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Old March 7, 2012, 09:08 AM   #26
Rifleman1776
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Those chambers look loaded.
Do not attempt to clean up too much. Just oil well and wait until you can find an expert to look at it. If truly old, and I think it may be (your photos are the pits), you have some value there. Nice find.
I don't believe replacement nipples will hurt the collectors value.
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Old March 7, 2012, 12:55 PM   #27
DPris
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Some observations:
The hammer appears to be severely damaged, with the "sight" section broken off & the dimple in its face. Agree it's not shootable.

DO NOT USE AGGRESSIVE METHODS TO REMOVE RUST! Just oil it lightly for the moment. Do nothing to remove the patina. Value is reduced already, don't make it worse. Do not polish anything, do not scrub it with anything, do not use sandpaper or Brillo pads or anything similar.

Even as is, it's worth more than a Mosin.

And, I really hope you have your mother's permission to be disposing of her property.
Denis
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Old March 7, 2012, 12:59 PM   #28
Fingers McGee
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Quote:
How is it a late model if they were made til 1873? 1956 is only 5 years after the first one...i know the fourth model had "address sam l colt new york city america" whereas mine doesnt have the america, just new york...
Navies are classified as early, middle, and late 3rd models, and early, middle and late 4th models depending on characteristics. approx dates are:

Early 3rd - 1851-1853
Middle 3rd - 1853-1854
Late 3rd - 1854-1857
Early 4th - 1858-1862
Middle 4th - 1862-1863
Late 4th - 1863-1873
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Old March 7, 2012, 01:58 PM   #29
Doc Hoy
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I agree with some of what Rifleman said

I am no expert on historical originals and their values but I agree that adding new nipples might not hurt the value.

On the other hand I doubt the thirty or forty bucks you would invest would increase the value enough to make it worth while.

If you have to mess with the cylinder to get the new nipples to turn into the holes the story might be different.

Is it correct to think that originals have a value that declines if you mess with them?

I do like your photos a little more than the Rifleman did.
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Old March 7, 2012, 02:47 PM   #30
pohill
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The problem is finding an "expert." A local "expert" sold me an original Whitney as a "pre-Italian repro", whatever that means.
You could contact James Julia in Maine - send them some pics and they'll give you a free, basic appraisal. I did once. I might be going to their pre-auction viewing this weekend.
http://jamesdjulia.com/
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Old March 7, 2012, 04:45 PM   #31
Hawg
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Quote:
Those chambers look loaded.
I don't understand you saying that when you can see all the way down to the nipple holes in one pic.
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Old March 7, 2012, 05:07 PM   #32
DPris
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Among the photos he posted on another site, I can.
It's camera, lighting & angle that makes it look like the chambers are loaded here.
Denis
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Old March 7, 2012, 05:34 PM   #33
Hawg
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You can see them in one pic here. You can even see the chamber cuts in most of them.

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Old March 7, 2012, 06:01 PM   #34
DPris
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He posted a link to a bundle of photos on the Colt Forum.
Some are clearer.
Denis
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Old March 8, 2012, 02:01 PM   #35
Wildhipoint
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Thanks for all the help guys. What should I use to remove the rust in the cylinders? I dont want to ruin this gun! But I want to get it looking as good as possible without devaluing the originality of it.
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Old March 8, 2012, 02:16 PM   #36
hoof hearted
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I would use a brass bore brush on a cordless drill in the "chambers" (the holes in the cylinder) and be methodical using a penetrating oil. It won't hurt the value if you don't try to remove any exterior coloring.........

I am still interested in the pistol but your terms of me making offers in public forums precludes me from going any further. I am not going to "play" the bidding war thing.

Regards, HH
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Old March 8, 2012, 02:29 PM   #37
DPris
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As mentioned on the CF, a non-aggressive solvent like Break Free shouldn't damage the patina.
If you can find somebody competent enough to break it down completely, soaking in kerosene is a traditional rust remover.

May be necessary to use a penetrating oil to get the screws out, do not try it yourself.
I'd personally be reluctant to take a power tool to the chambers.

You indicated on the other site your Mother's OK with all this?
Denis
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Old March 8, 2012, 03:40 PM   #38
Wildhipoint
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Yea i would love to verify the seriAl number on the grips but I would afraid to strip one of the screws out...and YES my mother is all good with it as she gave me permission to take it out of the safety deposit box and do with as I see fit...

And if you would like to make me an offer privately by email my address is wildcamaro@yahoo.com...Although I'm pretty reluctant to sell..

So should I use the break free on the whole gun or just barrell bore and cylinder chambers?
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Old March 8, 2012, 03:48 PM   #39
DPris
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Break Free anywhere you can get it into or on the gun.

I'd still suggest a pro breakdown to get at the internal nooks & crannies, but for now pickling as much as you yourself can is advisable.
Denis
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Old March 8, 2012, 05:37 PM   #40
Wildhipoint
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Cool...I'm going to take it to a local gun shop "Nesbit's" in western PA tommorrow so I can have him tell me what he thinks and hopefully they sell Breakfree there...

Also after doing more research I now can see the faint cylinder scene on the gun which I posted on my photobucket account although it is hard to see on photo...
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Old March 8, 2012, 05:40 PM   #41
Wildhipoint
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Here is the link for the new photos...

http://s1224.photobucket.com/albums/ee374/wildcamaro/
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Old March 8, 2012, 06:34 PM   #42
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I can tell you from personal experience that when the day comes that you have years and wisdom to your credit, you will look back on selling that Colt as one of the biggest mistakes you ever made.

BTW almost any modern rifle will shoot reasonably well at 500 yds. It's the rifleman not the rifle.
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Old March 8, 2012, 08:46 PM   #43
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That's good advice, like you said you can't value a family heirloom in terms of money...
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Old March 10, 2012, 01:04 AM   #44
Wildhipoint
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Well I cleaned the gun up and got it a new storage case as I felt like I was doing the gun a disservice by just caring it around bare (just waiting to drop it). I also oiled every part of the gun with clenzoil which seemed to be a great cleaner/oil which I would assume is very comparable to Breakfree. Posted some new pics after cleaning.

http://s1224.photobucket.com/albums/ee374/wildcamaro/

Also I took it to get appraised by a local gun shop/ "colt" guy...he said it was worth about $110" retail, which I assume to be a little light based on his place of business...bottom line I'm def going to hold on to this piece.

It was all worth when the very second I walked in the shop an older gentleman (who i learned later was a big colt collector) leaving the shop stopped me in the doorway and asked what I had...I said "a 51 colt navy" and he replied "what is it? A reproduction?" which I politely countered with "no, it's the real deal." ...I don't think I've ever been so proud of something in my life...thanks again for all the info/help/direction...hopefully I will be passing down to a future son of my own...
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Old March 10, 2012, 01:21 AM   #45
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Little error...I meant $1100 on appraisal...
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Old March 10, 2012, 07:47 AM   #46
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No offense intended but unless it cleaned up a lot better than it looked in the pics I didn't see an 1100 dollar gun.
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Old March 10, 2012, 08:58 AM   #47
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I agree with you WHP

You can be rightfully proud of this piece of your family's history.

Especially given the connection to members of your family. You have the pistol and you have your family and each have some inherent value independently. But when you consider the two things together it is far more than twice as good.

Let that pistol get away and both the pistol and the family are damaged.

I am gratified (not that it should matter whether or not I am gratified) that you intend to keep it.
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Old March 10, 2012, 10:35 AM   #48
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I would be inclined to go with Hoof Hearted on the cordless drill, absolute speed control, all sides of the chambers get equal cleaning, and not all day about it either. Of course he's a professional. Plus the nipple threads could be cleaned rather easily, I would think. A replacement nipple with a slot sharply cut into the threads would turn into the cylinder threads and clean them up easily. BUT if I was going to sell this gun, I would do NOTHING to it. Not even oil it. As found would be more attractive to a buyer. IMHO
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Old March 10, 2012, 11:54 AM   #49
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No offense taken,but value is what somebody is willing to pay for it...either way it don't matter bc I'm sure the value will only increase as I'm sure more navies will be lost than found in the future...I cant wait til I'm 80 years old, lol, and the gun will be 200 years old...I think I'm going to buy a reproduction just so I can fire one without worrying about ruining my original...the shop I went to had a matching pair of uberti navy repros that I think would be cool to own...And at $500 for the pair is a pretty good deal in my eyes. I see a lot of people speaking highly of the uberti's...
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Old March 10, 2012, 12:37 PM   #50
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Wildhipoint, I too am glad you're keeping it!! The hammer could be repaired and made to look unaltered and nipples for 1st gen Colts can be found at Track Of The Wolf, they also fit perfectly in my Savage Navy. Fact is, with a little TLC it could probably be made back into a shooter.
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