This is a Civil War era Model 1849 Pocket revolver with a desirable Hartford Barrel Address which is very interesting as it was double-rolled by the Colt factory. See Photos. Serial number is in the 178,000 range which dates production towards the end of 1860 (160,000 to 184,000)....close to Abraham Lincoln's Republican victory in the 1860 Presidential election. Standard .31 Caliber w/5 shot cylinder and 4" barrel. We don't have any family history on this but was found amongst some other Colts (some also with Hartford addresses) from an older collection from Alabama. Interestingly enough, this gun was sort of "Deja Vous" for us! Then I remembered, we found a similar 1849 Pocket in the 178,000 range in almost identical condition down in Central Florida about a year ago. They look like they could have been twins and are only 350 numbers apart from one another. It has since sold but here is the link to the old ad:
In the months prior to the beginning of the Civil War in April 1861, Colt revolvers were shipped to Southern States preparing for War. These smaller Colt pocket revolvers were quite popular with both Confederate and Union soldiers. Quite a few can still be seen proudly displayed across with their owners in old ambrotype photographs during the War. See photos of 3 Confederate Brothers from Georgia brandishing their home-made Bowie Knives and Colt 1849 Pocket Revolvers. At that time leading up to the War, its been theorized Sam Colt, who was not only a great inventor but a shrewd businessman, altered his barrel address political reasons. It's believed he changed his New York business address located on the top of the barrel of each revolver over company's mfg base at Hartford, CT to appease his Southern pro-secession customers who regarded NYC as a the center of the Abolition movement. Whatever the case, by April 1861 when the War began, Colt had once again changed the address back to New York as he began to supply Colts to his Northern customers. This is one of those Colts that fits into that late 1860 to early 1861 Hartford Address window.
Overall condition is NRA Fine+ 35% original blue on the barrel and 35-40% case colors on the frame. The barrel in particular has a lot of thinning blue that simply didn't show up in the photos...but basically, every flat on the octagon barrel has some degree of original blue..some more than others...and the lug areas are quite blue...particularly around the wedge. Even the barrel cone shows most of its original blue. Several of the screws even retain a fair amount of their original fire blue. Screws are VG++ to Fine overall. Cylinder is pretty darn nice too...with just about perfect scene depicting a stagecoach robbery. The back of the cylinder retains all 5 of its safety pins. We've had a lot of Percussion Colts over the years but only a handful with all the pins intact...even nice Colts always seem to have one or two mashed. This one is perfect. The brass straps and the trigger guard are WOW!!! 90%+ original silver plating which is quite good for an 1860 vintage Colt. Nice working action. Wedge still locks the barrel up to the frame tightly. Good+ Bore has strong lands and grooves. Very good walnut grips are with 95% original varnish remaining. In terms of condition and appearance, these grips match the gun perfectly but are slightly off in fit. We checked the inside under the backstrap and found the number does not match the gun. Beautiful original 1849 grips that look nice on this gun but non-matching. Otherwise, the rest of the numbers are all matching including the wedge and arbor pin. See photos. All in all, a respectable 100% original example of a Southern-leaning Hartford Addressed Colt 1849 Pocket Revolver.