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Colt 1849 Pocket Revolver Mfd in 1864

This is a very strong example of a Colt Model 1849 percussion pocket revolver.  During the Civil War, these little revolvers became quite popular with both Union and Confederate soldiers who used them as personal-carry or back-up weapons.  This particular one is a fairly late one in the 264,000 range and is late-war production in 1864.  Its in .31 caliber with a 4" octagon barrel, 6 shot cylinder, and late style 1 line New York barrel address.  All numbers are matching including the wedge.

Overall, it grades as NRA Antique Fine+ to Excellent condition with 85% bright original barrel blue with the balance flaked to a light brown patina.  Frame shows 65% fading case colors while the hammer still has 75% case colors.  The loading lever has about 50% good case colors with balance faded to a light grey/brown patina.  Even the wedge retians a fair amount of its original blue.  Trigger and a few of the screws still show original bright fire blue.  Quite surprisingly, the cylinder has almost all of its original blue intact (85%) with perfect cylinder scene of the stagecoach holdup scene.  The vast majority a percussion Colts lost their cylinder blue....I doubt this little gun was used very much over the past 142 years.  The brass triggerguard and backstrap are in nice shape with a mellow patina.  True to late production, Colt's silver plating was prone to wearing away or even flaking off in contrast to earlier guns made prior to 1860.  I don't know why this is...but we see so many nice example that were made late..some are even in near mint condition...but have virtually no plating left.  This little Colt is no exception and shows only small traces of silver in protected areas.   The grips are in fantastic condition with some light handling marks but still shows 98% of its original varnish.  The grips have a nice reddish orange glow to them.  Sam Colt was known to have gone to great lengths to obtain high quality varnish for the wood on his products.  I can remember reading somewhere once in a little-known book on 1851's that one type of varnish was obtained from Europe and was a closely guarded secret used almost solely by violin makers.  The varnish was made of finely ground up amber which was difficult to make and even harder to obtain.  At any rate, when we find a nice pair of varnished grips on a Colt like this, its always nice to enjoy the warm glow they radiate.  Tight barrel to frame fit with no play.  Nice mechanics.  A very strong example of a real Civil War era Colt percussion revolver. Best of all, this one has most of its cylinder blue which is hard to find except on mint guns that come with significantly higher price tags.

Item# 0501




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