I've got an antique colt revolver that's been in the family for a while. I've been trying to get some more info about it but haven't been having much luck. I whipped up a little webpage with some pictures of it since the images I took are too large to post on here or email. Here's the link:
Colt revolver photos
Here's what I do know about the revolver.
1) It looks very much like an 1851 Navy. I called Colt about it, and even though they don't have any records for serial number 167557 (apparently this number falls in a range of missing records), they estimate that it was probably made in late 1863. As you see in the photos, on the cylinder the patent number is "7557". I can't find any information on this patent number- but then again I haven't gotten my hands on a good book about the subject either.
2) Unfortunatly it was returned to Colt by a family member in the late 1950's to be reworked. It's a shame since it would probably be worth a lot more now if it hadn't. Regardless, according to Colt, this reworking is indicated by the "&" on the right side of the trigger guard.
3) Because of the reflection on the barrel, some of the images make the revolver look like it has bluing on it. This is an illusion made by my camera and there is no bluing on the barrel whatsoever.
4) According to several family accounts, when this revolver was returned to Colt in the late 50's, Colt tried to purchase the weapon back because "it was such a rare specimen of their product." While unfortunatly I don't have the letter from Colt stating this (and therefor cannot use it in valuation), the fact that several family members remember seeing the letter and discussing the offer leads me to believe that it actually did happen.
That being said, if this piece truly is rare, then how and why? Also, it is unknown whether the offer was made officially by Colt, or by an employee who was just using Colt letterhead.
Any help you all can give would be greatly appreciated.