View Full Version : Navy Colt with a chequered history
June 8, 2010, 10:59 AM
Hi Guys, I'm a first time visitor to this site and a complete beginner as far as gun collecting goes. Can any of you answer my questions?
I recently bought a cased navy Colt and would like to find out a bit more about it. The gun is numbered 192141 which I believe is about 1866/7. Here's where it get complicated. It looks like all the numbers have at some time been changed they seem to be over stamped. I was an antiques dealer for twenty odd years and in my opinion if they have been changed it was a long time ago. It has a Birmingham (England) proof mark on the rammer. Also the barrel appears to have been shortened to about 6 3/4 inches. The grips have been replaced by what appears to be an English maker and finally the barrel has what looks like the Colt London address on it but it is very badly stamped ( the letters don't line up very well). As far as I can tell it is a forth version of the gun. It would be true to say at some stage it has been well used, it looks every bit of it's 140 years old. It has the usual calibre and Colt markings. Does any of this make any sense to anybody? I'm very happy with my purchase but curious about the history. What do you think?
June 8, 2010, 11:45 AM
Does it say 38 cal on the side or 36 cal?
I think the gun is a Fake.
June 8, 2010, 01:46 PM
I have handled and even shot many real Colts from original to modern 2nd and 3rd generations and one of the many things they had in common was good fit and finish and crisp lettering, proofs and numbers. Colt didn't allow very many mistakes out, which is one of the reasons they are so collectable and unfortunately so often counterfited.
June 8, 2010, 01:47 PM
Hi. In reply to pohill. It says 36 calibre. It also has various letters stamped over it. The majority of the parts also have a 2 stamped on them. My thinking is that it is genuine but cobbled up from parts of different guns possibly in the amoury whilst it was in service. What do you reckon.
June 8, 2010, 01:48 PM
June 8, 2010, 02:00 PM
Sure looks like it says 38 to me. Definitely not a Colt. Barrel lug is wrong, loading lever latch is wrong, look like proof marks on barrel between wedge and loading lever screw. Could it be a Brevette?
June 8, 2010, 02:42 PM
Is the serial number on several parts or just one? The grips don't look right - have you done a search on D. Robinson?
June 8, 2010, 02:58 PM
Looking at that revolver reminds me of the movie Frankenstein. It is indeed cobbled together from several firearms, and it was done in someones basement, not in an armory or factory. It is a crude attempt at counterfeiting. The frame is from a modern reproduction and the rest of the parts don't even fit . IMHO it's value is only that of a conversation piece. The double stamping of the London address should have been the first clue. Sorry about that. BTW it is very easy to age a modern revolver to look as if it is a hundred years old and has had hard use, in fact you can buy modern reproductions , new in the box. that were so aged at the factory.
June 8, 2010, 03:31 PM
Thanks for the reply and the valid points. All the numbers match except the wedge which I assume is a replacement and the chamber which has a different number, the arbor is too badly corroded to see the number.When you look at the stamping with an eye glass you can see that they were made by the same punch but appear to be overstamped. It is definately 36 calibre, it may look like 38 in the photo. It also has "colts patent". I have researched Robinson without success, although the grips are not a very good fit they have been made with some thought as the oval badge hides the screw which in turn fits into a blind nut on the other grip. The rammer has two quite clear Birmingham proof marks the dates are in keeping with the guns serial number.I'm not any kind of expert but I'm not stupid I realise the catch for the rammer is a bodge but the barrel has been shortened at some stage and I assume that is the result. With respect I don't think the barrel is a modern forgery because the address is so indestinct you can barely read any of it. I didn't pay a great deal for it and I'm not concerned about the value. As someone who delt in antiques for twenty years and something of a home engineer I'm just very curious about the history. Thanks for all the comments
June 8, 2010, 03:41 PM
English proof marks do not have a date and the rammer was never proofed anyway - only the pressure bearing parts i.e. barrel and cylinder.
June 8, 2010, 04:21 PM
Don Robinson popped up a few times in a search - this was one of them. Check out his handguns.
There were several British gunmakers named Robinson.
I saw a website not too long ago selling a "lunchbox revolver" (I wish I had saved the site). Basically the gun was made by a Colt employee who smuggled parts out and put it together at home.
Anyways, you have a pretty cool gun. Part of the fun is tracing their history.
June 8, 2010, 05:06 PM
Found an auction catalog with this from same maker
A .270 (Win) Mauser sporting rifle by Churchill (Gunmakers), no. 79859
Side-safety, the Mauser action with thumb-recess and charger-guide, hinged lever-latch magazine-floorplate, Timney trigger, the D. Robinson replacement stock with Bavarian-style chequering and carved borders, pistolgrip, pistolgrip-cap, cheek-piece and recoil-pad, capped forestock carved en suite, sling-eyes with plate mounts stamped D. Robinson...Gunmaker, the barrel, stamped Churchill (Gunmakers) Ltd., 7 Bury Street, London, SW1, England, mounted with an ASE Utra Jet-Z Compact sound-moderator, the receiver mounted with telescope-sight mount rings
Weight 8lb. 13½oz. (including moderator), 15in. pull (13¾in. stock), 23in. barrel, London nitro proof
Sold for £180 inclusive of Buyer's Premium
scroll down to 87S1 obviously
June 8, 2010, 05:16 PM
I don't think the D. Robinson stocks were made for that gun. The fit is just too poor for a reputable gunmaker. Perhaps they were made for a Colt SAA?
June 8, 2010, 07:28 PM
I believe you are right, kodiakbeer. Again the whole pistol looks like a mismatch of several guns including reproduction parts. Could be wrong, been wrong before.
June 8, 2010, 07:29 PM
I believe you are right, kodiakbeer. Again the whole pistol looks like a mismatch of several guns including reproduction parts. Could be wrong, been wrong before. And if that trigger guard is not stamped 38 cal I will eat my hat. It is so wrong in so many ways.:eek:
June 8, 2010, 07:32 PM
It could be a old counterfeit revolver. Colts have been counterfeited since the 1840's.
June 9, 2010, 09:19 AM
Thanks fellas.I followed up the link with D Robinson and that seems to fit ( better than the grips do). Thanks again for all the words of wisdom
June 10, 2010, 01:03 AM
Rgman...bring this Belgia marked 38cal to Long John Wolf's attention on this Centaure Foum and tell um I sent ya with these Pics...he's in Germany and has a bundle of knowledge at hand.
I say ya have a real Belgain/Brevette Colt Navy 19th Century probly of the CSA during the Civil War...
Wanna trade it for a 20th Century original ROA Ruger Old Army...I'd take a chance on this one.
I've been told there aren't alot of these left out there, and the ones left are in pretty bad shape, may be repairable or wallhangers...
Here's the link to the Forum Rgman...let us know what Wolf says...
Here's the Ruger just in case, maybe :O)
This Brevette Walker I had in my hands to buy for $1000, ended up in Germany to a collector that offered $10,000 and bought it, so whatever, I'll make a deal on it...but not a 10K deal... :O)
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