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I saw this on gunbroker and was wondering about it. I thought the Grant version normally came with a squareback trigger guard and the Lee version came with a round trigger guard.

I did notice was that the trigger guard serial number is a different font than the frame serial number. It appears this is normal because I found another commemorative this way.

Rare U. S. Grant with round trigger guard. Pic number 20 shows the serial number fonts. Colt 1851 Navy Revolver U.S. Grant Commemorative - Black Powder Pistols & Muzzleloader Pistols at GunBroker.com : 936345352

Normal U. S. Grant with squareback trigger guard. Pic number 11 shows the different serial number fonts. New Old Stock 1971 Colt Navy 1851 Ulysses S Grant .36Cal Blackpowder 7.5" - Black Powder Pistols & Muzzleloader Pistols at GunBroker.com : 936967129
 

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I've never seen one like that before but there could be two possible explanations. I think the second one is the more likely.

1. It was just a pure factory error.
2. Somewhere there is a matching R.E. Lee with a square back guard that some customer switched out either on purpose or by mistake. This could have happened if they removed the back straps and trigger guards to polish the silver.

After the first 250 double sets, the next 4750 of each of the RE Lee's and US Grant's were run with identical serial numbers with the only difference being the trigger guard shape and the suffix of either REL or USG on the frame number. Of course also the appropriate roll engraving on the barrel.

Many serial number matched sets were kept and sold as pairs for those customers who wanted both models but missed out on the double sets or otherwise wanted one each of the single sets anyway since the powder flasks were different for each set. I won such a matched set in an online live auction a few years ago. However, I ordered a double case from Bill Shumate for mine since the old single cases were not in the best shape.

Cheers
 
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