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The Essence of the Old Western Frontier, Colt & Leather, @1871


Of all the Open Tops manufactured , only 7,000, this is the most sought after and most difficult to find for the collector. As we all know, they saw hard use, and in reality few Open Tops of either design exist as they left Hartford. A 7-1/2 inch original barrel, Navy size grip, NOT Army size, and a Brass trigger Guard and Back strap. This is very typical of the percussion era, even the Colts Patent, and on Frame, and New York barrel address. The Ivory grips have been there since 1871, and have a incredibly attractive aged appearance, being the "mellow yellow" of age. ALL Colt factory applied markings are present, barrel address, patent on frame, serial No's ( all matching, including cylinder). The cylinder scene is not discernable, from wear, only fragments of the scene, other wise all is present. The working action is 100% correct on ALL phases of working etc... The finish is a light gray, untouched, and even has traces of color on the frame and hammer.

All parts are ALL original. Perhaps the most incredible factor is the 1871, Square 1/2 Skirt Holster, the earliest type loop holster. A direct and next step descendant from the Slim Jim, and  so is the Colt from percussion. The pair are original together and from the early 1870's period.

If you are seeking a very scarce Colt, and a SIGNIFICANT Colt in their history, plus the same for the significant holster, and a part of the early 1870's Western Frontier, it is this Open Top , .44 Henry Rim Fire.  PRICE $6,850




Unfired cylinder face, as is the balance of the  '89.........

The Colt Model of 1889 is maybe the most significant turning point in the history of the company. Prior to this date ALL Colts were of the fixed frame, whether single or double action. This Model laid the future foundation  for Colt, as it was a double action, and had a SWING OUT cylinder for loading and unloading. A quantum leap forward for Colt, and from this Model came the next  126 years of Colt handguns. Serial No. 893X is 100% ORIGINAL factory nickel finish, and remains unfired! It also has present all the nitre fire blue on the trigger and hammer reverse. Mechanically it is 100% on all the working actions ! It has perfect checkered hard rubber grips, all original to the factory.

The Model of 1889 was quickly identified from all of then following DA Models, as it has NO external bolt stop notches on the cylinder periphery. It locks from behind the cylinder as does the Model of 1877. In addition, the cylinder turns to the left ! The Colt Factory Letter shows this '89 as a ONE gun shipment to a very dominant Rocky Mountain dealer in 1890, the first full year of production. It would be, and is, excluding engraving or embellishment, the FINEST  condition three inch nickel 1889 Colt revolver extant in the world today, period !  PRICE $7,250  HOLD / SOLD*


Please note the presence of all the nitre fire blue present on the hammer reverse side.

The scarcest of all barrel lengths was the three inch, this is the barrel  of #893X, and has the short side barrel address........


COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY .45, 4-3/4 INCH...1891....

This is a very unique Colt, and an example of the "work ethic" of Colt Firearms in the 19th century. This Single Action, Serial No. 13992X, demonstrates Colt's dedication to NO waste! This .45 is made from Military Over-run parts, except the barrel. The frame is an RAC frame, and all the other parts bear the Military Inspector letter "K". Colt made a few too many on a Military contract, and what they did was use the Military parts in Civilian assembly. So, we have a .45 , 4-3/4 inch revolver made mostly of military parts. It does have a straight forward civilian   4-3/4 inch barrel, and of course hard rubber grips. It has about 15% of the original blue remaining, mostly on protected areas. Case hardening colors are very strong BUT faded. They can be seen on the frame, and the hammer. The checkered hard rubber grips show normal to light handling, but in time someone ( 19th century) carved a "W" in the base of the left grip.

Mechanically is it 100% perfect on all the working actions. ALL factory applied markings, barrel address, serial no's, patent etc.. are all distinct and vividly clear. It would be interesting to obtain a factory letter, and see where this Over-run Colt was shipped. An honest example of a unique Black Powder Colt Single Action, and few of them can be found in this assembled condition.

PRICE $ 4,150

COLT MODEL OF 1851, .36, 3rd MODEL......1854....

It is truly an honor to offer this Colt 3rd Model Navy for sale, as it has all the most desirable qualities for the collector. Serial No. 3910X is very ! high on condition. It has ALL the original silver remaining on the grip strap and back strap.

There is 90%+ of all the case colors remaining on the frame, just ever so slightly faded. ALL the factory varnish is on the Walnut grips, which remain in perfect condition.  The barrel has 80% or more of all the original bright Colt blue, and the loading lever has traces of case color.. ALL factory applied markings are present and perfectly clear. All serial numbers are matching, with one exception. The wedge is numbered, but not to this serial number. However, this is definitely an occurrence from the 1800's, and has been withy this Navy over 150 years. Mechanically this '51 Navy operates PERFECTLY through and during ALL phases of mechanical operation. Simply put, perfect mechanics!


This is without doubt a very fine Colt 1851 Navy of 1854, 3rd Model small trigger guard. One of this age and condition are nearly impossible to find.

PRICE $6,000 On Reserve/ Hold


The line "Engraved by Ormsby, NY" is still on the cylinder below the Colt Patent line, pristine cylinder condition.

Case colors on hammer and frame , plus vividly clear cylinder scene.




   With Interesting Features !

The 4 screw, cut for stock 1851 Navy is discussed in detail on Pages 67 - 75 in the text by Nathan L. Swayze, " 51 Colt Navies". It is defined by early models and late models. This example Serial No. 11790X is a late model in the 100,000 range. It is interesting to note, that many were made for Military test trials , others as standard production. Either way in some cases as LOW AS 55 were known produced ! This is an extremely rare & scarce variation of the '51 Navy revolver. The overall finish is a soft and untouched charcoal to light gray patina, with traces of tin plate at the muzzle. The brass is an untouched "mustard" patina, ALL original. The grips still have most of their original varnish, and are in excellent condition, except for a slight peeled chip on the left grip. ALL factory applied markings are present, and clear to include the NY US America barrel address. The cylinder scene is slightly faded but completely visible.

Mechanically, this revolver is PERFECT, it cocks, rotates, indexes, locks, and releases to fire perfectly, with each cocking of the hammer. ALL serial numbers are matching, except loading lever, which is in the same serial range of production. ALL parts are original to this '51 four screw.


1. This '51 was originally Tin Plated, and at the Muzzle of the barrel for about 2 to 2-1/2 inches, Tin Plate still is present !

2. A small number 2 is present on the frame, below the frame serial number, which indicates this was once one of a PAIR !

To me, what this means is that it was a double case set of tin plated 4 screw , cut for stock Navies, MAYBE ? even cased with a Canteen Stock !! Perhaps presented to a Military combatant in the Civil War.

 This four screw, cut for stock may well be the scarcest of all '51 Navy models, and is seldom IF EVER seen for sale, or seen period !  PRICE $4,850 SOLD* / HOLD

A clear view of the 4 screw frame, and cut for stock recoil shield. Even traces of the Silver Plate on the trigger guard are visible.


        "U.S.", 1857

      Original Military Holster

In the book, " '51 Colt Navies" by Nathan Swayze, pages 80 -82, he expresses that during the issuing period far more ! were issued to the Army, than the Navy. This .'51 Navy Model, Serial No. 7362X, is U.S. issued, and still along with it's military flap holster.

In addition to the U.S. found on the frame below Colts Patent, there are several inspector letters , such as " L" present.  This '51 has an untouched pleasing dark gray patina, with some "plum" tones present.  ALL factory applied markings are present and very clear, and ALL serial numbers are matching. The cylinder scene is still very legible and defined.

It is hypothesized that many of these '51 Navy/ Army issued revolvers went to Kansas, as it was a "hot bed" of trouble in 1857, and right up to the Civil War. The operating mechanics on the Navy are PERFECT, all phases of loading, cocking, locking, firing, and the cylinder cycling !  Samuel Colt was a business building genius, he "gifted" many, about 5%, and the doors to the U.S. Contracts remained open to him. The '51 Navy was the FIRST major Military Contract revolver, in sheer volume alone superseding the Walkers and Dragoons combined. It would not be until the '60 Army such numbers would be passed.  Despite the volume, U.S. '51 Navies are NOT that often encountered, and fall into the scarce category. This one even scarcer as it has its original Army Flap Holster. A fine addition for the collector of Navy revolvers, Military revolvers, Colt collectors , or collectors of history from a epic period in U.S. history.


The grips are in beautiful original condition, and the Inspectors Cartouche is clearly visible. ! The cartouche of A.D. King, ADK is present and visible. He was the Inspector for this Navy.



Colt was always or close to the cutting edge in advances with firearms. In 1877, they introduced their first Double Action, the Model of 1877. It was small, and chambered for "pocket size" calibers. Colt quickly recognized the market for a large frame double action, similar to their single action, they designed the Model of 1878, and it came in large calibers, .45, .44/40 etc... This example, Serial No. 2930X has the traditional barrel length of 7-1/2 inches, and in the stand by Colt caliber of .45. Currently, it has about 65% of the original bright blue, blending into a perfect plum patina, giving the appearance of a much stronger finish. ALL factory applied markings are present and vividly clear. The checkered hard rubber grips, on the crescent grip are nearly perfect, with fresh appearance. Mechanically, it works perfectly when used in a single action mode, then also works PERFECTLY in the trigger pulling double action mode. NO mechanical issues here ! It has a very interesting ship destination! " The COLLINS GUN COMPANY, Omaha, Nebraska. Probably related to the leather workers, saddles, and holsters etc....Collins.

PRICE $ 4,150


A very pleasing Model of 1878, and excellent ship location. When a handgun was called for this model was favored by legendary "shootist" Tom Horn !

COLT MODEL 1878, DA .45. "FAT GRIP", 1881, FACTORY LETTER .."BRIDGEPORT ATTACHMENT"..HISTORY...100% Authentic and Original 19th century Bridgeport Stud, with 1878 DA .45 Colt.

This Colt, is called a "Fat Grip" because, the early models under 5,000 had a larger grip. This one, Serial No. 499X is a "Fat Grip" with a history. First, the overall condition is as follows: 60% of the original nickel plating, found predominantly on the cylinder, trigger guard / back strap area, and some on the forward frame.  The hard rubber grips are in very excellent condition. All factory applied markings for this model are present and very legible. An interesting point: the action is ONLY double action ! In examining the hammer of this revolver, it appears that the notches wee professional removed, leaving a smooth hammer face. So, double action is the only firing mode.  This would make sense, as being spun from the Bridgeport stud and rapidly fired, ALL you want is Double Action, it goes with the whole idea of the Bridgeport. According to the documents that accompany this Colt, it was once the property of a Virginia City, NV Sheriff in the 1880's. It was bought from the Sheriff by a William Towne, then passed down through the family, and sold by Wm. R. Towne. This information is present on a small document written by Mr. Towne. Along with the DA 1878 comes interesting information. A copy of an 1883 Catalogue offering the Bridgeport Rig !

The copy of the information found in the above 1883 Catalogue. ALL OF THIS comes  with the sale of the Colt.

To the purchaser of this RARE "Fat Grip" Colt 1878 DA .45 "Bridgeport" comes all the paperwork, catalogue and documentation.

PRICE $ 6,850

SEE Footnote for below.....



Mr. Townes hand written history on this Colt DA .45 "Bridgeport " Rig.

*** FOOTNOTE** The previous owner spent a great deal of time and money and had an expert make him a Bridgeport Clip, from the original Patent Drawings, and fasten it to a belt, EXACTLY as it would have been in 1883. Even the style belt buckle. This also will go to the buyer of the Colt, and allow him to actually try and see how it was to carry this Colt.


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JUNE 21 , 2015


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