Colt/Armi San Marcos 1851 Navy style .44 Blackpowder


May 25, 2008, 11:36 PM
Hey Gents, Some years ago, I purchased a .44 blackpowder revolver made by Italian gunmaker Armi San Marco. I saw these in an E.M.F. Company catalog at a military contractor's shop, and the store owner told me that these were guns made for Colt, but for some reason had been unavailable for purchase until recently (1993) due to some sort of litigation.

As you'll see from the photos, the barrel has a Colt stamp on top. The other Colt marks are missing. The trigger guard and backstrap are not perfectly finished (doesn't show in the photos, but the side edges are not filed down all the way), but are made of nickel plated brass. The grip is black walnut, and the whole thing is in need of a good cleaning/polishing. I'd be interested if anyone could estimate a value for this. It has a BA stamp forward of the trigger guard, so I think it was made in 1991. I've had some trouble with the cylinder stop spring (original broke right away and the replacement doesn't stop the cylinder in the right place). I also can't get the barrel wedge out without using tools.

I have never shot or cleaned/lubed it. I also have a nipple wrench and a spare cylinder I bought about the same time. Any and all help is appreciated! :)

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May 26, 2008, 12:09 AM
Welcome to the form. Welcome to thr.

Nice pics. Problem is though Colt never made a 44 in 1851. The correct diameter is .36. A lot of the italians made them in .44. Heck i have two of them myself. Being made by ASM i bought one a few months ago used for i believe $130. If the gun was brand new. Without problems on the cylinder i imagine. You may be able to get about 3-5 hundred. But that just depends most of them that sell for that much come in cases with all the accessories and a letter from colt. Without that i too could get my ASM go down to the hardware store and pick up some metal stamping to put the address on mine.
But then anyone that knows the gun will know colt never made a .44 in 1851

Old Fuff
May 26, 2008, 12:15 AM
It's not a bad gun, but I think your dealer handed you a line of bull. ASM never made any guns for Colt, but Colt might have sued them for using a Colt copyrighted trademark on the barrel.

Colt made some cap& ball revolvers in their own plant, using raw castings purchased from Uberti in Italy. They also licensed some companies in the United States to make replicas with Colt markings. But they never licensed any overseas manufacturers to make whole guns.

Last but not least, Colt was never involved in any replicas that weren't true copies of their 19th century products. Your ASM is a .44 caliber, 1851 Navy - something Colt never made.

May 26, 2008, 12:17 AM
scrat, I know Colt made only a .36 Navy in 1851. I'm just trying to find a value and general history and some idea of the quality of the .44 Navy style pistol made by ASM in 1991. This one came in a non-Colt box (which I still have) and has no Colt paperwork. All the original paperwork is from E.M.F. and the box is marked with a sticker that says "ARMI SAN MARCO MADE IN ITALY 1851 NAVY STEEL CAL .44 USE BLACK POWDER ONLY COD. N. 8CA371851NA44"

May 26, 2008, 12:20 AM
Old Fuff, Thanks for the info. I've always wondered if these were really made for Colt. Looks like you've answered my question. Guess I should have saved my $$ and held out for the real thing.

May 26, 2008, 12:36 AM
sorry, extra post.

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