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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My brother in law gave me what he called a "civil war pistol" which is technically true but I wanted to know if its a genuine Colt or not, he didn't know as someone gave it to him not knowing. Its obviously had work done to it and missing a few parts as well as laughable replacement parts but I want to know anything about it (authenticity, potential value, history, general info). I know close to nothing about old firearms so any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I do not think it is a Colt made 1851 Navy, the machining where the loading lever is supposed to be is rough and the stamp of what is left of the barrel is incorrect. The brass trigger guard is stamped 36 cal, I have never seen that on a Colt. The Colt made percussion revolvers I have seen all displayed outstanding machining with no visible tool marks.
 

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The Colt made percussion revolvers I have seen all displayed outstanding machining with no visible tool marks.
A lot of the wartime production Colts look like they were hammered together using nail files and rusty forks to do the metal work. If authentic, this revolver has all the proper markings to have been made in 1864, including the inspector marks on the bottom of the barrel and on the trigger guard.

If this is a fake, someone spent a lot of time and effort to defarb an Italian gun, reshape the metal and grip frame to that of the wartime production fourth model (rather than the "third-ish-with-chunks-of-second-model-and-Brevete-bits" model that Pietta makes or the "mostly 3rd" model made by Uberti), and then took the time to defarb the barrel, buy the very expensive stamps for the mid 1860s Colt address "- ADDRESS COL. SAML. COLT NEW-YORK U.S.AMERICA - ", which has never been used on an import gun for legal reasons (as "America" on an Italian or Belgian gun is a violation of import laws), then, after taking the time to buy and use that very expensive stamp, they decided to cut half of the address off to make a snubby. They also took the time to put proper inspector marks on the barrel and trigger guard.

I've seen people do such crazy things, but they don't usually lose every screw and replace them with junk afterwards.

I have no clue where that wedge came from, but I'm leaning to "Period correct" on the rest. I can't say for sure without having it in my hand.

Please take the grips off and take photos of any markings on the inside of the grip channel. Also, please take pictures of the front and rear of the cylinder.

Thirdly, see if the rifling, if any, appears to be gain-twist. This might be hard since the barrel was shortened.

I am roughly 60% sure this is period correct but that other info would help a lot.
 

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PHD,
I stand by my assesment, basically this gun has too many anomalies to be verified...Colt will verify for $$, I say send it in! I have never seen a period Colt with a .36 cal denotation on the brass grip, this was done by Italian producers to differenciate between the .36 and fake 1851 rebel .44s
 

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Colt starts at $75 plus shipping to authenticate.
They will even tell you what reproduction it is in the letter, if it is not authentic. And what none colt parts are in it. I say send it in.
 

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the cylinder still has some engraving on it.
looks like someone wanted a get off me gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A lot of the wartime production Colts look like they were hammered together using nail files and rusty forks to do the metal work. If authentic, this revolver has all the proper markings to have been made in 1864, including the inspector marks on the bottom of the barrel and on the trigger guard.

If this is a fake, someone spent a lot of time and effort to defarb an Italian gun, reshape the metal and grip frame to that of the wartime production fourth model (rather than the "third-ish-with-chunks-of-second-model-and-Brevete-bits" model that Pietta makes or the "mostly 3rd" model made by Uberti), and then took the time to defarb the barrel, buy the very expensive stamps for the mid 1860s Colt address "- ADDRESS COL. SAML. COLT NEW-YORK U.S.AMERICA - ", which has never been used on an import gun for legal reasons (as "America" on an Italian or Belgian gun is a violation of import laws), then, after taking the time to buy and use that very expensive stamp, they decided to cut half of the address off to make a snubby. They also took the time to put proper inspector marks on the barrel and trigger guard.

I've seen people do such crazy things, but they don't usually lose every screw and replace them with junk afterwards.

I have no clue where that wedge came from, but I'm leaning to "Period correct" on the rest. I can't say for sure without having it in my hand.

Please take the grips off and take photos of any markings on the inside of the grip channel. Also, please take pictures of the front and rear of the cylinder.

Thirdly, see if the rifling, if any, appears to be gain-twist. This might be hard since the barrel was shortened.

I am roughly 60% sure this is period correct but that other info would help a lot.
I do see a small amount of gain-twist, i used a height gauge to verify but with the state of it I'm not sure if thats a reliable measurement. I do see quite a bit of file markings but they seem too perfectly straight to have been done by hand (blacksmith background). Only thing resembling a marking is on the bottom of the grip, which may just be wear.
 

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^^^ Roughneck for Pocket Pistol.
One of the ways to verify a colts authenticity is to measure the barrel length then compare that to the length it should have with those particular markings - features.
But.... It appears someone has chopped it down to fit in a vest pocket, or conceal easy, at one time. :(
 

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Hmm, interesting revolver. I hop you can get some clarification about its authenticity. (or lack thereof)

Meanwhile, I would encourage you swing by the "introduction forum" and tell us a wee bit about yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Would it be on the wood? There's something on the bottom of the wood piece but i passed it off as wear, its in the first picture of the second group of pictures.
 

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PHD,
I have never seen a period Colt with a .36 cal denotation on the brass grip,
I really think this statement is where you should back out of the conversation, because nearly ALL Colts had the caliber designation on the trigger guard. It was also literally required by the U.S. military.

I'm guessing you have never seen a real Colt before. Check out all of this, or literally look up any photo of roughly 2/3 of the Colts ever made.

Here is an 1849 pocket:

Here is an 1863-produced 1851:

Here is an 1862-produced 1851:
162816


Here are several from a museum collection:

Here is a Colt Walker in the Texas Ranger museum...wait, what's that on the triggerguard?

Here is a Harper's Ferry gun at the Chicago History Museum...what's that? Why, it appears to be the caliber on the trigger guard:

Here is an authenticated Jessie James 4th model. Wait...did an Italian stamp that on there. James is an Italian name, right?


I mean, sure, maybe you're right. I've only spent the last decade of my life surrounded by this stuff, modern and reproduction, 24 hours a day, and I've only visited every Civil War museum in the Southeast....but sure. I'm sure the Italians broke into all these museums and private collections to stamp the caliber in.
 

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During the "Address years, and during the "Hartford" stamp years, Colt did not always stamp their guns. They absoulutely stamped them all during the Civil War, they stamped all military or militia contract ones going back to the Seminole Wars, and during the "America" stamp years, every Colt, regardless of model, was stamped unless it was to be engraved. Almost every 4th Model Colt was stamped as well
 

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Would it be on the wood? There's something on the bottom of the wood piece but i passed it off as wear, its in the first picture of the second group of pictures.
It should be right in that ridge. It sort of looks like there might be something there, but I can't make it out. It should have the gun's serial on it in black grease pen.
 

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Wow, @K75RTyou really need to call up all these museums, auction houses, and hardcore collectors to let them know that their revolvers were made by the Italians:

 

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PHD,
I stand by my assesment, basically this gun has too many anomalies to be verified...Colt will verify for $$, I say send it in! I have never seen a period Colt with a .36 cal denotation on the brass grip, this was done by Italian producers to differenciate between the .36 and fake 1851 rebel .44s
Out of curiosity, what published data, photographic evidence, or specialization did you use to arrive at your assessment?

I am happy to provide several hundred more sources backing mine. I can even put you in touch with a few museum curator friends of mine who would be happy to provide you with more pictures that prove his revolver is most likely period.

I am not 100% convinced is a real Colt, but I am 100% convinced it is a 150+/- revolver with all the proper markings of a real Colt.
 

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PHD, I stand corrected. I think you are correct upon further looking at the revolver.
 
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