Colt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,984 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My neighbor inherited this antique percussion Colt's Model 1849 Pocket Pistol from his father many years ago. Not being a gun guy, he simply stored the pistol for many years.

He asked me if I would like to clean and lube his father's antique guns. For me, there was only one possible answer. YES! The gun appears to be complete, all numbers matching, and functions. Of course, I did not shoot it.

I carefully removed a little bit of rust, without removing the patina, over the course of a few hours with some Eezox and brass punches, shaped with a dremmel into scrapers. The bore has some pitting, but not a lot. One can still see the stagecoach scene on the cylinder.
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (6).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (8).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (11).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (10).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (12).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (14).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (18).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (27).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (28).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (39).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (6).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (8).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (11).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (6).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (6).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (8).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (11).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (10).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (12).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (14).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (18).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (27).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (28).JPG
Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol (39).JPG


The wedge, with its matching serial number (I understand that is is common that the original wedge gets lost) does not get held snugly in place by the set screw. Does anybody know how I can get the wedge to stay firmly in place?

This is the first antique percussion Colt, which I have been privileged to inspect and handle. Thus, I know little about these interesting and well built pistols. It would be great if you can add whatever knowledge you have about this old gun, including the financial value. I could not find any that had sold on Gunbroker.

My neighbor cares little for guns, and none of his children or grandchildren care about guns. However, he likes vintage guitars, and is a skilled guitar player (classic rock and roll, mostly). Since this pistol was built at the start of the Civil War, and Colt only sold guns to the Union, I surmise that this gun was likely carried by a Union soldier during the Civil War. I asked my neighbor if any of his ancestors served for the North during the Civil War, and he will try to research his family history to answer that question.
700802
700803
700804
700805
700806
700807
700808
700809
700810
700812
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Thanks for posting photos of this fine original example of Colt's work! In this case the wedge retaining screw does just that; keeps the wedge from falling out and getting lost when the revolver is dismantled for basic cleaning. Larger calibers like the 1860 Army have a wedge with an integral spring steel clip that helps to keep it in place, but all wedges are ultimately friction fit.
The most interesting photo to me is of the bore which shows the gain twist rifling!
If this were mine, I would completely dismantle the revolver and let it soak in Break Free for a week or so, then get as much crud off as I could, lube, and reassemble.
I'm not a collector, so I can offer no estimate on value.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,698 Posts
That seems to be an above average example of the 1849 pocket, with good cylinder scene. Were the backstrap screws missing, or just backed out for the pictures?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
First of all, nice Colt 1849. An internet search will produce information regarding history and give you comparables for estimating value. My experience has been that the wedge retaining screw has done it’s job while remaining in place and removing the barrel. I soaked my 1849 (when I got it) in a bath of Mobile One synthetic oil. I figure the oil gets into places I don’t want to fiddle with and it treats mid 19th century metal with 21st century lubricant. Also, I used Howard's Feed and Wax on the grips and am pleased with it. Additionally, I use a soft paint brush to apply a coat of Break Free CLP to the metal after handling. Without creditable provenance, it’s just guessing as to the gun's history, although, unlikely a Union Army issued piece. On the other hand, the privilege of ownership is to be creative regarding unverifiable history. The quality of the cylinder scene helps towards value, however, it is relative and only a potential buyer and you can determine a price. I see a gap between the frame and back strap that is a concern. The condition of nipples, cylinder safety pins, and screws can influence the value to a discerning buyer as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
There were many, many of these pistols built. And even though it was built just before the war, it does not guarantee that is saw battle. It could have been sold in the North, South or the West. For sure, it did survive the entire war era.

Condition is good, but not very good or better. Blue Book is but a guide. It says a 50% example is $850. Your actual value is the priced agreed upon between a buyer and seller.

I have seen sales between $350 and $1,500 in the last year. Lower end are rough, mismatched and/or with mechanical issues.The higher end are nice guns, or with less common features.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,984 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I have no idea why my photos are repeated. How do I edit my post to delete duplicate photos? I cannot find the old EDIT button.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
834 Posts
A 19th Century P365. ;) A repeater that small has to have been a breakthru' in its day.
How tough was it to seat a ball with that short loading lever? Or was it the practice to shove it against something?
Moon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Some people used a cheater bar over the end to increase the leverage - which bent it. Worth looking out for, to see if it's been replaced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Probably just crud on the trigger guard and back strap, but I guess it could be the remains of silver or even nickel plating. I don't know enough about early Colts to make an informed guess, but I do know about plating. If you remove the back strap or trigger guard (which would have been plated in a tank and therefore all over) you could try a metal polish on the inside surface to see if it comes up bright or not. This way you won't be disturbing the natural patina on the outside of the part. The decent amount of remaining cylinder engraving is the most valuable part of this particular revolver. As to value, I think that's pretty well covered in post #6. Good luck with the project.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,698 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Nice Pocket, and nice Scene. Perhaps see if you have a good, small screw driver (which has a head the exact size of the screws) and gently screw in the two backstrap screws to bring the backstrap closer to the frame. Nice to see the remnants of the varnish on the grips - Colt's varnish sure was tough-wearing, and you often see guns with literally no finish and very little Scene, that still have varnish on the grips! The black you see on the trigger guard is indeed the old, blackened silver plating. This is an antebellum Pocket, so could have definitely served in the Civil War. Given it was made in 1860, it could have gone North or South.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
834 Posts
Do I recall the shouldered thread on the cylinder arbor was to 'walk' out accumulated crud, or was there some other purpose?
Yes, those are really detailed shots.
Moon
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
621 Posts
You mean the grooved arbor? Yes, that was to limit the accumulation of crud. This change was initially made during the time the Baby Dragoon was made.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
834 Posts
You mean the grooved arbor? Yes, that was to limit the accumulation of crud. This change was initially made during the time the Baby Dragoon was made.
Always surprised me that it was a thread, rather than simple grooves...but they did have screw cutting machines.
Thnx,
Moon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,984 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thanks so much for the huge compliment on my photography. Given all of the great photos here, by many talented photographers (I do not consider myself in that category), your comment om my photos are greatly appreciated. I have been trying for around 10 years to take good gun pictures, and this is the first set that came out really well.

The technique/equipment for my photos?

An i-phone 6+. The "trick," what made all the difference, is that I placed the pistol inside my gun cleaning station, on top of a white piece of textile. I had suddenly realized that my dedicated gun cleaning station is extremely well lit with daylight temperature LED lights, all on dimmers. I used the automatic settings, and no tripod, and the highest light settings. My gun cleaning station resembles a hazardous materials handling station, including a powerful air inlet (9,000 cfm) and a powerful air exhaust fan (9,000 cfm) on rheostats, so that I no longer need to inhale gun cleaning chemicals.

As to hovering my cursor over a picture, and hitting delete, nothing happens. I still cannot edit out and delete the duplicate photos. When I click on the three dots, then edit, it tells me that I may not edit more than 10 posts a week. I have not edited anywhere near that many recently. Any suggestions?
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top