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Old July 16, 2014, 04:21 PM   #1
content
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1851 Colt Navy manuf. in 1861

Hello friends and neighbors,

My 1851 navy has matching numbers and the colt stamp but the barrel has a different number,,,,,all dating to an 1861 DOM.

However the brass has worn brass plating in a few areas.

My question is concerning the plating.
Were any of the old Colts brass plated?
If not were any of the old serial numbers used at a later time?

Thanks for any help/links , content.

pics,,,could be Gold plate.colt back strap.jpg

colt back strap1.jpg

colt trig guard side.jpg

colt trig guard.jpg
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Last edited by content; July 16, 2014 at 08:08 PM.
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Old July 16, 2014, 07:36 PM   #2
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Brass plated brass?
I'm not sure I understand. The brass on 1851 Colt Navies was often silver plated but I don't even think there's a point in plating brass with brass. Maybe you're looking at tarnish or something.
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Old July 16, 2014, 07:43 PM   #3
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Need some pics eh!
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Old July 16, 2014, 08:09 PM   #4
content
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Sorry was taking pics after dinner, pics added at top.
I have heard of some being Gold plated, could this be it?
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Old July 16, 2014, 11:45 PM   #5
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That looks like it's just decades of tarnish. Brass polish might clean it up .... but I would be leery about doing it. On a old gun like that tarnish often just gives it "character."
Plus If it was to get on the wood .... I don't know what happens when brass polish meets 153 year old wood.
The trigger guard has some pitting. Nothing much to be done about that.
I don't think it was gold plated. It looks to me like a standard production gun. Some really ornate guns were gold plated .... these often were not shot since the abuse and the heat would wear off the gold. They were presentation pieces.
To gold plate the brass parts while leaving the steel parts in a normal configuration seems a little offbeat for that time period.
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Old July 17, 2014, 01:04 AM   #6
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ty for the input.
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Old July 17, 2014, 02:00 AM   #7
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looks like varnish applied by someone who didn't want to polish it anymore, and then decades later it got polished again. or, it could just be the photo.
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Old July 17, 2014, 08:13 AM   #8
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A plating of some sort.

Chipped in places, slightly higher than the brass underneath.
Worn off at the base of the butt, flaking in other areas.

I'll take it to a jeweler friend to see if he can test it.
Quite the puzzle.

Yes the pic is not very good, hard to see the difference between the two.

Thanks for trying all!!

If I find out more I will let you know.
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Old July 21, 2014, 11:03 PM   #9
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Quite a few guns with brass parts had the brass painted with "gold" paint to "improve" the appearance for display. If the brass is actually pitted, you will have to decide if it is shallow and can be polished out or if it is too deep and would be best left alone.

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Old July 21, 2014, 11:44 PM   #10
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ty Jim this seems likely.

Would the gold paint polish though,,or just roughen....this is shiny.
I'll post back after a trip to the jewelers.
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Old July 22, 2014, 12:28 AM   #11
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Me-oh-my, please let us know what you find out. To me, based on the pictures, it looks like a steel frame that was gold painted to resemble brass, as for a decorators piece or non firing replica, Even in places where it is not flakeing the brass doesn't look like " brass ".
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Old July 22, 2014, 03:12 PM   #12
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Some 1861s had brass backstraps, silver plated, and some had steel backstraps, especially the very few (about 100) set up for shoulder stocks. (despite what the Italians would have you believe).
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Old July 22, 2014, 03:29 PM   #13
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Easy to settle the issue, ferrous, non ferrous, tray a magnet, if it sticks, iron/steel if not brass.
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Old July 22, 2014, 05:07 PM   #14
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Very few 51 Navies had iron straps (none had steel); that one appears to be the usual brass, just that it has been damaged in some way, possibly by some chemical that ate the zinc and left the copper.

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Old July 26, 2014, 04:29 PM   #15
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Well the jeweler /gun shop owner says definitely brass plate over brass.
Numbers date to late 1861, barrel has a different number then the several other matching numbers though. All in the same time frame.

Left it with another gun shop so their "expert" could look at it.
Now two side plate screws are buggered and "the dog did it" grr lol. Last time they will see one of my guns, or any of my money.

Locks up and indexes tight enough to shoot, rifling and nipples look barely used.

Just an update, useless to do anything but send it to Colt I suppose.

Live and learn folks!
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Last edited by content; July 26, 2014 at 04:31 PM. Reason: spelling
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