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Old September 3, 2012, 09:12 PM   #1
indy1919
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Something we dug up

This is something we found with a metal detector on our property about 20 years ago.. There is nothing that you can read on the gun and it is about 31 or 36 cal.. There is a lot of rust.

It is 5 shot and at least one ball is missing. I do not see any caps on it.

The wood is about half gone and every time you handle it it does loose little bits of the guns surface rust

Just some fun eye candy







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Old September 3, 2012, 09:30 PM   #2
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What a neat thing to find though. Oh, if only relics could talk.....
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Old September 3, 2012, 09:33 PM   #3
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Indy . . . Thanks! I knew I'd dropped that somewhere but couldn't find it!

What a great find . . . makes you wish that it could talk doesn't it? A nice find for sure! Thanks for sharing!
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Old September 3, 2012, 09:34 PM   #4
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A little WD40... and it'll be as good as new.

C
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Old September 3, 2012, 10:00 PM   #5
Jim Watson
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Don't put WD40 on a good gun.
Ballistol and 4-0 steel wool will fix it right up.

A five shot smallbore with Dragoon barrel does not compute. Flayderman says the one shown in several old references is a fake. Made up as a joke when collecting percussion Colts was a cheap hobby.
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Old September 3, 2012, 10:03 PM   #6
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It is good it does not talk, because if it did I would not be hanging around forums such as this, for me and my talking gun would be traveling the world putting on theatrical events and instead of you seeing this for free I am afraid you would have to pay (It is not me insisting on this its that damn Promoter he has no heart)...
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Old September 3, 2012, 10:34 PM   #7
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Have you considered having it restored
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Old September 4, 2012, 06:08 AM   #8
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Nice pic, thanks for sharing that. Alls we found on our property was OLD whisky bottles and "Health elixir"- small bottles once containing "Tincture of Opium" (good for anything that ails ya)...
Curious as to the part of the country your relic was found- has to have been in the ground for some while. Old battle field? Drunk wondering home, loses pistol? Galloping around and it fell from someone's belt? Someone throw it to be rid of incriminating evidence? As you said, too bad they cannot speak!
I wonder what a CAT or similar scan would tell ya? Dun
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Old September 4, 2012, 07:13 AM   #9
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Hmmmm

Five shot with a Dragoon style barrel and a steel frame
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Old September 4, 2012, 07:15 AM   #10
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We live about 20 miles south of Indianapolis Indiana, As far as I know no battles here.. Never found anything else this cool, Mostly beer cans, can pull tabs etc..

Can not recall how deep it was in the ground. We really searched all around the spot we found it and found nothing else at all.

I do assume the Loaded chambers to have Black Powder in them and treat as a loaded gun.
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Old September 4, 2012, 09:28 AM   #11
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Yup that is a nice find. I sure would like to know the history of this piece. All the action and places its been. Wouldn't that be great?
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Old September 4, 2012, 09:54 AM   #12
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As others have said, if that iron could talk. That is a remarkable find.
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Old September 4, 2012, 05:24 PM   #13
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Boy, what a project to work on.
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Old September 4, 2012, 08:10 PM   #14
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My grandfather plowed this one up in a field near here about 1941 or so. It's an 1849 Colt with five of its six chambers still loaded and one complete cap still on one nipple, along with remnants on some of the other nipples. This one was able to talk... a little anyway. On the butt is hand inscribed, "C Smith April 29 1861". Since the advent of computer data bases, I've been able to locate three pieces of correspondence from a C Smith to his boss, Nat Stein, in the University of Utah's manuscript library from three different places in present day southwest Montana; Red Rock Creek station, Junction station, and Horse Prairie station, all dated 1865. The signature on the letters is a spot on match to the inscribed name on the gun butt and there is absolutely no doubt it is the same C Smith.





The letters transcribe as follows:

LETTER ONE
Read (Red) Rock
Aug 25th/65
Mr Stien Sir
I have a favor to ask of you
it is concerning Mr John Allen
to and that is to go to Mr Downs
and See if you can get the
mair of his that he troubles So
much a bout Mr Downs has a bridle
Sadle and laryette and powder flask
and Pouch
and go to Thom ???? and get his
gun that is John Double barrel you
can see if it is all rite and
Send gun and flask & pouch
down on the coach to mee
and the second teamster you
Send Send him on the cutoff to
Junction Station if you think
he will do to trust with
the mair Send mair Sadle and
bridle & lariett by him and
Then he will hear where I
am at I think I shall be
threw with ??? in Six days
from to day

PAGE TWO
if I am not there he
will find out from
them there where I am
at
Send the Mair for Roob
Tolde John that he would
have the next man to bring
him down to him I am going
to use him my self to
wride the gun will be
a good thing in camp
if you can get it with out
to much trouble to your
Self The auld fellow
can’t write and he wants
his gun and Mair with So
I can use his
I am a heap of trouble
I think I can’t tell what
you think but I recon
you think the same
yours C Smith

LETTER TWO
Read (Red) Rock Creek
Aug 25th/1865
Friend Stien Sir
You will Please Send me 3 Teamsters
as I or one of my men ar going
to the States as Soon as I can get a
man for th?? ???
Send (me? the?) regular auld bull drivers
for all the men I have had lately ar
stage drivers as soon as they see Roob
they ar going to get a String of Stock
I want 3 hay forks I forgot to say any
thing to Mr Thomas as he won’t now a bout
them and some ox lashes I can’t tell
how it is with you a bout geting
such things but I must have the forks
and there ain’t such a thing on the road
oanly what I have got and the mule teamster
broke the 1 I let them have
I need the gun and ammunision all rite
and am under obligation to you for
your trouble and will be happy
to settle for the same
I have not had any more forks in
camp since Yours Truley
C Smith

LETTER THREE

Horse Prerray Station
Oct 5th 1865
Mr Stien Sir
you will Please Send
Mee 5 lbs of chewing Tobaco
and charge the Sum to mee
And oblige yours
C Smith
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Old September 4, 2012, 09:26 PM   #15
indy1919
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WOW, that is like the someone coming back from the dead there.. That is TO AWESOME.....

Just a total side note I love the letter about sending the 5 lbs of tobacco It reminds me of one of the letters found from a Roman Soldier in Germany about 3rd century.. In the letter he is asking for some Socks to be sent to him..

It is cool things like that show you that People are just the same From Ancient history to today.. Just a few cultural differences..
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Old September 4, 2012, 09:51 PM   #16
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You could sell that on Craig's List. It just has honest wear. No safe queen here. Sure looks vintage to me.
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Old September 4, 2012, 10:41 PM   #17
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ghost gun

wow, he's still talking even from the grave life and times of a cattleman
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Old September 4, 2012, 11:10 PM   #18
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Nat Stein started as an Overland driver in 1861 and eventually advanced to vice president of the company. C Smith appears to have been some sort of station manager in charge of at least three stage stations here. Sometime in the 1880's, there was a "John Allen & Company" here in Helena involved in mining, but I don't know if it would be the same John Allen mentioned by C Smith in his letter some twenty years prior in 1865.
Helena had its beginnings with a gold strike in 1864. The Colt was plowed up in a field ~10 miles east of "Last Chance Gulch" where the gold strike was. Helena's main street is named Last Chance Gulch to this day, and is built right atop the course of the strike.
I can't even hazard a guess as to the significance of C Smith's date of April 29, 1861, nor can I guess when, or how, it may have been lost. C Smith may have met his end at the hands of Indians along the trail to old Fort Benton (the revolver was found maybe a hundred yards off the old trail), or it may have been lost accidentally on a trip to early day Helena. Who knows? Fascinating stuff, this history.
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Old September 5, 2012, 12:45 PM   #19
indy1919
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jbar4ranch... Many thanks for sharing, you did some real nice research on this guy.. I have re-read this tale several time.. Of course in such things rarely do you get exact matches.. But its not a court of law so such leaps of faith are what makes it fun..

From the picture, it looks like you just need to fix that Mainspring and you would be good to go... Oh maybe using reduced loads

Last edited by indy1919; September 5, 2012 at 12:54 PM.
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Old September 5, 2012, 12:53 PM   #20
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That's all pretty neat. Thanks for sharing.

The only thing I've ever found on our place is old farm and oil field equipment.
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Old September 5, 2012, 05:19 PM   #21
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Does indeed appear to be a CSO (Colt-Shaped Object). Presumably an 1849 Pocket if it's a 5-shot. Brass trigger guard, which has survived somewhat better than the rest of it.
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Old September 5, 2012, 05:31 PM   #22
4V50 Gary
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Be great if you can find a letter, diary or claim on losing that Colt. Then (with the provenance established) it would be worth quite a bit.
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Old September 5, 2012, 07:18 PM   #23
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Two great pieces of history

JBar,

Nice detecive work on a nice find. (Another gold strike in Helena).

All,

My only hesitation is what to me is clearly a dragoon style barrel on Indy's find.

Perhaps a replacement barrel?

You historians:

Am I off base here?
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Old September 5, 2012, 07:45 PM   #24
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Probably octagonal, just rusted over making it look round in the pic.
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Old September 5, 2012, 07:53 PM   #25
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I dunno Hawg..

I think I can clearly see a transistion between the front (round part) of the barrel and the lug.

I think it is visible on both sides of the barrel.

Perhaps Indy would share his opinion as to whether it appears the barrel started out round or octagonal.

This is a reeeeeal long shot but how many of the original Leech and Rigdons are accounted for?

Ooops Wait...No...five shots
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