Walker Colt 1851 Navy?


May 5, 2007, 04:09 PM
I also posted this at TFL...

I have a NIB Colt Walker trying to get a date of Manufacture and/or approximate value if you all can help.

Serial # 183XX
Cylinder engraved with a naval sea battle scene
"Engaged 16 May 1843" and "Engraved by W.L. Ormsby, New York" are also engraved on the cylinder
Octagonal Barrel
Caliber measured at .375
All serial numbers match
Blued barrel and cylinder
heat-treated frame and Loading Lever

Thanks in advance for any help...

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May 5, 2007, 04:43 PM
Sorry to say that there is something fishy about the info you provided.

1) The photo appears to be a '51 Navy.
1a) The '51 Navy was .36 caliber which supports your caliber measurement and the photo ID.
2) The Walker Colt horse pistols were .44 caliber.
3) The original Walkers were ordered by the Texas Rangers. Col. Sam Walker of the Rangers collaborated with Sam Colt to improve the earlier Colt Patterson revolver. The Walker pistols ordered by the Rangers with serial numbers starting with the Company letter followed by the number of the pistol within the series ordered for that specific Ranger Company, so you get a number like "A100" would be Company A pistol #100.
4) The U.S. Army ordered a later (post Walker) model horsepistol called a the "dragoon" that was also in .44 caliber.
5) Walkers and Dragoons weighed around 4lbs and were carried in holsters attached to the saddle. The '51 Navy was a great success partly because it was light enough to be carried comfortably on the belt.
6) They shipped guns in wooden boxes back then. If your box is cardboard and not crumbling to dust from old age, I would be very suspicious.

All in all there are too many discrepencies in the info you provided to make a reasonable guess at what you have.

You can write to the Colt company and ask for research into your particular specimen. There is a cost for the report, but if this gun is what you say it is, or even if it is a NIB '51 Navy, you could have yourself a really valuable piece of history.

Personally, I think you have some kind on reproduction. Colt released a set of "second generation" black powder pistols back in the 70's or 80's, and your pistol sounds like a good candidate for one of those.

May 5, 2007, 05:03 PM
The guy who owns it, who asked me to help "value" it for sale, and who is just slightly more black-powder-ignorant than me, told me it was a .44 (I calipered it at .375) and he called it a Walker, but the limited research I did on the 'net tells me Navy '51. He also told me it was purchased in 1975, so I definitely think it is 2nd generation. It is a "Colt's" manufactured revolver. I just don't know if it is worth $300 or $1000, or somewhere in between???

Thanks for the feedback!

Jim March
May 5, 2007, 05:46 PM
Yeah, I would bet a LOT it's a reproduction of the 1851 Colt, and likely not even a Colt modern reproduction. If it's a generic Italian replica it's worth...I dunno, $300 if in very good condition. Maybe a bit more - to be fair, it looks like a nice reproduction, with a lot of case hardened ("mottled looking") parts. The weird thing is the grip frame, either nickel plate or highly polished aluminum?

The "Colt" reproductions are worth only fractionally more than Italians, as Colt assembled them with Italian parts.

Ain't no way it's a 19th century antique. The condition is too good. Unless he paid a small fortune for a minty antique...even then it's likely re-finished as I strongly doubt a nickel plate grip frame is authentic and aluminum definitely isn't.

May 5, 2007, 06:35 PM
183XX as a Colt 2nd Generation gun dates as a 1975 model.
The numbers that year ran from 15101 to 20000.

Values on these reproduction Colt's seem to be climbing fast, like all Colt handguns.

Take a look at pricing on the online gun auctions for values.

May 5, 2007, 07:09 PM
Thanks Guys...Top of barrel is stamped "Address Saml Colt New York City" The 1975 manufacter date would coincide with the 1975 purchase date. Never thought it was "antique" but just trying to get a fix on value.

DFARISWHEEL: thanks for the advice. Thanks guys!

May 5, 2007, 11:15 PM
IIRC, the 70's Colt repros had silver plated grip frames. I had two of 'em back then and shot the blazes out of 'em. Wish I still had 'em. sigh

sixgun MAK
May 6, 2007, 10:46 PM
If it is unturned, unfired, and still have original black box, it would be closer to $1000 than $300. I'd tell your friend to KEEP it!

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