Colt M1851 "Navy" Third Model, .36 Percussion 
The 1851 Navy was one of Colt's most famous percussion revolvers, and is to this day one of the most collected Colt firearm. First introduced in 1851 as a medium-frame complement to the larger "Dragoon", it was an important sidearm in the history of the United States. From the California gold rush to the civil war and the expansion West, Colt "Navy"'s have been in the hands and on the hips of men and women for many decades. Collecting "Navy"'s is a specialty in itself. Of the more than 215,000 produced between 1851 and 1873, there are so many variants and special orders, one can easily spend a lifetime just studying the "Navy"'s. 
This one bears serial number 25965, which puts its production year at 1853. It is stamped with a curious round mark which looks like a coin - a circle with what looks like a person's head. I have not been able to identify it. The stamp is in several locations on the brass parts of the frame, and on the right grip. The gun itself is in very good to fine condition. The roll-engraved naval battle scene is quite well preserved and the inscription along the cylinder is partly legible. The New York barrel address is sharp and clear. Matching numbers on the barrel, frame, grip strap, rammer, cylinder and wedge. The assembly number "3" is stamped on the barrel and cylinder as well. 30% silver on the grip strap, but none of the original blue remains. The action is crisp and strong, and the bore is excellent with the most pronounced rifling I have ever seen in a gun of this age. The grips are very good, with a small chip missing at the toe of each side. There are three "kill notches" carved into the left grip. 90% original varnish with a small amount of wear on the high spots. SN 25965 rated very good to fine overall.


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