My Colt Navy


April 4, 2011, 08:43 PM
Figured I'd show this off and pose a question to you at the same time. This is the most valuable and closest to my heart weapon I own - and she's all original:

It is in .36 caliber, manufactured in 1863. My grandfather said it was one of 500 purchased by Nathan Bedford Forrest to outfit his cavalry but I have nothing to prove or disprove his statement - he purchased this piece in the late 50's. Makes for a fun story either way but I was curious if anyone had some literature I could try to verify or disprove this with? I'm quite sure there are some history and/or war buffs hanging out around here :)

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April 4, 2011, 09:00 PM
Get it lettered from Colt. Costs $125.00 or so but will verify or deny the back ground. If verified, it will significantly increase the value. Or it could have been part of another order of equal historical significance, either way you are ahead.

April 4, 2011, 10:46 PM
Thank you sir. The only 'worth' is strictly insurance purposes as I plan to keep this in our family - I will have to give Colt a phone call. It was my understanding that this deal was done rather hush hush so even if it was I have serious doubts as to if it could be proven. In any case I reckon we will see what Colt says thanks for the lead!

April 5, 2011, 07:09 AM
During that war, the Colts factory suffered a fire and many records were lost. Still worth a try.

April 5, 2011, 07:12 AM
Awesome piece anyway! History in "solid" form.

April 5, 2011, 07:25 AM
now that is real cool

April 5, 2011, 09:41 AM
Your 51 navy is in exceptional condition. Get your grandfather to sign a statement about the Forrest story, get a letter from colt. Adding documented history to this revolver can really make a difference in value.

April 5, 2011, 11:20 AM
Thanks guys, I figured a nice piece of history would be appreciated.

To madcratebuilder: I have two page written story of what it is, where he acquired it, and what he believes the history to be in the safe. It was in the box with the pistol when I received it as a gift. I had no idea he even owned this pistol until that point in time. I know the condition is terrific for something thats almost 150 years old - that's the only thing that ever kept me from shooting it as he used to.

April 5, 2011, 08:52 PM
Please come back an update us if Colt is able to help you

April 5, 2011, 09:42 PM
Will do, I did a little research on having Colt do this and this is the only thing that concerns me:

"To get a letter from Colt costs from $75 to $300, and you'll still pay as much as $100 even if they can't locate your gun's original shipping record. The Springfield Research Service costs between $50 and $150, and Pate notes that he can find records for only about one percent of all guns that were used by the military. "Most of the serial number records were considered temporary," Pate says, "so they were destroyed."

I'll still call them anyways - just didn't like those odds.

Dave Markowitz
April 6, 2011, 07:33 PM
That's a beautiful revolver but I doubt that Colt would have sold any arms to a Confederate during the middle of the Civil War.

April 6, 2011, 07:47 PM
The story goes they were smuggled in from Kentucky in a very hush hush deal. I know that Forrest enlisted as an inlisted man. When he bought weapons for his unit, they made him an officer (imagine that).

April 6, 2011, 08:04 PM
My dad has the one his great-grandfather carried during the Civil war. It is a rusty piece of crap. My dad said it spent most of his childhood in his toybox, because he and his brother used it to play cowboys and indians...LOL.

April 7, 2011, 10:12 AM

When I had Colt document one of my guns, I was told the price was pretty much contingent on how old the gun was. The older the gun, the more time and effort would be needed to do the research. Still it would be very interesting to see what they could find out about your Colt Model 1851. That is one very well preserved revolver and along with it's possible historical significance, would definitely make it the centerpiece of any gun collection. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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