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Old January 9, 2012, 12:27 PM   #1
bedbugbilly
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Original 1851 Navy and holster rig - must see

This link was posted over on another forum - thought some of you might find it interesting . . . . .

It kind of gives a little credence to the question that sometimes surfaces on the originality of carrying spare cylinders . . . .

Enjoy!

http://wabilene.forumgratuit.fr/t352...stic-texas-rig
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Old January 9, 2012, 12:48 PM   #2
Smokin'Joe
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Thanks for sharing Billy. Interesting photos. Wish I could read the text. Notice the sights on the barrel. Looks like they are dove-tailed in the barrel.
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Old January 9, 2012, 12:53 PM   #3
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Yeah, that's not a standard Colt sight and neither is the rear sight dovetailed on the barrel.
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Old January 9, 2012, 01:03 PM   #4
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According to Google translate (machine translations aren't the best, but in this case probably close enough):

Quote:
All that belonged to a Confederate officer "Colonel FS Bass". He enlisted as a captain and attained the rank of colonel in the Texas 1st Infantry (Hood's Brigade).
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Old January 10, 2012, 07:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Yeah, that's not a standard Colt sight and neither is the rear sight dovetailed on the barrel.
Just like today gun guys made custom improvements to thier fire arms 160 years ago.





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Old January 10, 2012, 11:02 AM   #6
Doc Hoy
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Folks.....

....I am inclined to take things at face value.

....I have virtually no experience with original pistol recognition.

....We see the photos and they are very very convincing.

....I am the last person in the world who would question honesty.

BUT

Is it possible this is a fake?

The reasons that I ask.....

1. The lines on the barrel are very crisp, very sharp. In other original revolvers those lines are somewhat worn in all but the finest specimens. Here we have a revolver and a holster and while the photos are not great, we see no holster wear at the muzzle.

2. There are no photos of the port side of the revolver and that is where all of the screwheads are. It is my admittedly limited observation that screwheads from the 19th century look different from those used more recently.

3. While it is perfectly acceptable that a previous owner would replace the sight, that one scares me.

I want to repeat......I know absolutely nothing about how an expert detects a fake....But I would be happy to learn.
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Last edited by Doc Hoy; January 10, 2012 at 11:12 AM.
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Old January 10, 2012, 11:07 AM   #7
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Which one Doc, the 51, Walker or Dragoon?
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Old January 10, 2012, 11:21 AM   #8
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Hawg,

I am wondering about the 51 Navy.

I am constantly wishing that I were better at recognizing originals. I go to gun shows and I have to stay away from pistols that vendors are presenting as originals because I am simply unprepared to tell the difference in all but the most obvious counterfeits. I did detect a Remington that was an obvious fake and was being sold as original last year.

Anyway, I am thinking the rig may be quite old but the pistol itself is a relatively recent fake.

On the other hand it is more than 90% likely that it is exactly what the OP says it is.

I am on dangerous round here.
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Old January 10, 2012, 01:51 PM   #9
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Interesting...

..that everyone seems to have questions about authanticity of the weapon. My first thought when I saw photo was why was a Colonel carrying a Bowie knife and not a sword.

Frederick Bass was indeed the last commanding officer of the 1st Texas, listed as a full colonel when the unit surrendered at Appomattox. At one point earlier he had even commanded the Texas Brigade for a brief time (to which the 1st Texas was assigned) so I find it even stranger that he carried a knife rather than a sword you would expect of a senior officer. Has this rig been assembiled from individual pieces or did it actually belong to Col. Bass?

On the revolver cylinder I think I can make out what appears to me as very crisp numbers, upside down, but my eyes are not good enough to actually read them. The spare cylinder in the cartridge box just adds to my feeliing that this is all a staged assembly.

All the earlier questions and points would all indicate this is probably not a "legit" original. That said, it also true that you can not really make a positive judgement without physically seeing and touching both the pistol and the accutrements.
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Old January 10, 2012, 02:31 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forum LZ

I have said this before and I must hasten to say it again.

I am taking a real chance by even suggesting that the rig is not completely original. I have no evidence apart from what I said in my response to base my doubts. And that evidence is anything but solid.

I am no expert. There is just something about the pistol that does not look right to me.
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Old January 10, 2012, 04:21 PM   #11
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The partial serial number on the cylinder is 4074 which makes it a third model probably made in 62 or 63. However that probably isn't the number on the gun. The problem with the gun is it looks too clean for the condition of the grips and for a gun that the barrel lug doesn't mate flush to the frame. Another thing is even if it did belong to Bass that's not saying he used that rig during the war. The rig could have come about many years after the war or it could be entirely setup.
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Old January 10, 2012, 04:44 PM   #12
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Hawg...

..you've got good eyes! Certainly better than mine. In the photo's from the French site I still do not see the frame/barrell lug offset you refer to. I see it on a photo that Madcratebuilder submitted but I'm pretty sure that is not the same pistol. In those pictures I see that pistol frame is stock cut, indeed it even looks like a stock is mounted in one picture.

I got "took" on a '60 Army back in 1970, paid 750 for a gun that was worth a 100. It was an early reproduction that was defarbed and aged to perfection. Who ever did the work was a true craftsman and I'd like to have it back today since even identified as a 'forgery' it would be worth more than the 750.
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Old January 10, 2012, 05:30 PM   #13
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I'm diabetic and my eyes aren't that good. I saved the pic to desktop and blew it up. The frame isn't offset but there's a gap where the barrel lug mates to the frame. It's visible in the pic without blowing it up. You see it on a good many original guns but they're usually in rougher shape. This one has the gap and rough grips but I see no pitting anywhere on it, just a few dings here and there.
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Old January 10, 2012, 05:53 PM   #14
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Never thought of...

saving to desktop and blowing up. thanks for idea. Are you Type I or II? Type II myself, try to watch what I eat and take a little pill each day. Doc says keep it under control so I try to be a good boy.

Guess all agree that that gun is veerrrrry suspicious. What would be interesting is the story about how it all ended up in France. That's a good piece from Texas.
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Old January 10, 2012, 08:36 PM   #15
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Personally, I don't think it's a Colt. A lot of other companies made clones even back then.

The cylinder obviously will fit in the box, but not sure the box is made for that reason, if it were then I would think there would be some sort of divider to stop them from sliding around if it only had one at the time.

Since you can see in the picture with the cylinder in the box that the barrel is removed as well and lying to the left, it certainly doesn't imply that there are two cylinders
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Old January 10, 2012, 09:17 PM   #16
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The box is a cartridge box
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Old January 10, 2012, 09:17 PM   #17
LeadZinger
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The box is actually a cartridge box for carrying paper cartridges. The other pouch on the belt was used for carrying caps. You're right, the cylinder obvoiusly came from the broken down gun.
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Old January 10, 2012, 09:19 PM   #18
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TypeII, I'm on insulin right now but I have a checkup next month and Doc says if it goes ok I might can get off it and just take a couple of pills.
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Old January 11, 2012, 11:53 AM   #19
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Type II with insulin? You must be posting some pretty astronomical blood sugar numbers!!! Had it for 10+ years now and quit sticking myself all the time when my finger tips lost all feeling but insulin shots really are no fun. Diet, exercise, and in my case weight reduction, is how you really control type II. Since I practice only one aspect of that regime at a time I take medication. I could tell you how to cheat the tests but wouldn't sleep nites if I did, don't seem to mind hurting myself but draw the line at others.

Hope everything goes well with you next month at doc visit. Pills are so much better than needles.
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Old January 11, 2012, 12:28 PM   #20
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When I was first diagnosed my sugar level was 488. Now it stays around 95 -120. Doc cut my dosage, said I was overdosing it. Said if my levels were still in that area after the dosage cut I could get off the insulin. So far it has been
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Old January 11, 2012, 03:20 PM   #21
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...awesome

Absolutely BEAUTIFULL!

Thanks for sharing!

-illus1on
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Old January 11, 2012, 09:00 PM   #22
bedbugbilly
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When I posted this, I posted it with the intent that it would give everybody a good view of some original gun leather and a 1851 Navy style revolver -

As has been noted, the revolver may very well not be a Colt - Colt clones were manufactured by other companies at the time - Metropolitan, etc.

This link was posted over on CASS in the leatherworking section of which I am a frequent viewer and contributor since I make custom gun leather. I hate to disagree with the one poster here, but there is not a cap box anywhere on that belt. In the view of the complete rig, between the belt buckle and the holster is a typical Civil War style/pattern cartridge for combustible revolver cartridges. The pouch between the buckle and the bowie knife sheath is not a cartridge box. If someone claims that it is, I'd like to see the documentation on it as to just what cartridge box it is and for what. The U.S. Navy issued a spare cylinder box very similar to this one only it had a wood block in the bottom with a shallow blind hole the diameter of the cylinder. They were placed in the box with the nipples in the up position - just as this box illustrates. The navy box held two cylinders and there was no divider of any kind between the cylinders.

One must remember that just because CW period cartridge boxes were issued with "tin liners" does not mean that any leather pouch with a tin liner is a "cartridge box". From a leatherworker's view, a box must be functional and built to last under possibly heavy usage. In the case of the U.S. Navy box, the wood block served to keep it in shape. On the box pictured, the tin liner would also serve to keep the box in shape. If an unlined box such as that were to be used without something to help it retain it's shape, it would soon droop and probably sag under the weight of two loaded cylinders if there wre not a liner or block of some sort.

One person questioned why a Colonel would be carrying a bowie knife instead of a sword. I have collected CW relics for over 50 years as well as having read as many first person accounts as possible. You have to remember that the individual to whom this is credited did not enlist as a Colonel. Not every officer carried a sword. If you read first person accounts, you'll find that many Confederate soldiers threw away their cartridge boxes and carried their cartridges in their haversacks - anything to cut down on what weight they had to carry. Read some first person accounts of members of "Jacksonn's Foot Cavalry".

As I say - when I posted this, I did so as it is a fine representation of period equipment. Is it true that it all belonged to the same officer? No one will probably ever know. Is it a true "Colt"? There are not enough close ups to show just what it is. The sights are not original but it does show that at sometime, the owner wanted to make changes so it could be shot more accurately. In essence, it is what it is. They are some neat photos of original items. It deserves to be looked at and enjoyed - I didn't know that when I posted it that it was going to be "autopsied".
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Old January 12, 2012, 12:59 AM   #23
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Sorry, didn't mean to sound overly picky. It's actually a really cool post, with a neat rig. Just kinda talking it through to see what people think. It's just interesting in that it's not what you'd expect but it all seems "real" and old
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Old January 12, 2012, 01:14 AM   #24
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This is obviously a pointless observation due to the owner of this rig could have set it up, and they are french. Is the belt rig set up for cross draw or is it set up with knife next to gun in a standard draw. Reason I am asking, i read an article in either Old West or True West magazine discussing the topic of 1800's folks carrying their knives next to their guns and not on opposite sides. there were photos that showed some same side knife and gun carry. just interjecting a little wonder hear.
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Old January 12, 2012, 01:17 AM   #25
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Maybe the Colonel carried both a sword and a knife.
A knife is worth carrying because it can serve multiple purposes, some of which a sword isn't well suited for.
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