I have a Colt 1849 5 shot with a 6" barrel & New York address S/N 642XX it has an unusual marking on the trigger guard where the cal marking usually is it reads DES ENFANTS any information would be a help Thanks
Welcome to the forum. No takers yet, but hopefully you will get a knowledgeable answer or opinion. Depending on how the marking was applied, I might guess a gift inscription, but the operative word is definitely guess and I will probably be proven wrong once again. Or perhaps to do with the "Baby Dragoon" (too obvious?). Good luck. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
Still no takers - how about some more speculation? Des Enfants in addition to its generic translation is apparently also a surname, although not very common based on my searches. The only such reference on which to base the speculation is found by scrolling down to "Spring 1998 Vol. 1-18" at this link. http://www.rootsweb.com/~okgcghs/nwslttr.html
For a contemporary instance, search on "christine des enfants".
Well, I can't stop. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif My BOCFA says the CAL stamping was pretty much after 1860 and your serial puts the manufacture at 1853. The only other comment so far is that "Factory inspector stampings are standard and are usually found on the trigger guard. They sometimes appear on various other major parts.The letters used vary considerably." How about a pic of the entire gun just for effect? BTW, the other mark looks like a G in your pic, which is also the only stamping on serial #183768 (ca 1860) shown on pg 112 of the BOCFA. Oh, there is also a mention of some dealer stampings as a variation with no details. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
"Colt's Pocket '49 it's Evolution" and a "Summary Book" by Robert Jordan- Darrow Watt, I believe is the standard reference book on 1849 Pocket's. I don't have that book or I would see if the information you are looking for is in it. Don't know if it's still current, but the reach information for the authors was listed (5 years ago) as Box 955, San Leandro, CA 94577-0105 (510)352 7252 or (650)879 0579. Good luck.
Detroitslim - presumably you're the same owner that was asking about these markings in 2004, on another forum - or has the gun changed hands? Sorry I'm a bit late seeing this post.
When I saw it then, I talked to Bob Jordan (writer of the book mentioned by deepsix) - he had never seen the marking before and had no ideas I'm afraid - despite closely studying 5000+ Pocket 49's for his book and since. Our best guess would be perhaps a French Canadian dealer?
We were also a little concerned about the trigger guard / serial number combination. From the photo it looks like what is known as a "long" trigger guard, but they only appear on guns with 6-digit serials (from about 113000 to 180000). If you're sure there isnt a '1' in front of your 624XX, can you supply more pics, or very careful measurements of guard and cylinder lengths?
Nigelo. Yes I still own the colt but would like some more information on it as I think I want to sell it as my collecting has taken a different direction. I bought it at an estate sale some years ago and I could not get any background on the piece.