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Can anyone ID this old Colt?


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20 replies to this topic

#1 Joe from NY

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Posted December 16 2011 - 02:48 AM

My friend found this old Colt among his fathers belongings after he died a few years back. He said he has had it since sometime in the '60s. Can anyone tell me what it is and maybe a general idea what it would sell for?

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I just noticed a strange stamp on the right grip. It looks like a crown with an E8 under it. It almost looks like those proof stamps they use in England. Anyone ever see one of those on an 1851

http://i982.photobuc...G4179Medium.jpg





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#2 Walker1847

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Posted December 16 2011 - 05:01 AM

I'm not an expert and this is just my opinion, but what you may have is a nineteenth century Belgian reproduction of a Colt Model 1851 Navy. The serial numbers and other markings don't seem to be the same fonts as those used by Colt - and you'll agree the workmanship is less than perfect.  Still the Belgian makers used markings such as "Colt Patent" and the "Address Sam L Colt New York City" on the barrel and other areas to simulate Colt factory endorsement of the product.  Hard to determine by serial number exactly how many were made - Colt's first Belgian agent collected royalties on 21 revolvers - all with the same serial number. Proof marks were used by the Belgian firms and appeared in various locations - although on the wooden grip seems odd if that is what the E8 and Crown marking is. Although it could simply be the Maker's mark.  Grips were usually varnished Walnut.
Cylinder stops were almost always rectangular; only a few would have been oval. Measure the cylinder length; most were 1-3/4'".
Serial numbers - considerable variation and duplication due to production by several firms. Really not reliable to determine production totals.
BTW, the serial number shown if it is Colt US manufacture would indicate production in 1853.
Because there are many licensed and unlicensed Belgian copies, value to a potential collector is hard to guess.
Someone familiar with current replicas may or may not be able to tell them apart.....

PS  Could the mark in front of the "Colt Patent" stamping on the frame be the Proof mark (4th pic down)?

#3 Walker1847

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Posted December 16 2011 - 06:07 AM

...Still the Belgian makers used markings such as "Colts Patent" and the "Address Sam L Colt New York City" on the barrel and other areas to simulate Colt factory endorsement of the product...


Look at a known US made Colt - the initials "U.S." appear below the "Colts Patent" on the frame. Not so on the London Navys, and I'm thinking not on the Belgians, either.

#4 Joe from NY

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Posted December 16 2011 - 11:39 AM

Here is the photo that i didn't link correctly in my first post.

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#5 zzrguy

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Posted December 16 2011 - 12:20 PM

Joe may I suggest  you ask some of the nice people on this fourm cascity.com their are very knowledgeable when it come to old cowboy guns.

#6 Joe from NY

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Posted December 16 2011 - 12:34 PM

OK, thanks

#7 Steyr AUG man

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Posted March 31 2017 - 02:23 PM

Joe - Old thread, but what was that old proof mark on the grip? My friend has an old Baby Browning with a somewhat similar proof mark with a crown, but his is on the bolt, visible through the ejection port.



#8 Skywalker

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Posted March 31 2017 - 03:31 PM

The crown was used by the Brits as a proof mark.  Rounded crown, bulges in the middle, cross on top.

 

This old thread...did he ever figure out if it were a legit 1851 Navy?  I need to take a closer look.



#9 boosti

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Posted March 31 2017 - 03:56 PM

Joe - Old thread, but what was that old proof mark on the grip? My friend has an old Baby Browning with a somewhat similar proof mark with a crown, but his is on the bolt, visible through the ejection port.

Steyr, poor Joe was Banned. The proof mark is definitely a Belgian proof as found on many FN Browning Firearms.
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#10 Steyr AUG man

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Posted March 31 2017 - 04:13 PM

thanks. it is very similar to this Colt. Was the Colt sold in Belgium also? i never saw that on american guns.



#11 Skywalker

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Posted March 31 2017 - 04:42 PM

I have a 1911, made in 1915, British proofed, with a crown.  I'll take a pic in good lighting.



#12 Steyr AUG man

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Posted March 31 2017 - 05:27 PM

Did we sell 1911's to England before WW I?



#13 Skywalker

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Posted April 01 2017 - 11:57 AM

During the war.  

 

This particular gun was in my father's collection.  95% condition in blue.  Some a hole contractor had to access my father's "secret" gun room to follow some wiring in the house. When my father turned his back, he must have grabbed it.  It was reported to the police but nothing.   

 

Several years later, my father gets a call from PD and asks him to ID the weapon.  It was returned to him but the perp ruined the collector value.  Stripped the blue, threw away the original stocks and mag.  But he got it back.  I recently found an original mag replacement.  Looked into blueing it, in honor of my father.  Turnbull restoration starts at $2000.  I could just reblue it to protect it on the cheap.  Right now it's in the white.  Since the collector value is ruined, its now a shooter!  

 

I'll take a pic later, if you are interested in seeing it.



#14 Skywalker

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Posted April 01 2017 - 11:59 AM

Forgot to mention how they found it. 

 

Some guy died.  His storage unit had to be emptied.  They found it in a box in the storage unit.



#15 Skywalker

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Posted April 01 2017 - 12:17 PM

Here area couple of pics.

 

The close up shows the British crown. 

 

BTW, hit the wrong key. It's a 1914 manufacture.

 

At this point, I keep it polished to protect it.   Obviously, there is some damage to the finish.  

 

I also have the 22 conversion kit.  Cheap shooting isn't so bad.

 

Attached Files



#16 angelonm

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Posted April 01 2017 - 01:25 PM

Still a valuable gun. Probably was a lend lease gun.... 



#17 Skywalker

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Posted April 01 2017 - 01:47 PM

Thanks.  It's one that I will not sell.  It meant a lot to my father.  He was a WWII Eighth Army Air Force Vet who always had a soft spot for British proofed guns when he was collecting.  


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#18 Steyr AUG man

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Posted April 02 2017 - 11:54 AM

why would anyone strip off the blueing?



#19 Skywalker

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Posted April 02 2017 - 01:03 PM

I have no idea.  I guess he wanted a shinny toy. Idiot.  



#20 boosti

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Posted April 02 2017 - 01:54 PM

why would anyone strip off the blueing?

The Bling look you know it's Gangsta... P.I.M.P., it's always best to keep it in original condition for collector value with a firearm like that.




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