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Just looking for some discussion and information regarding an 1861 Navy Colt that was plowed up near San Angelo, TX (former location of Ft. Concho in the 1800s).

The pistol was plowed up in the late 90's. The hammer is down on the Patent No. line and there are six loaded chamber with caps intact. It is too rusted for any part to move and the wood in the grip rotted away. During uncovering, the metal in the handle was broken but it is still connected (see picture). Serial number is 28917 but I haven't built up the gumption to drop $300 on tracing it through Colt. Corrosion has made it difficult to tell but we figure this has the engraving on the cylinder so it isn't an extremely early model. It also isn't the model built to fit a shoulder stock. If it is a later serial we have wondered if maybe this was a rarity because Colt started modding this model for cartridges in the late 1860's yet this one appears to be black powder. Or is this interchangeable? I'm rather inexperienced in this timeframe to be honest.

If this pistol was taken in an ambush then they got him by surprise because all six chambers are loaded. We really ponder where this came from or how it came to be dropped like it did. What is the decomposition rate of a pistol like this? When could it have been dropped? Maybe a feller just squatted in the grass one day and walked off after it fell off of him and he wasn't able to find it. Ft. Concho also held quite a few Buffalo Soldiers so something else to ponder.

I'm sure we will never get all the answers we want but we wanted to put this out to the community to hopefully crowd-source some info. Monetary value isn't of concern but it is interested nonetheless. This is priceless to our family either way. Interesting relic to be sure....

Also, my father buffed a part of the handle to show the brass... mostly because he wasn't sure it was real. I mean seriously... who finds these things like this!!! Pretty amazing. The 1851 below is a reproduction for competition cowboy shooting.

Also also... why is the hammer all the way down between chambers?? Did it have a recess for the firing pin? I understand that SAA pistols had to leave a chamber empty to keep the hammer down? Maybe I'm way off base... Thanks! I can take better pictures if needed.
1230131812a.jpg
 

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What ever the story it is fantastic. It makes a great story which ever one it is. I would love to find something like this.
 

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Are there any marks on the back Strap?

Looks like the Grip is bent in from the back, and, part of it is missing...maybe, the Plow hit it from the rear? Or..?


Anyway, there is no 'Firing Pin', the nose of the Hammer strikes directly on to the Percussion Cap.

Hammer 'down' between Capped Nipples/Chambers, is how one carries a Cap & Ball Revolver, when it is fully Loaded, or any other time as well.
 

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That is really flippin cool. The mind can imagine all kinds of interesting possibllities of how it got there, and they are all correct as nobody can prove them wrong :D
 

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Serial number is 28917 but I haven't built up the gumption to drop $300 on tracing it through Colt.
I have Colt 1861 Navy serial number 884, and I haven't found the desire to know more about it worth $300. However, I think I recollect that the information on the Colt 1861 Navy Revolvers available is only out there up to number 12,000, so, even if you wished to spend $300 to know more about this one, I don't believe it is even an option.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hmm, interesting to know about the serial being over 12,000 so possibly no record with Colt... I'm considering trying to contact a historian at Fort Concho to see if maybe they have any info. There is no guarantee that it was dropped by anyone from Ft. Concho but its possible.

Anyone know how popular this model was with different folks? Cavalry mostly or just joe-shmoe walking around with it? My understanding is that cavalry preferred it over the Army for recoil or something to that effect...

The photo of the right side of the gun is nice to see. I've got this one mounted left side out in its case so haven't looked at the right side much lately. It does have the same cut-out at the cylinder. I've noticed some similar models have a little different design in that spot.

Thanks for the responses thus far!
 
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