identifying old Colt


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SmallBoreGuy
April 2, 2011, 11:04 AM
Hi, all --

I'm a former HS and college smallbore rifle team guy who's never fired a pistol in his life.

I've inherited an antique Colt, and would appreciate help figuring out what I've got here. It's a 5-shot revolver with a 6" octagonal barrel. Forgive my ignorance, but I don't know how to tell if it's single or double action. The barrel pulls straight off when a metal wedge is removed from the rod on which the cylinder is mounted. The cylinder is decorated with a stagecoach robbery scene.

The cylinder is not made for modern center-fire cartridges; looks like it's designed for percussion caps? (I told you I was ignorant of pistols.) There are no dates anywhere I can see without further disassembly, but the serial number on the butt plate, trigger guard, frame and barrel are all 90189. The barrel only has "Address: Saml Colt, New York City" engraved on it. "Colt's patent" is engraved on the cylinder and left side of the frame.

Colt appears to have made many, many models. Can you tell me where to start researching this gun's history?

Thanks.

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rcmodel
April 2, 2011, 12:31 PM
Sounds like a 1849 Colt .31 cal Pocket revolver.
That should be what it is.
And what it is is a single-action black powder percussion revolver.
http://www.hackman-adams.com/guns/colt1849.htm

Value could be very high if it is good condition and working.

DO Not attempt to remove any old patina or polish the finish as that will complety ruin it's collector value.

rc

SmallBoreGuy
April 2, 2011, 05:49 PM
RC -- thanks, that was quick!

I agree. I googled for some pix of the 1849 pocket, and it's an exact match. I checked on proofhouse.com, suggested by another forum here, and the serial number would date it to 1854. Yes, it appears to be in working order; some pitting inside the barrel, but overall not bad. Cool! Thanks again for the help.

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