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Old July 4, 2012, 03:31 PM   #1
canesfan4369
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1849 Colt Pocket?

I have a pistol that was originally my grandfather's probably even farther back than that. I believe it is a Colt 1849 pocket revolver. I have been doing some researching online, and have yet to find one exactly like it. It has the Stagecoach scene engraved around the cylinder, however it also has engraving on the barrel, frame, backstrap, hammer and trigger guard. It looks as though it is original and not added later due to the fact that "Colt's Patent" is worked into the engraving. The other thing that seems inconsistent with what I have seen, is that there is no address on the barrel, just the scrollwork.

Now the bad, my grandfather and his brother-in-law loaded it up with modern (then) powder, and blew out one of the chambers in the cylinder.

If anyone out there could share information about, and possibly value of, I would greatly appreciate it.100_0838.jpg

100_0833.jpg

100_0837.jpg
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Old July 4, 2012, 05:13 PM   #2
pohill
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Can you post some more pics (top of barrel would be good).
Do you see the letter E anywhere under a serial number?
You could spend $300 and have it researched by Colt, which might be worth it for this gun.
You could do what I did and send some photos to James Julia in Maine for a free appraisal.
http://jamesdjulia.com/appraisals.asp
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Old July 4, 2012, 05:39 PM   #3
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My WAG is if there's no barrel address then the engraving isn't factory. With a blown out chamber the value drops about two thirds.
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Old July 6, 2012, 03:34 PM   #4
canesfan4369
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pohill, here are three pics of the top of the barrel. I can't see any "E" by any serial number, there does appear to be a mark below the serial numbers in the third pic of the original post, but it isn't an "E".
100_0846.jpg

100_0847.jpg

100_0848.jpg
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Old July 6, 2012, 03:36 PM   #5
canesfan4369
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Here are a few more pics.
100_0831.jpg

100_0835.jpg

100_0839.jpg
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Old July 6, 2012, 05:19 PM   #6
pohill
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That is a puzzle. It's been in your family right along?
I'd probably send some pics to James Julia to start (you'll need better, brighter pics). It's free and they might head you in the right direction.
Flaydermans says:"More model 1849 Pocket pistols were produced than any other Colt percussion firearm. With 23 years of steady production this model underwent a great many changes, hence numerous variations are encountered." They recommend Shumaker's Colt's Variations of the Old Model Pocket Pistol and Colt's Pocket '49.
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Old July 6, 2012, 05:28 PM   #7
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If it belonged to your grandfather, it's priceless.
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Old July 6, 2012, 07:28 PM   #8
canesfan4369
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Thanks for the info pohill! Not sure where ir when it first got into the family, but I know for sure my grandfather had it about 80 years ago (when the mishap occurred).

You are correct BlueTrain, just curious more than anything.
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Old July 6, 2012, 07:52 PM   #9
pohill
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Your gun has a serial number that falls within the range of the 1849s produced - you can research it based on that (that's where the $300 for a Colt letter comes in).
According to this list, yours was made between 1858 - 1859 (click on the model).
http://proofhouse.com/colt/index.html

I have a Remington-Beals .36 made about the same time that was factory engaved, probably by L. D. Nimschke. Yours is similiar, and definitely worth researching.
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Old July 7, 2012, 12:17 AM   #10
pohill
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This book might be a good place for info, too (if you can find a cheaper copy)
Who knows - maybe the gun is a Colt copy.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0961149426/...SIN=0961149426
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Old July 9, 2012, 08:33 AM   #11
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It's possible the top of the barrel was hit with a draw file before the engraver started his work. It is not factory engraving. Very nice specimen, to bad it lost a chamber.
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Old July 9, 2012, 09:55 AM   #12
pohill
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Quote:
It is not factory engraving.
How do you know?
It looks like a Belgian gun and Belgian engraving but there's no Belgian proofmarks.
Does it say "31 cal" on the side? I saw a Belgian 1851 that had "35 cal" on the side (not 36), but it had other Belgian marks.

Last edited by pohill; July 9, 2012 at 10:31 AM.
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Old July 9, 2012, 11:01 AM   #13
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I think it is a Colt but the engraving isn't factory. The factory would have left the barrel address and other factory markings intact and engraved around them.
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Old July 11, 2012, 07:47 AM   #14
madcratebuilder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by that Haggen fella
I think it is a Colt but the engraving isn't factory. The factory would have left the barrel address and other factory markings intact and engraved around them.
+10

Looking at engraved models in my different Colt books I don't see any factory engraving with the Colt name and address removed.
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Old July 11, 2012, 12:34 PM   #15
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That may be true but you never know if the gun was a special factory production for someone.
Even today, there are Rugers and Marlins that are made for employees that have special serial numbers or features.
I think that it's possible that there could have been a procedure at Colt that would have allowed for bypassing regular production.
What if Sam Colt himself or a high company officer ordered it to be given as a gift, or had fulfilled a special order along with special instructions concerning all the details about the engraving and barrel address?
They probably sent many such personalized gifts or performed favors for gov't. officials or others who were considered to be VIP's.
I realize that may be unlikely in this case but the only way to find out for sure would be to have it lettered and obtain the details from Colt if possible.

Last edited by arcticap; July 11, 2012 at 12:43 PM.
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Old July 11, 2012, 04:59 PM   #16
Willie Sutton
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Knowing Sam's penchant for all possible publicity, I think we can fairly bet that nothing came out of the factory without the Colt markings. I am sure that the old man would have gone nuts had anyone even suggested it.

Willie


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Old July 11, 2012, 05:19 PM   #17
pohill
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The serial number would be the key.
I'd also like a good look at the cylinder scene.
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Old July 12, 2012, 03:27 AM   #18
arcticap
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Examine the engraved Colts Patent mark on the left side of the frame

Here's an engraved Colt Model 1861 on the linked page that's clearly marked with the letter "E" above the serial numbers in 3 places as a factory engraved model.

Photos of Serial #7211E:

http://www.sharpsburg-arsenal.com/Re...avy__s_72.html

On this page:

http://www.sharpsburg-arsenal.com/Re...revolvers.html

Quote:
On engraved and special order Navies the frame was normally hand-engraved ‘COLT’S PATENT’ on the left side.

http://www.coltcollectors.com/models/04-5b-050.shtml
However the word "Colts Patent" on the left side of the 1849 frame in question does look to be hand engraved. It certainly doesn't look to be stamped like any others.

Here's a close-up photo of Colts Patent on the 1849 from the OP:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/atta...7&d=1341433802

Here's Colts Patent that's stamped on another Model 1849 and a martial 1851:

http://www.sharpsburg-arsenal.com/Re...et_89013_.html

http://www.sharpsburg-arsenal.com/Re...vy_62559_.html

If the Colts Patent matches the engraving which it does, then maybe it's possible that all of the engraving is factory. Does it look like the originally stamped Colts Patent mark was removed and replaced with another hand engraved Colts Patent mark? I think not. If the Colts Patent marking on the 1849 is original then the engraving would be too.
Why else wouldn't the Colts Patent marking be stamped like every other Model 1849 is?
And if the Colts Patent mark wasn't stamped then maybe the standard barrel address wasn't stamped on it as normally done either.
I still think that it's possible that the gun could have been a special order.

Last edited by arcticap; July 12, 2012 at 03:57 AM.
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Old July 12, 2012, 06:59 AM   #19
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According to Flaydermans, that serial number (range from 14400 - 187000) should have a barrel address of:
ADDRESS SAM COLT/NEW-YORK CITY
But he notes: "two variations in markings known." Though the variations are not listed.

Flaydermans suggests further readings: Shumaker's Colt's Variations of the Old Model Pocket Pistol and the "highly detailed" Jordan & Watts Colt's Pocket '49. In those books, "among details considered are markings, types of trigger guards, loading cutouts, loading lever latches, sights, hammers, finishes, engraving, etc."

If the original "Colts Patent" had been filed off, would there have been enough metal to engrave the current letters?

Check this out:
http://www.rockislandauction.com/vie...id/52/lid/1275

I would definitely have it appraised.
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