RARE SMALL IRON TRIGGERGUARD COLT M1851 NAVY CUT FOR 2ND MODEL SHOULDER STOCK- ONLY 50 MADE

$3,950.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1142-73

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Current scholarship classifies Colt M1851 Navies with iron triggerguards outside the older, but still useful, model designations pioneered by Swayze. Jordan and Geri break them down into the small iron guard and large iron guard types that are produced in very limited quantities within certain serial number ranges. This one is serial number 72729, dating it to 1857, and would fall in the Late Third Model classification used by Swayze, but now more accurately falls in the small iron triggerguard category and near a group delineated by Jordan in an Arms Heritage article as in the 70900 to 72600 range, but which should be expanded slightly to include this one.

These small-iron-guard Navies are rare enough on their own. Jordan and Geri estimate just 45 were made with serial numbers under 30000 and just 650 more falling between 40938 and 80160, for a total of just 695. Of that number, however, just 275 were cut for shoulder stocks, and of those only 50 were cut, like this one, for use with the Colt 2nd Model Stock.

This follows the standard configuration for the small-iron-guard Navy, showing a thick, beveled barrel lug. It is fitted for the shoulder stock using a notch in the buttstrap and slot on backstrap, and is mounted with a sling or lanyard swivel just forward of the triggerguard bow. Other elements fit the standard Navy: full octagon barrel, 7 ½ inches in length, six shot cylinder, .36 caliber, one-piece varnished walnut grips, etc. Overall the pistol qualifies as very good, with all original parts, smooth metal, and showing just a very thin faded blue shading to gray with lighter edges, just faint hints of color on some screw heads and the faint mottled case on the frame. We see just some tiny, pin-prick pitting on the upper rear of the triggerguard on the left and a few darker gray and thin brown spots on the backstrap.

The barrel and frame markings are good. The barrel has a pin front sight and New York barrel address: − ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK CITY – This shows some rubbing to the last part of “Saml.” and the “I” of City. The missing lower right corner of the “N,” however, is known from a broken die stamp seen in this serial number range. The New York address is correct for the serial number, changing to Hartford in the mid-74000 range. The frame shows a sharp COLTS / PATENT on the left. The cylinder rates about good. The metal is smooth and the nipples are not battered. The scene and lettering are not visible, but the serial number is, though rubbed along the bottom, and clearly matches the rest of the gun, including frame, triggerguard, barrel buttstrap and loading lever, all of which are rubbed (except on the lever,) but legible. We have not pulled the wedge or grips. The grips have a good fit to the metal, nice color and full varnish, showing one chip on the front left toe, and otherwise only minor handling marks, a few light dings, and very slight rounding at bottom.

This is a rare version of the Colt Navy, which needs no introduction to collectors. In this case the iron backstrap was particularly suited to mounting a buttstock that might tear through or quickly wear out softer brass. This revolver will likely fill a gap in most Colt collections, but would also display well in a collection of arms perhaps carried by one of the pre-Civil War elite mounted militia units.  [sr] [ph:L]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire!

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