A MOMENT FROZEN IN TIME: CIVIL WAR COLT M1849 POCKET REVOLVER WITH OWNER INITIALS, AND A RUPTURED CYLINDER!

$495.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 2023-2912

This relic Colt Model 1949 Pocket Revolver effectively freezes a moment in time- perhaps a critical moment for the owner. The pistol shows a ruptured cylinder chamber that certainly explains why it was discarded, likely under trying circumstances. It also preserves its serial number 201020 on the brass buttstrap and triggerguard, giving it an 1862 date of manufacture. We don’t have information on the find location, but if it did not merely enliven some idle target practice, these were popular sidearms among travelers and among Civil War officers, so the accident may have cost someone dearly. In addition to the serial number the buttstrap shows a set of lightly scratched initials, the first of which is pretty clearly “Q” and the last likely “S” which should narrow it down considerably, but without a find location or confirmation of a military context, we hesitate to pursue it further.

Needless to say, the revolver “has a few condition issues,” but is nevertheless a cool relic, having spent time in some damp ground resulting in loss of the wood grips and deep corrosion to the iron, but preserving the brass with its markings in good shape, and the hammer, trigger, and loading assembly still in place. These were best sellers for Colt. The company made more of them than any other of their percussion arms, well over 300,000 from 1850 through 1873. They are .31 caliber and come in several barrel lengths, all convenient in size and weight for carrying and personal defense. Initially aimed at the large numbers of fortune-seekers heading west, the “’49 pocket” was very popular with goldminers and travelers of all sorts, as well as aspiring adventurers. The “roll-engraved” cylinder scene showed a pistol-armed stagecoach passenger saving the day by driving off some bandits, much to the admiration and gratitude, we would imagine, of the female passenger shown inside the coach witnessing his heroic deed. (If the buyer lacked the imagination to fill in the details and put himself in the scene, the salesman likely helped.)

On the practical level, the comfortable size and weight made the Model 1849 a popular side arm among Civil War officers, especially those serving on foot, many of whom were not about to lug heavy .44 caliber revolvers or even the lighter .36 navy caliber pistols on long marches, but might need a firearm for close-in personal defense in addition to a regulation sword. [sr][ph:m]

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