This is a nice example of a Colt Model 1862 Pocket Police with lots of original finish remaining and 100% matching numbers. The 1862 was the last percussion model instroduced by Colt before the cartridge era began for most American gunmakers around 1870. Unlike the Model 1849 in .31 caliber, the 1862 used a larger rebated cylinder to handle the Model 1851 Navy size .36 caliber ball, giving it a bit of extra firepower while maintaining the smaller pocket size profiles. In addition, the 1862 Police featured an elegant streamlined round barrel, ratchet type loading lever, and a half-fluted cylinder. This one has the 4-1/2" barrel and is in the 30,000 serial range. It was manufactured in 1865 as the Civil War came to an end.
Stylistically, the 1862 was arguably the most elegant of all Colt percussion models produced. However, as both Police (streamlined) and Navy (traditional) Pocket Models shared the same serial range, production of both types was limited to under just 47,000 units total from 1861-1873. In comparison, the 1849 which saw a 23 year run, numbered into the 340,000 range. Part of the reason for this was that the Model 1862 arrived late on the scene as the Civil War was just starting and the bulk of production centered around the Colt 1860 Army. Then, in early 1864, a fire all but destroyed the Colt factory, severely crippling production. As the war came to a close in April 1865, the market saw a steep drop in demand as well an end to Colt's lucrative military contracts. That said, the year 1865 saw just 25,000 revolvers (spanning all models) produced at Colt. Model 1862 Pocket Police and Navies totaled just 3,000 units that year. In comparison, in 1863 at the height of the Civil War (the year prior to the 1864 fire), Colt manufactured 155,000 revolvers and this did not even include their production of the Model 1861 Special Contract Rifle. As the market slowed for Colt in the latter half of the 1860's due to surplus of military guns from the Civil War, demand for new percussion revolvers limped along. Once the Rollin White patent expired in 1870, many Pocket 1862's that couldn't be sold were converted to cartridge revolvers in .38 rimfire during the mid-1870's.
Overall, this one is in NRA Antique Fine Condition with 50% original blue remaining on the cylinder which is quite strong in the flutes and all around the rebated portion to the rear. Barrel shows 30% original blue that is strongest in the streamlined flutes running under the barrel lug, around the wedge, along the forcing cone, and very strong along the lower profiles near the loading lever. Frame, hammer, and loading lever show strong traces of original case colors in protected areas. The grips have 95% original varnish with a few handling marks...no chips, cracks, or repairs, and GREAT wood to metal fit. The brass gripstraps show traces of darkened or tarnished original silver. During the mid-latter 1860's, the silver plating on Colt's brass trigger guards and backstraps got thinner and thinner. Over the years, we've had near mint examples from this era that had little to no silver plating left so this is the norm for that timeframe. The numbers are all matching which includes the frame, barrel, cylinder (on the back), wedge, trigger guard, backstrap, loading lever, and the inside of the grips. See photos. Nice mechanics with a Good+ to Very Good bore. Nice example of a late Civil War/Reconstruction era Colt Pocket Police.