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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering purchasing another squareback but this one has me wondering. The s/n lookup at Colts website matches it being an 1851 manufacture, and the wear and patina looks authentic. The one thing that has me wondering is that the "COLT'S PATENT" stamping is on the right side of the frame the correct distance back. I have gone through Swayze's book and cannot find any reference to this stamping being anywhere other than on the left side. His Chapter X really shows the best examples. Other than this discrepancy it looks identical to the squareback I now have.

Stamping on the top of the barrel is " ADDRESS SAML (small L with line under) COLT NEW YORK CITY ".

All my other Navy's and a very early SAA exhibit this stamping on the left side of the frame. Anyone have an answer for this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You are correct johngross, that is the one I'm referring to. It just concerns me that there is absolutely no documentation/pictures in any of the 'experts' books that make note of this strange deviation.

I am apprehensive about spending that much on something that may just be a very old copy.
 

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I looked at the pictures quite carefully and tried to find something wrong or fishy about the gun and I could not other then the marking on the wrong side. Now this could be a non documented factory error. If the gun had never been know to anyone then no one knows to document it. The best thing I can offer is to take a good know gun from the same serial number range and carefully compare the actual stampings and see if the are an exact match. The correct stamp would have been used but just on the wrong side. A newly made stamp would not be a perfect match and the faker would have put it in the right location. While this is unusual for sure it not beyond the realm of possibility. It would be nice to see inside the gun and compare it to a known example for machine marks and the like.
 

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You are correct johngross, that is the one I'm referring to. It just concerns me that there is absolutely no documentation/pictures in any of the 'experts' books that make note of this strange deviation.

I am apprehensive about spending that much on something that may just be a very old copy.

If you feel everything else checks out ok on the revolver, I would not let the COLT'S PATENT stamp stop you from making the purchase. Mistakes such as this are sometimes encountered on Colt firearms of all eras. For example, in Keith Cochran's ENCYCLOPEDIA on the Peacemaker he notes over 30 errors he has encountered on the SAA, such as missing patent dates, missing barrel address, upside down Rampant Colt, and front sight installed backwards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the 'comforting' advice. I compared the photo details with the squareback I have (an earlier s/n) and things just matched up perfectly so I bought it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
... one more thing on this old squareback -- the grips feel firm, but on one side near the bottom there is a small area where if I tap on the walnut grip with my finger nail you get a hollow sound (like if tapping on an empty eggshell). Everywhere else is a very hard and solid sound.
If I pull the (3) screws to remove the backstrap I'm assuming the grips will come off with the backstrap. I have never pulled this off any of my old Navys, but I have seen the walnut grips in a one piece configuration. Will they easily slip off the backstrap? I don't want to go messing about with something that I know nothing about.
With this strange sound when tapping I'm assuming that the grip in this area has been 'whittled' away on the interior surface for some strange reason or earlier repair. Under magnification there are some lines in the old grain pattern that might be where the grip had been repaired.
I just don't want to wreck anything during disassembly. I'm sure that the interior side of this grip would need some backing walnut epoxied to it for stabilization.
 

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... one more thing on this old squareback -- the grips feel firm, but on one side near the bottom there is a small area where if I tap on the walnut grip with my finger nail you get a hollow sound (like if tapping on an empty eggshell). Everywhere else is a very hard and solid sound.
If I pull the (3) screws to remove the backstrap I'm assuming the grips will come off with the backstrap. I have never pulled this off any of my old Navys, but I have seen the walnut grips in a one piece configuration. Will they easily slip off the backstrap? I don't want to go messing about with something that I know nothing about.
With this strange sound when tapping I'm assuming that the grip in this area has been 'whittled' away on the interior surface for some strange reason or earlier repair. Under magnification there are some lines in the old grain pattern that might be where the grip had been repaired.
I just don't want to wreck anything during disassembly. I'm sure that the interior side of this grip would need some backing walnut epoxied to it for stabilization.
If this was my pistol (and it is not) I would not worry so much about the wood as it is one piece. Unless you have a good set of hollow ground tip gunsmith screwdrivers and some penetrating oil, I would be leery of trying to remove the backstrap screws for fear of ruining the screwheads after who knows how many years since they were last removed.

If perchance the wood does come apart you can substitute wood from an Italian replica and fit it externally to your pistol. No one will know the difference with a good stain and oil. Check Ebay, VTI, or Dixie.

BTW, a very nice find, sir! I have a Pietta set up as a 1851 Navy Second Model.

Jim
 

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