Colt Navy Model 1851 Revolver...worth anything?


June 12, 2006, 05:39 PM
Hi, all-

My mom has a Colt Navy Model 1851 Revolver, at least I'm pretty sure that's what it is. I found this website:
that shows the same revolver, except my mom's has an engraved cylinder and a name engraved on the grip.

I would like to get the gun appraised & insured. Do any of you have any recommendations on how to go about getting it appraised?

I found these guys:
Has anyone ever dealt with them? Or is there a better route to take?

Oh, and is it likely this gun is worth enough that it should be in a safe deposit box NOW, instead of on her mantle, where it's resided for many years? :uhoh: :what:


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Jim Watson
June 12, 2006, 06:07 PM
"the same... except" is not much good.
A picture and a detailed description will get you some useful information.

I don't know what a $9.95 appraisal will get you, a number to put on the insurance, I guess. Insurance rates on such things are rather high.

June 13, 2006, 01:36 AM
I don't know what state that you're located in, but many states including my own have an antique gun collector's association with members statewide that may be willing to help you authenticate your gun and learn more about its market value. I'm not saying that you should trust anyone beyond the free advice that they can offer, but at least it's a place to start and many of these people have years of experience and fine reputations. Later, you might even consider going to one of their shows to get more opinions about it if you're still not sure about getting it appraised or not.

June 13, 2006, 02:39 AM
Is the name Sam Colt on the grip? (3rd generation Colt Signature Series)
Got a serial number? This site will give you some idea what a 1st generation Colt 1851 Navy is worth... still tryin to find the S/N site.

June 13, 2006, 02:41 AM

June 13, 2006, 02:46 PM
Whoops- I knew I should've waited for the photos before posting!

The serial number is in the 40,000 range (low end, IIRC).

As you can see, the gun has some rust on it and I would like to clean it up a little. Would it be ok to give it a gentle rubdown with a soft cloth with some WD40 on it? I've used that to get light amounts of rust off tools. Or should I just apply a light coat of gun oil?


June 13, 2006, 03:13 PM
Don't you just love it! An 1851 in the 40,000 range with a name on the gripstrap just hanging around the house! Why is it I can never find these things just hanging around my house.

I won't give you any advice on cleaning it, many here are far more experienced than I am. Personally, I would treat it with kid gloves until you know what you have. Can you make out the name on the backstrap?

June 13, 2006, 04:43 PM
Go get some BreakFree CLP - DO NOT use any steel wool or reblueing agent. Don't try to buff the rust off in any way, just stop it from rusting more with the CLP.

June 14, 2006, 01:16 AM
Can you get a pic of what it says on the top of the barrel, also serial numbers. Looks like the real deal so far. I have a 45 yr old Belguim 1860 Army Repro that looks much older but it was heavily used.
Good luck with just oil wipe and maybe lube and patch the bore...That one doesn't even look like it had ever been fired.

Here compare it to this first generation Colt Below:

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