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Extremely fine and rare Colt 1851 Navy revolver with Enfield Cartouche. Ref 3346

  • Extremely fine and rare Colt 1851 Navy revolver with Enfield Cartouche. Ref 3346
  • Extremely fine and rare Colt 1851 Navy revolver with Enfield Cartouche. Ref 3346
  • Extremely fine and rare Colt 1851 Navy revolver with Enfield Cartouche. Ref 3346
  • Extremely fine and rare Colt 1851 Navy revolver with Enfield Cartouche. Ref 3346
  • Extremely fine and rare Colt 1851 Navy revolver with Enfield Cartouche. Ref 3346

Extremely fine and rare Colt 1851 Navy revolver with Enfield Cartouche. Ref 3346

£8,500.00
Stock Status: In Stock

The Colt Model 1851 “Navy” Revolver has typically been thought of a distinctly American pistol, with many of these revolvers seeing service with both the US military and Confederates during the Civil War, as well as seeing significant civilian use on the frontier. However, many collectors are unaware that the Colt Model 1851 Revolver was the first revolver to be accepted into service and issued by the British military. With the advent of the Crimean War, and the sudden need for modern repeating handguns in the field, the British Ordnance Department placed orders for a total of 23,700 Colt Navy pistols. These revolvers were delivered between March of 1854 and February of 1856. While many of these were delivered from Colt’s London production facility, additional revolvers were delivered from his U.S. manufactory as well. Of these revolvers, 9,600 were issued to the Royal Navy, 5,000 were issued to the army in the Crimea and 9,000 remained in store at the Tower of London.

All of these British military purchased revolvers were marked with the usual British proof marks. There are no additional records regarding the official purchase of Colt 1851 Navy or any other Colt revolvers that I am aware of by the British military during the mid-19thcentury. However, a small group of much later manufactured Colt Navy revolvers are known to exist that bear the British Storekeepers mark from the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield on their left grip. This “circle in a circle” roundel cartouche is a well-known British military storekeepers mark and is indication that the firearm so marked was accepted into British military service.

This small group of Colt revolvers was initially identified by author and researcher Nathan Swayze, who authored the seminal book ’51 Colt Navies – The Model 1851 Colt Navy, Its Variations & Markings in 1967. According to Swayze’s survey and research, there were sixteen known examples of Colt M1851 Navy revolvers that were British proved and marked with the Enfield storekeepers mark on their left grip. All of these revolvers were within the serial number range of 179487 and 188258. This places the production of all of these guns between late 1864 and early 1866. This revolver is serial number 188016 L (For London). All matching serial numbers with no number to the loading lever.

 We do know that these revolvers are extremely difficult to find and are rarely seen on the market for sale. Marked on the barrel; 

ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA -  

Overall this is a really fantastic condition example of an extremely scarce British military marked Colt Navy revolver.  If Swayze’s research is correct and only 16 of these revolvers were known to exist in the US, this could well be a great center-piece to your Colt revolver collection. For the Colt Navy collector, this is an opportunity to own an extremely scarce British military Colt .36 calibre Navy percussion revolver and fill a hole in your Colt collection that you might not have the opportunity to fill again any time in the near future, particularly with a gun in such wonderfully crisp condition with so much original finish. This is an extremely rare Colt M1851 Navy variant that would be a great addition to any advanced antique revolver collection. It is significantly rarer than a US Marital Colt Navy.  Overall length is 13 inches. Ref 3346.

This is an obsolete antique pistol and is sold as a collectors item only.
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  • Product Code:
    3346 in stock now