Antique Colt revolver - Need info

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by dino213aa, May 15, 2006.

  1. dino213aa

    dino213aa New Member

    May 15, 2006
    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.
    Last edited: May 15, 2006
  2. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Well, you definately need to find a Colt expert and have this appraised in person. What I can tell you is that the

    36CA on the side of the trigger stands for 36 Caliber. The '7557' on the cylinder is not a patent number, but is the last four digits of the serial number thereby matching the cylinder to the frame. This may have been done during the rework to keep all parts intact.

  3. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Gosh I wish AntiqueDoc was still just looks like a SWEET Navy to me...have you tried to email the pics to Dixie?

    They would give a fair appraisal, they know their stuff, especially on CW Colts. It might even be worth to call them and make an appointment and take a summer trip to Union City just to show it to them!
  4. Ross95966

    Ross95966 New Member

    May 12, 2002
    Darkest California
    The patent 7557 was issued to Nelson Barlow of St. Louis, Mo. on 13 Aug 1850 for a friction clutch.
    Sorry, not much help.
    Factory reconditioned arms have a status of their own, and are not as poorly regarded by collectors as other Bubba jobs.
    Cheers from Darkest California,
  5. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    Look at the nipples on the cylinder and also look at what can seen in front of the cylinder? Now look at rest of the firearm. This firearm has been refinished or something isn't kosher.
  6. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    My Bad, Imissed the part about being sent back to colt for refinishing, it stills seems odd they would only do half a job?
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