It appears to be a Colt 1851 Navy, but there were a good number of copies and counterfeits made in Europe in an attempt to by-pass Colt's patents.
There are several things that lead me to believe that this is, in fact, a copy, not an original Colt revolver.
The Colt's didn't have a rear sight mounted on the barrel.
The rear sight was a Vee-shaped notch cut in the top of the hammer.
The hammer appears to have been altered. There should be a slight projection forward from the front face that was to prevent fragments of the percussion cap from flying into the shooters face.
It may have been removed to allow the use of the different front and rear sights.
The main reason I suspect this is a copy, is the different linkage assembly of the rammer.
The original Colt design was the rammer lever was pinned to the actual rammer with a central pin that acted as a hinge.
On this revolver there is a separate link joining the rammer lever and the lever.
Look closely at the top of the barrel. If it's a genuine Colt, there should be Colt markings on the barrel's top flat.
[This message has been edited by dfariswheel (edited 03-14-2005).]
The Walker is a massive revolver. The Navy is a much smaller .36 caliber revolver. Think of the Walker as a large frame and the Navy a medium frame.
On the rear of the barrel of the pictured revolver appears to be a sight. Most other models had a notch in the hammer for a rear sight. When the hammer was cocked the notch was aligned with the front sight.
This gun is realy a authentic one and not a copy, it was rusty so I clean it, every single part is numbered with 8176 except for the filling handle this is numbered with 8092. The leght of the barrel is 7.44 inch ( 18cm ). The clip for taking the barrel from the body is gone, here you see a new screw.
I can sent you better photo's by mail if you want ?
First I want you to know that this gun is not for sale, I'm collecting weapons from 1300 till 1900, and not only gun's, just everything even the armor so it doesn't matter if its worth $1.00 or $100.000 !
I'm not a Colt expert but after 25 year collecting I hope that I can see if something is old or just a fake new replica !
Well, I remain convinced its not a Colt - but that doesnt mean its neither old nor original. There were many guns similar to Colts made in the 1800's, such as Whitney, Cooper, and various Confedeate companies like Griswold, and Rigdon. It doesnt match any of the well known ones - but there are claimed to be many many one-offs made at that time.
In terms of general appearance, it is closest to the 1851 Navy. The Walkers had 9 inch barrels, and the Dragoons had round barrels.
I remain convinced it is not a Colt - but quite possibly of the same era, and still quite possible therefore 'genuine'.
I'm afraid I'm very cynical about dealers. Did any of them actually make you a firm offer? That would at least put some substance to their interest.
Finally - (and no disrespect to this fine message board) you might want to post the same query on www.antiqueguns.com. Their pre-1899 board is frquented by some very well respected Colt and Civil War experts.
Pelgrim - what makes you sure its an original Colt? Please explain.
DFARISWHEEL has given you an extensive and very accurate explanation why it IS NOT a colt - you should provide at least as much in response if you disagree with him.
I have studied Colt percussion revolvers extensively, and totally agree with all the points dfariswheel raises.
In particular, the rammer linkage is far too complex a piece of engineering for Sam Colt ever to have used - he was focussed on simplicity and efficient production - and it has never beeen used on any other colt.
Finally - the extensive cleaning, mis-matched numbers, replacedd screws. and general condition mean that whatever this is, it will be worth very little.