces of original silver can also be found in protected areas on the upper portion of the back strap. The roll-engraved scene on the cylinder is Very Good. It's all there in terms of coverage but I'd give it about 80% in terms of detail. The action is in perfect working order and has a good bore. The original walnut grips have a fantastic look to them...with 80% original varnish with light wear on the edges. There are no chips, cracks, or repairs...and you couldn't ask for better fit to the frame and brass gripstraps. It's difficult to describe but there is a very light patina over the top of the surfaces which gives the varnish somewhat of a subdued lustre or glow. A really pleasing example of a six shot Model 1849 Colt Revolver with a desirable early Civil War era serial number.