This is a gun that I wish could talk because it has a mystery that I would love to solve. It's a standard Colt Model 1849 Pocket Percussion Revolver in .31 caliber. Standard 4" barrel with five-shot cylinder, early style "small triggerguard", and walnut grips. The serial number is the 109,032 which dates its production towards the end of 1855. What's unusual about it is that many, many years ago, someone filed off the serial numbers on the barrel, trigger guard, backstrap, and cylinder...and then for some inexplicable reason, they never finished the job. The serial number on the frame, wedge, loading lever, arbor pin, and grips are all there and MATCHING. If you look really closely at the areas where the numbers were obliterated, small fragments of some of the numerals are still visible and appear to match the rest of the existing serial numbers. For example...on the backstrap, one can make out a faint "1090??". On the triggerguard, one can see the bottom of the first digit and most of the last...so 1????2. On the cylinder...it's been lined out, but you can still see the top of the last digit "2". On the barrel, first digit is a "1". Every fragment of a number I can find whether first, middle, or last digit, appears to correspond to the rest of the visible number. This appears to be an ALL MATCHING Colt. To make things, more interesting, someone re-nickeled the gun a very long time ago...probably during the late 19th century. Since the old nickel extends over these areas where someone tried to remove the numbers, this suggests that whoever tried to remove the numbers did so at an earlier date. Why would someone well over 100 years ago intentionally remove half the numbers off what appears to be an all matching Colt 1849 Pocket BUT leave the other half of the serial numbers intact? One theory we came up with is that since the 1849 was very popular with soldiers, who privately purchased them as personal carry weapons, that this might have been stolen in camp by a fellow soldier and recovered before he had successfully removed all the numbers. This would add up since the brass and standard steel parts were affected but the case hardened parts such as the frame and loading lever were too hard to quickly remove and survived intact. Furthermore, after the Civil War, it was common for Union soldiers belonging to the GAR to have their weapons nickel plated for parade use.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Good with 80% old re-nickel remaining on the barrel, 75% on the cylinder, 90% on the frame, and 99% on the brass trigger guard and backstrap. The original grips are in Fine Condition and retain 70% of what appears to be its original Colt varnish. In the photos, the grips look a little undersized but this is largely due to the extra thickness of the nickel plating added over the original surfaces of the brass gripstraps. Left side of frame is clearly marked "COLT'S PATENT". Barrel has the correct early style two-line New York address...which is light and only about 35% visible. Likewise, the cylinder retains about 35% of its original roll-engraved scene. Very Good screws overall. Action is in good working order...cylinder indexes properly, barrel is tight, and hammer still works on both half and full cocking positions. Good Plus bore with strong lands and grooves. A rather interesting Colt 1849 Pocket Revolver that would display very well or would make a worthwhile project.