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I am trying to determine whether Colt ever made any 1851 Navy revolvers WITHOUT gain twist barrels.
I have s/n 147308 which appears original, but the barrel does not have gain twist rifleing.
I would appreciate help on this or referal to where I might obtain a reliable answer.
Hayden
 

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The Haven and Belden book, pg. 62 says "Note that the barrel is rifled with gain twist rifling. After 1849 all Colt's longer barreled revolvers carried this feature..." and again pg. 70 "'Fifty-one Navy revolvers are sometimes encountered with barrels shorter than the standard 7 1/2" that seem to be factory work and not arms cut down by private gunsmiths. Very few of them are found, however, and any shorter barrel length could not be classed as a standard variation of this model, but would be a special factory job to order".

So apparently, only special order short barrels would lack the gain twist.

The CCA www.coltcollectorsassoc.com magazine "Rampant Colt" has a Q&A column where you could get a definitive answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your reply Bushwacker, and the references.
My revolver has the standard 7.5 inch barrel.
I'll post on the site you've mentioned and let you know how I progress.
Hayden
 

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gain-twist on 1851 Navy

I recently posted a similar inquiry. I am negotiating for the purchase of a 4th Model 1851 Navy that appears to be one of those assembled in the 20th Century from surplus Colt parts by either the W.Stokes Kirk company or Colt enthusiast and Samuel Colt Biographer, William B. Edwards. I am cautious, however, because it does not have gain-twist rifling, and the firearms experts at two auction houses that specialize in 19th century military arms have both warned me that, to the best of their knowledge, all original barrels manufactured by Colt for the 1851 Navy had gain-twist rifling.
 
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