1851 Colt commemmorative Robt. E LEE


July 27, 2008, 11:18 AM
Anyone know anything about an 1851 Colt Robert E. Lee Commemmorative Navy model .36. Comes in a walnut presentation case with grey colored fabric (the south) powder flask, ball maker tool...

Made by Colt, not a "colt style".

made in 1971

Specifically I'm curious if it was made in Italy even though it is Colt branded and was an official colt offering. The finish and overall quality appears better than the average 1851 you see around.

What's the word on these? Its a shooter, wasn't left in the box as a safe queen .

*made in Italy?
*quality vs. other 1851's?
*higher value since it is a Colt product not just "Colt style"?

If you enjoyed reading about "1851 Colt commemmorative Robt. E LEE" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
July 27, 2008, 11:59 AM
COLTīS MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC. Current firearms manufacturer with headquarters located in West Hartford, CT.
Coltīs Manufacturing Company, Inc. is the previous manufacturer of 2nd Generation Colt percussion revolvers located in Hartford, CT. Colt used subcontractors to supply rough castings for the manufacture of these black powder pistols. Throughout the production years 1971-1982, these rough castings were produced in Italy and the reproductions were completed in the United States. Initially, Val Forgett and Navy Arms provided these parts/components during 1971-73. Lou Imperato supplied these parts from 1974 to 1976. In both instances, these revolvers were assembled and finished in Coltīs facilities in Connecticut. Finally, from 1978 to 1982, Colt subcontracted both parts procurement and final production to Lou Imperato and Iver Johnson Arms in Middlesex, NJ. Colt percussion revolvers produced by Iver Johnson had frames, center pins, nipples, and screws manufactured in the United States. In all instances, these revolvers were manufactured in accordance with Coltīs strict specifications and quality control. Additionally, Coltīs performed final inspection for all models. All percussion models manufactured from 1971 through 1982, either by Colt or its subcontractor, are regarded as authentic Colt pistols and not Italian replicas.
The Colt Custom Shop also produced a limited number of special editions through the early 1990s from 2nd Generation production inventory.

The "C" Series 2nd gen.s

COLTīS MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC. : "C" SERIES These Colt percussion revolvers were reintroduced in 1971 (1851 Navy) and 1974 (3rd Model Dragoon). Both models were discontinued in late 1976 (no reference is made to them in either the 1977 Colt Catalog or Colt Price List). The 1851 Navy and Third Model Dragoon were the only models to be produced in both the "C" Series and "F" Series configurations. While the fit and finish of both series is of the highest quality, the difference is unmistakable. The "C" Series has a beautiful bright "Royal Blue" finish while the "F" Series has a more durable dark "Colt Blue" finish. Another distinguishing feature is the serial number range (4201 to 25099 for the "C" Series 1851 Navy and 20901 to 25099 for the "C" Series Third Model Dragoon).

The "F" Series

COLTīS MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC. : "F" SERIES Production of these revolvers began in November 1978 with the 1860 Army and continued with the release of the various models described below until all production ceased in November 1982. Special Edition and Limited Edition models continued to be issued from the Colt Custom Shop inventory through the mid-1990s. Rumors persist, even at this late date, that a few in-the-white specimens are still hidden away at Coltīs. "F" Series revolvers were produced with a durable dark "Colt Blue" finish while the "C" Series finish is a more lustrous "Royal Blue."

COLT BLACKPOWDER ARMS CO. Previous manufacturer and retailer of 3rd Generation Colt Black Powder pistols and muskets located in Brooklyn, NY 1994-2002.
All 3rd Generation Colt black powder models are also referred to as Signature Series Models.
A reprise of the original Colt Black powder line, along with historic models not offered in the 2nd Generation, and a new series of Commemoratives, each model (with the exception of the Heirloom Tiffany 1860 Army and 1842 Texas Paterson) bears the Sam Colt signature on the back strap. These 3rd Generation models were manufactured under an authorized licensing agreement with Colt Firearms by Colt Black powder Arms Company – the same company (and many of the same craftsmen) responsible for the 2nd Generation Colt revolvers. Although parts for the Signature Series were cast in Italy, they were fully assembled and hand finished in the United States using the proprietary Colt formulas for bluing and color case hardening.
Colt Black powder Arms Company Signature Series revolvers are regarded as authentic Colt pistols. The 3rd Generation models have original Colt markings, including the barrel address and serial number stampings. There are no foreign proof marks on these authentic Colt models.

Another rumor heard is that Colt started production of the C Series with the next in line s/n from the old 1851 Colt Navy
S/N's.....Not so. I believe where that rumor got started is when there were a few 5 digit Dragoons inadvertently made with in original Dragoon S/N range. These are "F" series.

July 27, 2008, 05:38 PM
The Robert E. Lee Commemorative 1851Colt Navy was a 'C' Series issue by Colt's Manufacturing Company, Inc. (see Pohill's post above). 4,750 were manufactured in 1971 only. It had a standard 'C' Series Royal Blue finish with a silver plated backstrap and 'ROBERT E. LEE COMMEMORATIVE NINETEEN SEVENTY ONE' engraved on the left side barrel flat. It was issued with in a walnut presentation case with gray velvet lining, a James Dixon and Sons 'stand of flags' style bag powder flask, a nipple wrench, a dual cavity bullet mold and cap tin.

According to the Blue Book of Modern Black Powder Arms (Fifth Edition, 2007) it is valued at $750 in 100% condition.

Blue Book prices are a guide only. Actual prices can and do vary considerably in either direction.

July 30, 2008, 11:17 PM
Thanks for the great info guys. Much appreciated.

If you enjoyed reading about "1851 Colt commemmorative Robt. E LEE" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!