What are they worth Civil War Pistols

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by satellite66, May 5, 2005.

  1. satellite66

    satellite66 New Member

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    A buddy has a couple of Civil War pistols. A Colt Navy .36 and an Army Colt .44. I have not seen them but he says they are in good condition and shootable. I hope to have some pics soon. Are they of value? He is not a gun guy but is into Civil War stuff.
  2. dvl

    dvl New Member

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    They are definitely worth something. I'm meeting with three very knowledgeable collectors in about an hour so I might be able to come back with a good starting point for establishing a value.

    (And they're New Jersey men too!)
  3. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    I moved this up here so more would see it. This is really not curio and relics related. Depending on model, barrel length and serial numbers and all markings, these could be worth money. Pictures would also help very much. Please give us more information and we will get you some information. Also, "good condition" is not relative. We need the amount in % of any bluing or color case hardening remaining and if there is any rust or pitting and bore condition ( shiney or dark). Let us know.
  4. dvl

    dvl New Member

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    I told my friends that I have an "I have an old gun, what's it worth?" question for them.

    Of course they were cautious in their responses, but agreed that, condition being equal, the Navy is worth twice the Army. If the pistols are pitted, have the nipples peened over from snapping the hammer on them, and the finish is worn away, they hazarded a guess of maybe $200-300. The value rises rapidly when more of the bluing is intact. In fine mechanical shape with good finish, maybe $1500.

    It's a question no one likes to answer without an inspection.
  5. satellite66

    satellite66 New Member

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    Thanks I have not gotten pics from him yet. I will post them as soon as I get them.
  6. satellite66

    satellite66 New Member

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  7. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Okay, I really need the markings on the pistol and also the address exactly on the barrel. This is how they are classified. The 1851 Navy in .36 caliber appears to be a third model as shown by the small brass trigger guard. However, having the serial number and the rest of the markings would better nail it down.

    According to Flayderman's 8th edition, in condition good, $800. In fine condition $3850. The serial number should be in the range of 4200 - 85000. Some were reported in this model with a serial number as low as 3600.

    The .44 cal appears to be a 1860 Army model, civilian version three screw frame. I need more information such as the address on the barrel and all markings to get it closer. Serial numbers 1 through 200500. Values - Good = $850; Fine = $5,750.

    I would definately advise to have these appraised by someone who knows these type antique pistols.
  8. astute observer

    astute observer New Member

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    I will add my two cents worth here. Both of these Colts appear to be in about average condition for what they are. They look to be mechanically very good, with most markings legible if not sharp. However, neither of them shows any evidence of the roll-stamped scene that was originally on the cylinder of both revolvers. This type of wear is quite common on guns in otherwise good condition, but will probably have more effect on value than whether or not original finish is present or absent. Holster wear was the usual culprit in wearing away the cylinder scenes. These scenes were quite elaborate, but very light. It doesn't take much wear or pitting to totally lose them. Another important factor in determining value is whether all serial numbers match. All of the major parts are numbered. A mismatch will lower the value by as much as half in some cases.

    I just happen to own one of each of these in very much the same condition as these two. They are great old guns in honest original condition. Realistically, if offered for sale at an antique gun show or Civil War show, they would probably each be priced in the $1,500 range.
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