Samuel Colt Presentation Guns
R. L. Wilson, in his book, Colt an American Legend, estimates that 2500 guns were given away, mostly revolvers. Is an overall list available that would name the recipients of these presentation guns? Where can I find the most complete listing? Thanks for any help or advice.
Whatever data there ever was, was probably lost in the great Colt fire of the Civil War.
Most early data was burned up but some records survived on some models. The Colt site on Archive letters has a list of what may be available.
Colt can always tell you what year a gun was made, but most of the actual production information on older models was lost.
All Colt can do is an Archive search for a specific serial number to see if the record survived.
I doubt that even Colt knows how many presentation guns were made or who they were made for.
Apparently Sam Colt often had presentation guns engraved outside the Colt factory by famous engravers, so likely there never was a record of a gun being a presentation model.
In short, there's simply no information available except where someone knows a gun was presented to someone by Colt, which was usually engraved on the gun.
Many Colt's were engraved for ordinary customers and few were actual Sam Colt presentation models.
If you have a Colt that you think might be a Samuel Colt presentation gun and there's no presentation information engraved on the gun, you're almost certainly out of luck on verifying it as a Sam Colt presentation model.
Probably the most exhaustive (although by no means complete) reference is Samuel Colt Presents .
Thanks for the info. I ordered the book.
Thanks for the info! Too bad there isn't a complete listing.
I don't know, a little mystery adds to a hobby, and surprise discoveries are enjoyable to me.