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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a video on James D Julia's website on their upcoming auction about a COLT MODEL 1848 BABY DRAGOON REVOLVER SN 6973, the video can be seen on James D Julia's site at https://jamesdjulia.com/item/52614-1-397/ or on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF7XMQQrJUs . The video was made by a consultant to James D Julia called Tom Power who is an acknowledged expert on Colt revolvers. Good information on early Colts. Kind regards,
ALSS.
 

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I've viewed the video mentioned in the original post and have learned a thing or two.
I noticed at 1:27 in the video that he describes using the arbor to ram the bullets into the cylinder as these guns were not supplied with a separate ramming tool. I've found out that the arbor of the Texas Paterson at least will also enter the cylinder, at least up to 0.5in, so wondered if in an emergency, e.g. being attacked by Comanches and having dropped the fiddly ramming tool, many Texas Rangers may have used the arbor to ram home their balls into the cylinders. Telling of their experiences may have led to Colt incorporating the cup at the end of the arbor to make it easier to do this and at the same time remove the necessity to supply a separate ramming tool with each gun reducing costs.
I've never heard of anyone doing this with Patersons or other early Colts, Does anyone think that it is likely it frequently happened leading to this development or is it just Colt trying to reduce costs.
nghiggins
 

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I've looked at the video several times to glean as much information about early Colts as I can, and noticed at exactly one minute into the video he explains that there is no gain twist to the rifling and that Colts only introduced gain twist after 1851, and thus if a Colt (such as the subject 1848 Baby Dragoon) made before 1851 has gain twist then it is a fake. He states that Colt only introduced gain twist with the introduction of the 1851 Navy, Colt then introduced the feature into all his subsequent models. This information contradicts some statements about Colt Patersons having gain twist, does anyone have a source of authoritative information that can confirm or deny whether Patersons had gain twist or not.

nghiggins
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi
Paterson, Patbar
Thanks for your informative posting on your early Colt revolvers I would also add to the post ( has gain twist then it is a fake.) My early Paterson number 5 has straight rifling, meaning not gain twist, just regular twist, an excellent bit of research. I like to wish at this time all our readers and members. A very Merry Xmas . and to smoke them out down on the range. Kind regards, ALSS.
 

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My #9277 Baby Dragoon has straight right rifling, the 49 Pocket #57333 gain twist left rifling, the 49 "Wells Fargo" Pocket #11696 / 8 gain? twist left rifling.
 

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If the date of manufacture of these weapons is known, as apposed to their model date, does this confirm that gain twist was not used by Colt until after 1851?
Merry Chistmas
nghiggins
 

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I spoke with a man who has extensively studied Colt Dragoon revolvers for years. We know that the Patersons, Walkers and the early First Model Dragoons have regular twist rifling. He told me that somewhere between serial numbers 3000 and 3500 that he begins to see gain twist rifling. My Civilian First Model Colt Dragoon serial numbered 3253 (shown below) does not have gain twist rifling so the change over probably started a short time after that revolver was made which would then be about 1849-50.

According to Bob Jordan's new book on the Colt Model 1851 and '61 Navies, all of the Model 1851s had gain twist rifling from their beginning. So it certainly is likely that the gain twist rifling was introduced to the Model 1849 Pockets after the Baby Dragoons had been in production.


By the way, most reproduction Colts of all models do not have gain twist rifling, so that is hardly a qualifier to falsely aged so-called copies.



 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Very nice looking early Colt you have there, what I would call a fine sleeper and very collectable. What kind of value would you put on it ball park estimate. Thanks for posting. Kind regards, ALSS.
 

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Regarding the gain twist seen in the Colt Baby Dragoons and Pocket Models, I asked Bob Jordan, who also authored the book on the Colt Pocket Models, about the rifling. His response was: "I didn't check the gain twist on many Baby Dragoons, didn't see any gains on any of the Baby Dragoons, (this includes the ones with rammers). The Pocket '49s started showing gain twist somewhere after about SN 15000, this would be in late 1850 or early 1851." so this meshes with the previous discussion and confirms the 1850+ introduction of gain twist rifling to the Colt percussion revolvers.

I don't value my guns publicly but one can always check prices achieved from the major auction houses. Just find a gun that you are interested in, look at the descriptions and pictures to see condition and there will be a subjective idea of value as that is how the highest bidder valued it.
 

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True regarding twist on reproductions; my old Navy Arms Paterson has straight rifling (and iron grip frame, of all things!).
 

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....My Civilian First Model Colt Dragoon serial numbered 3253 (shown below).....
Sir. That is a beautiful Dragoon. If you have the time and inclination I, as well as others in the this percussion section of the Forum I would assume, would very much enjoy more photos of it.
 

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Yes, the so-called 1851 Navy, 1849 Pocket, and 2nd Dragoon all entered production in 1850. Many of the common nomenclatures of Colt percussion pistols were bestowed by early collectors, before they had access to the detailed research available today. For instance, the “1862” Pocket Police was actually introduced in 1861. The Pocket Navy changed dates several times. Pre-war collectors referred to it as the “1853”. Years later it was termed the “1862”. We now know it was not produced until 1865, well after the fire.
 

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I had thought that all Colt's percussion revolvers had gain twist rifling. It's good information to know that certain early ones did not. Thanks ALSS for starting this conversation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi, Lonesome Pidgeon thanks for posting.
Further to my research early on Colt revolvers, when Colt started up working for the Patent Arms M’g Arms Co., as their inventor and chief salesman. All the weapons made at that time were straight rifling, manufactured using wrought iron and used four segment cylinder nipples and not two segments nipples, which he were made when he started up again after his bankruptcy. My question is, are there any Colt percussion revolvers out there that have the four segments nipples when he started up again after his bankruptcy in 1841? Please ignore the Italian clones. He imported and he used good Sheffield steel when he got back into manufacture after that date, and as far as I can see two segments cylinders were used on all his revolvers at that time when he restarted back in business. Member’s research and comments required.
Kind regards, ALSS.
 
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