This Colt Model 1862 Pocket Police was the last style of percussion gun to be built by Colt. This particular revolver was passed down through a family that shared both Union and Confederate ancestries but unfortunately, we have no provenance as to whom it originally belonged. It's an early production gun in the 8,500 serial range. Built in early 1862. As it was one of the first fifty Model 1862's produced that year, there is a good chance it was on the production floor at the Hartford factory when its inventor, Samuel Colt, passed away on January 10, 1862. The 1862 was essentially the same as the .31 cal. Colt Model 1849 pocket revolver. However, its frame was recessed and cylinder rebated to accomodate the Navy size .36 caliber ball...giving it a bit of extra firepower. These were quite popular with soldiers during the Civil War who purchased them privately as back-up weapons.
Barrels in the Model 1862 were offered in 4-1/2", 5-1/2", and 6-1/2". This one has the desirable 6-1/2" Barrel, with five-shot cylinder, blued/cc'd finish, silver plated brass trigger guard/back strap, and walnut grips. Standard one-line New York barrel address. Left side of frame marked "COLT'S PATENT". Left side of trigger guard stamped "36 CAL". The cylinder also has a nice 1850 patent date inside one of the flutes. The numbers are matching on the barrel, frame, trigger guard, backstrap, arbor pin, and grips. Wedge is a replacement. The fluted cylinder is the original one...no question, but numbers are no longer visible. Here is why! The serial number on the cylinder of the 1862 was placed across the tops of the barrel lugs...usually right above the safety pins where the hammer would rest. Being a wartime gun, it was used quite a bit resulting in the pins being worn and the numbers no longer legible. This is a common occurrence on percussion Colts with fluted cylinders like the Model 1862 Police Revolvers and the early Model 1860 Armies.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Very Good with 20% original blue on the barrel...mostly in the flutes, on the lug, and above the loading lever...balance is a brown patina. Cylinder retains 10% original blue in protected areas. Case colors on frame have turned to a mottled brown patina. 25% original silver plating on trigger guard. Backstrap retains 5% original blue. Top of backstrap has what appears to be a soldier's initials...lightly scratched in...as well as traces of another name on the bottomstrap. During the Civil War, it was very common, if not necessary, for soldiers to place their names on personal belongings. Screws are in good condition. Grips appear to have been lightly cleaned but still fit the metal fairly well. No chips, cracks, or repairs. Action is in nice shape. Hammer cocks with all four clicks. Cylinder indexes properly and bolt still locks. Bore is Very Good with strong lands and grooves. All in all, a very respectable example of a Civil War production Colt with traces of original finish. This one saw some action!