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View Full Version : inherited Signature Series 1851,have questions.


Throckmorton
November 28, 2010, 10:36 PM
Howdy all,looks like a great place to as bp questions from the posts I"ve waded thru so far.
Just inherited this 3rd gen/signature series Colt.Have read that the 3rd gens may not get lettered by Colt as Colts. that is disappointing to me.So is finding out they were built for Colt by someone else
oh well
Mine has a VERY low serial number ,prefixed with the letters EB .
does anyone know if this series all had that prefix,and and if a one digit serial number would add to the valure?
it's not collector grade..has a few blems,but apperars unfired.It is not unturned.
came in plain .box marked Colt,and that is about all that is on the box.

All help greatly appreciated. !
Mike in Wa state.

pohill
November 29, 2010, 12:23 AM
Does it have Sam Colt's signature on the backstrap?

I have two 3rd Generation .36 Colts, and they are by far the best revolvers I have owned, or seen. Fit and finish is near perfect, and the action on both is smooth and tight.
I've heard both sides, that Colt will not issue letters for the 3rd Generations, and also that they will. I'd rather spend the $300 on another gun. I have an original 1851 .36 but I cannot justify the cost of the letter.
As I remember, 2nd & 3rd Generation Colts had parts made in Italy and assembled by Colt. I think the 2nd Generations are more authentic than the 3rd, but the 3rds are fancier.

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m217/pohill/CopyofS4020001.jpg

Throckmorton
November 29, 2010, 01:59 AM
pohill,thanks for the reply.
does yours have the prefix EB in front of the serial number,and may I ask what range they.the gen 3's are in? I ask because mine is very near no.1,was wondering of they all had different no.'s or not.
thanks a lot.
Throckmorton

Hawg Haggen
November 29, 2010, 04:06 AM
Third gen were built under license from Colt but Colt never touched them.

Throckmorton
November 29, 2010, 10:00 AM
the more I dig the more interesting these 'repros' get.
My BIG question is do I have a correct serial no.,mine starts with EB..do all the sig series guns start that way,and how high do/did they number?
ie: mine is EB00*..* meaning the actual number. IF they were numbered conscecutively,mine would be a very early model of that series,which is more curiousity than value I'm thinking.

I have the book and it does have the mfg's phone number,will call them this morning.

pohill
November 29, 2010, 12:03 PM
One of mine starts with 44XXX, the other 45XXX. I have no idea where the EB comes from.
Do you plan to shoot it?

mykeal
November 29, 2010, 10:06 PM
I'm wondering how you identified the gun as a 3rd Generation Colt.

The 3rd Generation Colts were manufactured by Colt's Blackpowder Arms CO., under license from Colt' Manufacturing Co., Inc. using rough cast parts from Uberti of Italy. They are distinguished by Sam Colt's signature on the backstrap; if your gun does not have the signature it is not a 3rd Generation Colt (exceptions: Heirloom Tiffany1860 Army and 1842 Texas Paterson).

The EB serial number is problematic; some special series 2nd Gen Colts had suffix letters (for instance, the R. E. Lee 1851 Navy had serial numbers ending in REL) but I find no record of 3rd Gen Colts with prefix letters. The 3rd Gen guns had serial numbers following the 2nd Generation guns, which in turn followed the original series. Thus a 4 digit 1851 Navy with a two letter prefix would not identify a 3rd Gen gun. My own 3rd Gen Dragoon has a 5 digit serial number above the 2nd Gen Dragoon range as evidence of that data.

Colt Blackpowder Arms has been out of business since 2003.

Fingers McGee
November 29, 2010, 11:38 PM
Does it have Sam Colt's signature on the backstrap?
Where is the serial number stamped? (all locations)
What other markings are on it?

Pictures might help.

I can't think of any 2nd Gen or Sig Series revolver with an EB prefixed serial number.


FM

Throckmorton
November 30, 2010, 01:08 AM
Yes,it is the Signature series with Sam Colt's sig on the backstrap.Serial no. EB001 is on the bottome of the frame ,bottom of the barrel where the ram goes through a boss,right next to the one on the frame,and underside of the gripframe,right next to the other two... so all thre of these are just in front of the trigge guard.
on they cylinder it says Colt's Patent no.001,and right under that is 'engraved by W.L. Ormsby
Naval battle scene on cyliner,with 'engaged 16 may 1843' on the leding edge of the cylinder.
001 stamped on the bottom of the gripframe where the screw is for removing the grips.
no other serial numbers,and for sure no markingls like asm,armi san marco,etc.
the booklet with it says it was made the the colt blackpowder company in New York.Too bad they are out of business,I'd love to call them, maybe Colt can enlightne me,I'll call them in the morning on my day off.

If I find out it's not a rare piece,and I"m sure that will be the case,I may fire it iin my brother's honor, I think he'd like that.It does make me wonder why he never fired it,he did not normally buy safe queens'
thanks for all the replies and interest,I'll try for pics tomorrow.
Throckmorton

madcratebuilder
November 30, 2010, 10:28 AM
The EB serial number is problematic; some special series 2nd Gen Colts had suffix letters (for instance, the R. E. Lee 1851 Navy had serial numbers ending in REL)

Actually the 2nd Gen RE Lee Colt does not have a prefix or suffix. The RE Lee 2nd Gen should have a four digit serial number. REL is stamped under the serial number on the frame only.

I know, nit pic:)


Yes,it is the Signature series with Sam Colt's sig on the backstrap.Serial no. EB001 is on the bottome of the frame ,bottom of the barrel where the ram goes through a boss,right next to the one on the frame,and underside of the gripframe,right next to the other two

Some photo's would really help. I'm not aware of any 3rd gen 51 navy with a letter prefix. Does this have "Colt's patient" on the left side of the frame?

I think you possible have some type of commemorative made by Uberti as they used a one and two letter prefix on many of their revolvers. The 3rd Gen back strap may have been added at one time as these parts were floating around after Colt's Blackpowder Arms closed the doors.

Throckmorton
November 30, 2010, 11:19 AM
yes,it has colt's patent on the left side.
i"m as sure as I can possibly be that it is not an Uberti because my brother would not have bought an Uberti,he was in love with Colt's.
also,there are no import marks or that type of thing to indicate that it' is an imported gun.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30/Throckmorton/SDC10625.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30/Throckmorton/SDC10835.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30/Throckmorton/SDC10833.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30/Throckmorton/SDC10830.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30/Throckmorton/SDC10829.jpg

Her'es a noob question for sure,..I"m having trouble getting the wedge in and out.mostly in.
pointing the gun away from me,looking down on it,which side does the wedge to into,and does the flat spring face up? see,I told you I was knew to this firearem,. I have shot for years and years tho.

mykeal
November 30, 2010, 12:26 PM
The wedge is installed correctly in the photos; that is, from the left to the right looking from the back, with the spring on the top. It will be difficult to install/remove until the gun gets a little wear on it.

The markings are consistent with a 3rd Gen Colt. It's just the serial numbers that are apparently discrepant. Interestingly, the locations are correct, it's just the format that's incorrect, or perhaps just unusual.

Fingers McGee
November 30, 2010, 12:31 PM
There have been occasions when a 2nd Gen Colt BP revolver has appeared on GunBroker that was one that snuck out the back door of Colt's with a 'custom' serial number assigned by the worker that put it together. It is possible - and more than likely - that the same thing happened with the Sig Series guns and that this 1851 Navy is one that someone made up with his own serial number using his initials.

Regardless, it appears that you have a one of a kind Sig Series '51 Navy.

Throckmorton
November 30, 2010, 12:32 PM
thanks mykeal.
called Colt,got nowhere,had to leave message.doubt I'll hear back but who knows.

mykeal
November 30, 2010, 12:34 PM
I think Fingers has the best idea so far.

Colt's Manufacturing will be of little help. They want $300 to authenticate a gun, and its not at all clear if they will provide anything on a 3rd Gen gun at any price.

madcratebuilder
December 1, 2010, 06:34 AM
There have been occasions when a 2nd Gen Colt BP revolver has appeared on GunBroker that was one that snuck out the back door of Colt's with a 'custom' serial number assigned by the worker that put it together. It is possible - and more than likely - that the same thing happened with the Sig Series guns and that this 1851 Navy is one that someone made up with his own serial number using his initials.

Back door guns were a common occurrence at Colt blackpowder arms.

Contact Dennis Russell. He is mostly a 2nd Gen guy but he does have some 3rd gen info.

I looks like a genuine 3rd gen with a very odd serial number. Not from any documented production run.

Throckmorton
December 1, 2010, 11:37 PM
I'll be darned,Colt call me right back,steered me to Henry Arms who steered me to Mr. Russel. He said send clear pics and he'd try to figure it out.I'll get some good dayligh pics of it in the morning for him.
thanks for all the help,this has been quite an education.

mykeal
December 2, 2010, 05:38 AM
Let us know what you find out.

Throckmorton
December 8, 2010, 09:55 PM
He could shed no real light on the serial number but agreed with me that shooting any gun with serial no. 1 was riskyy,value wise,until more research was done.
I have no idea how to research this further since the company has gone out of business.I think I'll re contact Henry Arms and see if they have another suggestion who to contact.
the plot thickens.