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I recently purchased a 1851 Colt Navy-Navy revolver. It has the iron back strap, dark pistol grips and has the U.S.N on the bottom. I believe this particular version is called a "dark" navy because of the grips. I am trying to see if anyone has a way to track this revolver; the serial number is in the 61XXX range. Colt does not have these records anymore thanks to the fire.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

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The best I can recommend is "51 Navies" by Nathan L. Swayze. This is an out of production book, but may be available on the secondary market; e-bay, Amazon, etc. Swayze does discuss U. S. Martials in Chapter 3 and does address Navy-Navy revolvers; early and late to include serial number range, physical characteristics, etc. You might also ask a similar question on the Colt Collectors forum. I'm sure there are advanced collectors who have much more knowledge on these rare revolvers.
 

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Merrell; Here is what I can tell you...My Navy-Navy is 38cf. Serial # 62XXX, made in 1857. Frame has "Colt Patent US" , over stamped with patent dates. Barrel has "RWM" with Anchor. (Commander Richard W. Meade). Top of barrel has small anchor. "USN" on butt. July 30, 1873, Colt proposed to convert to .38 re-blue and replace the grips on returned 51 revolvers. Aug 1, 1873, Captain Jeffers accepted that offer. In Wilson's book "because only 1000 of the 2087 Navy-Navy Conversions were the Model 1851" indicating he believed 1000 were 51' and 1087 were 61's. I believe mine is one of 138 returned to Colt from the Brooklyn Navy Yard returned for conversion..Any additional info, I can supply just ask..Here is mine....Jim

 

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Thanks for the info Calibre 38. The one I have was not part of the conversion. It is still the ball and powder 36 calibre. Still trying to figure out where or what ship it went to after being received at the New York Naval Yard. If you got any more info I would be glad to listen!Thanks again!
 

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On September 28, 1857 the Navy placed an order for two thousand Colt 1851 Navy pistols at $18 each. In November, 615 of these were delivered to Norfolk, 667 to Boston and the remainder sent to New York on December 6th. The small US will be found on the frame with USN stamped on the butt and back strap. These pistols are generally found in the serial number range 55,500-62,000.
James L. Henderson (J.L.H.) was the inspector at Norfolk, George M. Ransom (G.M.R.) at Boston and Stephen C. Rowan (S.C.R.) at New York.

This information is from the book Civil War Pistols of the Union by John D. McAulay . Serial number 61.054 is pictured in the book.

Rio
 
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