View Full Version : I need to find info about my colt percussion. Have serial #...anyone know how?

October 20, 2007, 07:04 PM
I have a Colt Percusson revolver. I would like to find a little backgroung info on the pistol i.e. manufacture date, ownership, etc. Is there a website to run serial no. or do i have to bug colt to help. Serial # is 91021. Can anyone help or is anyone interested in purchasing? I have original leather holster and animal horn powder container. Good condition.

October 20, 2007, 10:21 PM
Do you know what model & cal. it is?

October 20, 2007, 10:38 PM
Powder horn?
If you're serious, you'll have to post photos.

October 20, 2007, 11:44 PM
As above, you first have to identify the exact model.

Here's a site to date it by serial number:


Mach II Sailor
October 21, 2007, 09:14 AM
""is anyone interested in purchasing ?""

photos please.., then we can talk

October 23, 2007, 01:44 PM
not sure what model..and i think it is a .31 caliber. Will take pictures today.

October 23, 2007, 03:11 PM
31 cal? probably the commonest one is the model 1849 pocket pistol. Can bring you alot of money depending on condition. That is the most important factor unless you also have provenance info for it. Or if it is engraved, fancy grips etc. Probably just a plain common version. Quite a few of them produced and yours was maybe made in the 1850's. But a colt collector can get closer than that from the serial number. I don't think the factory has good records on the percussion revolvers, mostly on the post war centerfire models.

Bart Noir
October 23, 2007, 07:14 PM
That is a pretty high serial number for Sam Colt's very first design. I'm sure they didn't make that many of them.

And for that matter, did they even put serial numbers on those? Those were made in the 1830's, for Pete's sake.

Unless it is a repro from Italy.

Bart Noir

October 23, 2007, 07:42 PM
If indeed it's a 49 pocket the serial number dates it to 1854.

Bart please check your facts before you go off half cocked. 1849 pocket pistols were made from 1850-1873 with a total of 340001 made and no that wasn't Mr. Colts first design.

October 23, 2007, 08:24 PM
Too simple, Contact Colt, Provide them with the SSN and you should receive the info you want.

Google the colt SSN and see what comes up!

James K
October 23, 2007, 11:14 PM
Maybe not "too simple." Colt's factory burned down in 1864 and most of the records before that time were lost, though many were later reconstructed from outside sources. Also, Colt wants $100 for a factory letter.


October 24, 2007, 10:46 AM
wow lots of different info..thanks to all, checking as i get time, dealing with fires here in so. cal. will not let me upload photos said jpg file is too big, working on resolution.

James K
October 24, 2007, 01:30 PM
To reduce photo size, use your photo editor (Photoshop, Nikonview, or whatever) to reduce the pixel size, which reduces the bytes in the file. Most photos start out in the megabyte range, but can usually be reduced to a couple of hundred kilobytes without significant loss of detail (and with much faster up and down load times).

Also, check your camera manual under a heading like "Image quality" or "Picture size" as most cameras can record the image at different quality levels. Sometimes there is a minimum 640x480 pixel setting you can use.


Bart Noir
October 25, 2007, 01:41 PM
Hey Hawg, sometimes I am fully cocked :D

I first read that as the OP saying he had a Patterson. He didn't change that later, somebody else mentioned the 1849. And I was wrong. Again.

Bart Noir

October 25, 2007, 05:13 PM
Hey Hawg, sometimes I am fully cocked

I first read that as the OP saying he had a Patterson. He didn't change that later, somebody else mentioned the 1849. And I was wrong. Again.

OK, I didn't see it when it said Patterson. Later on he said .31 so most likely is a 49.:cool:

James K
October 25, 2007, 07:19 PM
He must have changed it if it said "Paterson" as it now says "Percussion."

If it is a Paterson, all bets are off in the "value" area. (Actually, no Paterson ever got anywhere that serial number.)


October 29, 2007, 06:25 PM
Thanks for info, never said it was a Patterson, always said percussion. Here are a few photos only lets me do three, so here are the first.

October 29, 2007, 06:33 PM
heres three more

October 29, 2007, 06:44 PM
another three..6-9

Jim Watson
October 29, 2007, 07:25 PM
1849 "Pocket Model" ca 1854.
I guess they had bigger pockets in those days to swallow that long a barrel, but you have a holster.
I don't know if the powder horn can be definitely associated with the revolver unless you have strong historical provenance. Colt and others sold powder flasks with measuring nozzles in those days that would have been more useful.

October 29, 2007, 07:52 PM
That's an 1851 Navy .36 caliber six shot made in 1859.

James K
October 29, 2007, 08:45 PM
Sorry, Hawg, but no. We can get fooled by pictures because the 1851 Navy is almost a perfect scale-up of the 1849 Pocket model, and the long barrel tends to fool the eye as it is uncommon on the 1849.

But aside from subtle differences, the stagecoach holdup scene on the cylinder instead of the naval battle scene makes it clear that the gun is an 1849 model, 31 caliber, made in 1854.

(BTW, that marking was not really engraved in the usual sense; it was made by rolling the cylinder under pressure on a steel plate with the scene on it in reverse.)

While the 1849 is the most common Colt percussion revolver, they are now becoming fairly valuable. That one seems to be in quite good condition, with traces of silver on the grip and a good cylinder scene; I would put it in the $1200-1500 category.


October 29, 2007, 08:58 PM
You're right about the engraving.:o I'm not that up on 49's, wasn't aware they came with long barrels and silver plated grip frames.

October 29, 2007, 09:02 PM
Thank you to both jim's..very helpful and much appreciated info. Contacted Colt today, gave them serial no. waiting to hear if they have any background or paperwork i can pay for.

James K
October 30, 2007, 04:50 PM
Electroplating was invented in 1840 and AFAIK all the Model 1849 and Model 1851 brass grip Colts were originally silvered. But Sam wasn't going to waste a lot of money on show so it wasn't the heavy plating we know on items like tableware. The grips were given a quick dip, leaving a very thin silver coating that lasted just about as long as it took the buyer to get out of the gun store. You can often see the original silver by removing the grips.

Colt was not alone in that kind of stuff; such silver "plating" was common at the time for just about everything from whiskey flasks to watches. In a later era, nickel plating was the fad and everything was nickel plated.