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Discussion Starter #1
I was referred to this forum to ask about a curious Colt 1851 Navy revolver that has come into my possession.

I've skimmed through the thread below and it seems there is some conflicting opinions among experts over the years about the authenticity of a round-barrel variant of the 1851 Navy:


I thought I would post the photos of mine to refresh the debate. A competent gunsmith has inspected the firearm and determined it is well-made, original Colt manufacturer quality parts.

Any feedback appreciated

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Welcome to the COLT Forum from the Cradle Of Liberty...Pennsylvania !!



Enjoy Our Community Neighbor... and I must defer you to the experts for answers to your questions on your beautiful 1851 Navy.


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I've skimmed through the thread below and it seems there is some conflicting opinions among experts over the years about the authenticity of a round-barrel variant of the 1851 Navy:

This thread above is about the Colt 1849 Pocket .31, not the Colt 1851 Navy .36.

Jim
 

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If there are any authentic round barrel 1851 Navy Colts - in my opinion this certainly is not one of them. Amateur front sight, obvious color/metal work on the left side of the barrel, screws look like Italian repros. Probably a redone Uberti barrel.


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Discussion Starter #7
Is the barrel address complete and uncompromised?
Yes, it appears to be. See photo (also showing a Colt bullet mold included with the gun):

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Agreed that the vice marks are present and at least 2 of the screws are modern replacements.
 

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That barrel address is interesting. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the “US America” address as a two-line. It appears to have been done to accommodate the turned barrel. Perhaps someone will weigh in on whether it’s a Colt font or not. Thanks for posting the photo.
 

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Did Colt make round barrel model 1849 or 1851 models? During the 1930’s a lot of Colts were faked. If not made from scratch, they modified existing guns. They were appearing in books and magazines by the 1950’s with the blessing of “experts.” Now these guns are pushing 90 years old. It certainly was easier (and therefore cheaper) to make a round barrel as witnessed by the Confederate Griswold & Gunnison revolver. However, Colt persisted until the advent of the 1860 Army. Perhaps, it was, “That is the way we always made them and we are still going to make them that way.” Just because someone pays a lot of money for a gun, it is not qualifier as to whether the gun is a fake.

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I was referred to this forum to ask about a curious Colt 1851 Navy revolver that has come into my possession.

I've skimmed through the thread below and it seems there is some conflicting opinions among experts over the years about the authenticity of a round-barrel variant of the 1851 Navy:


I thought I would post the photos of mine to refresh the debate. A competent gunsmith has inspected the firearm and determined it is well-made, original Colt manufacturer quality parts.

Any feedback appreciated

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I agree with xyrancher, the barrel looks strange. Not a normal 51 Navy barrel address. All of the SN's on the bottom of this gun were likely re-stamped to make them look the same. And yet, the cyl SN appears to be from a different set of dies.
 

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Does the barrel have progressive twist rifling? Meaning slower twist rate at the rear that gets faster towards the muzzle? If it has progressive twist rifling that would indicate that it's likely a real Colt barrel. If it does not have progressive twist then it is almost certainly a repro barrel.

Here is another round barreled 1851 Navy.
EXTREMELY RARE AND UNUSUAL ROUND BARREL COLT 1851 NAVY WITH PROVENANCE. (morphyauctions.com)
The provenance for the gun is Swayze‘s book on Colt ‘51 Navies. No additional provenance is offered. Swayze in his book only states that it is “authentic,” but again offers no insight has to how he made that determination. If there was a Colt letter or otherwise he would have stated it.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Does the barrel have progressive twist rifling? Meaning slower twist rate at the rear that gets faster towards the muzzle? If it has progressive twist rifling that would indicate that it's likely a real Colt barrel. If it does not have progressive twist then it is almost certainly a repro barrel.

Here is another round barreled 1851 Navy.
EXTREMELY RARE AND UNUSUAL ROUND BARREL COLT 1851 NAVY WITH PROVENANCE. (morphyauctions.com)
It does have progressive twist rifling.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
With progressive twist rifling it would seem that it's a real Colt barrel. Still possible it's not factory work but at least it's likely a Colt barrel.
It would seem so. I'm still not sure about the barrel address - while the verbiage matches this SN range (101000 - 215348) according to Flayderman's 9th edition, as @Jpn mentioned, the two-liner is odd. Quite possible whoever modified this original weapon restamped those lines after turning the barrel.
 

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The provenance for the gun is Swayze‘s book on Colt ‘51 Navies. No additional provenance is offered. Swayze in his book only states that it is “authentic,” but again offers no insight has to how he made that determination. If there was a Colt letter or otherwise he would have stated it.
Swayze’s book, first published in the ‘60’s, has been superseded. I wouldn’t ascribe authenticity to any anomaly attributed to the Colt factory based on a statement in the book.
 
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