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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'll try to keep this short... a couple of weeks ago I took a chance on a Gunbroker auction and bought what was advertised as a 1st-gen 1851 Navy to help fill out my Colt "Type Set" after emailing back and forth a few times with the seller. He was a "Not Rated" seller and seemed to be a young man (early 20s?). He explained that it was his grandfather's pistol and that he didn't know much about firearms. He was quick to respond and respectful, and I have no reason to believe his intentions were anything but honorable. His pictures were pretty poor and the gun had gone a week without a bid at a $800 start (buy now for $850), which should have clued me in, but hey, I'm a little dense, what can I say.

When the gun went back up at a "buy now" price of $800, I jumped on it. We communicated well throughout the transaction and the gun came today. He wasn't aware it didn't need to go through an FFL, but it was sent out through a gun store and came to my house, so nothing amiss there.

The gun turns out to be an 1849 Pocket Model, made in 1862, with a 6" barrel and a 6-shot cylinder. In hindsight, I should have known it wasn't a Navy pistol from the length of the barrel and the position of the cylinder serial number. However, the gun itself is not bad... All numbers match, including the wedge, loading lever and inside the grip, except for perhaps the cylinder spindle, which is unreadable. Everything looks original and correct for its serial (199xxx), including the one-line barrel address and the larger size trigger guard (I also have an earlier 1849 Pocket to compare it to, which has the 2-line address and smaller guard). There is a decent amount of silver left on the trigger guard and the cylinder scene is also quite legible in places.

Given that it's a different variation than my older gun, and nicer in some ways (all matching numbers), I'm wondering what to do here, if anything. I would like to keep the pistol, but I'm a little irked that I paid $800 + $40 shipping for the "wrong" gun. Should I ask him for some money back or just be content with what I got and take my lumps? I really don't think he was trying to deceive and that he believed it was an 1851 Navy. What would you do, other than not make the same mistake in the first place? I think this gun would likely sell for $600-700 if sold as an 1849.

One other small issue - one of the chambers on the gun is about 2/3 full of something - presumably a ball and powder. The nipple is likely not going anywhere, so what's the best way to get that round out of there?

Here are a couple of pictures. My older 1849 is the one at the top.





 

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Though not what you had intended to get and "irked" that you got the wrong gun, you further state that "I would like to keep the pistol." Well, there is your answer. Mistakes (and many times honest mistakes) happen - especially when you deal in things sight unseen. The onus is on you to make the right decision before buying. If in doubt, ask for clarification. If the pictures are fuzzy, ask for better pictures. If still unsure, don't buy. Daily I see mislabeled guns on both GunBroker and GunsAmerica. Most, probably unintentional. The majority of the sellers are honest folks. But..........'buyer beware.'

Bottom line: If you can live with this transaction (since you do like the gun), then take a deep breath and let it go and not let it bother you for the rest of your life. If not, contact the seller and see if something can be worked out. In any case, at minimum, you'll be out of the postage for both ways.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Rob - thanks for the reply, that's kind of what I was thinking too. I'm going to contact the seller and tell him the truth about the gun. If he volunteers to split the difference or something, I won't reject it, but it's no big deal either way.

Any ideas on resolving the "loaded" chamber? I'm not real anxious to use something like a drill that could throw a spark, although I could soak it thoroughly in oil or water first.

Another odd thing about this gun was that the wedge was tightly glued in place, not sure why as it fits pretty well once I knocked it loose and cleaned away the old crusty glue. I'm sure the seller didn't know about it, his grandfather may have done it many years ago. The bore and chambers were also pretty filthy but it cleaned up relatively nice. Oh... and it has "gain twist" rifling. :)
 

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Well, it seems that you are excited about the little 'things' that you are discovering about this gun. This transaction may at the end work out for you.

I have no idea on the 'loaded' chamber.
 

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I do believe that even though you didn't get a '52 Navy for your $841.00, you got a pretty good deal. Just from the photo's, I would estimate the gun to be worth at least twice that at a low retail price.
Be thankful that it wasn't a '51. Because if you only paid your $841.00 for it, people could rightfully call you a thief (lol)!
 

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So long as there is no 'Live' Percussion Cap on the Nipple which communicates to the possibly Loaded Chamber...I would just leave it be.

If feeling determined to clear out whatever-it-is I would think, remove the Cylinder of course, sit under a good bright Light, and, use something Brass to clean and examine whatever is in there.

If it is a Lead Ball, you will be able to tell.

And if it is a Lead Ball, see if you can drill a nice 1/8th inch or so Hole straight down in the middle of it, stopping just short of going through.

Then, take a nice sharp-Threaded # 6 Cut Steel Wood Screw which is say no less than an inch long, and, carefully Screw it in to the Ball...just far enough so as to not quite go through the back of the Ball.

Grasping the Screw Head then with Pliers, you should be able to gently wiggle and pull the old Ball out, and then, clean the Chamber out.

Nice old Colt!!!

I think you did just fine!
 
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