This is nice example of an early Percussion Colt 1851 Navy Revolver in .36 Caliber and 7 1/2" octagon barrel. A very attractive attic gun with a nice patina over the metal surfaces, dark brass mixed with lots of original silver plating that's tarnished almost to black in places. This is the kind of gun I wish I could find every day but so many of these get cleaned and messed with that we almost forget there are a few survivors still left like this one! They don't get much more "untouched" than this one and its loaded with character....in fact, this one has more eye appeal than several 51 Navies I've seen proudly displayed in Museums. Best of all, not only is this pre-Civil War, its actually is a Gold Rush Navy Revolver that was made in 1851 with a very early 3rd Model with a low serial number in the 7000 serial range. It has matching numbers except the wedge which is a replacement. However, we will be including what may be the original wedge that was with this gun when we found it..its just pretty beat up.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Good+ to Very Good overall with nice sharp edges and great markings. The metal has a mostly smooth even brown patina over the iron surfaces with a few minor spots of pinprick corrosion in places. The brass trigger guard and backstrap still have 50% original silver plating remaining...much of which has tarnished to an almost black patina....a word to the Wise..."Please don't clean it and remove 150 years of history trying to make it shine!"...this is what makes a gun like this so appealing and it's what collecting and history is all about. The barrel is marked "-ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW YORK CITY-" and left side of the frame is clearly marked "COLT'S PATENT" in tiny letters. Cylinder has 40% cylinder scene remaining and may clean a little better...there's still a lot of dirt and crud hiding in the engraving as well as some minor pitting. Quite remarkably, the back of cylinder has all of its original safety pins...these are usually completely worn away after 150 years. The barrel still locks up tight to the frame and the action works perfectly. The grips are fantastic...still orange in color retaining 40-50% original varnish. There are small nicks and scratches of course but the nice thing about them is that the original varnish has protected them from darkening with dirt and oil. Wood to metal fit is perfect with natural wear to the bottom corners along the butt of the straps...these are without question original to the gun. A really great example of the 51 Navy and if it hangs around long, I just may keep it for myself!