Gun Specifics:

  • Range of serial numbers: 1 – 11,000
  • Date of manufacture: 1853 to 1857
  • Total production: Approx. 11,000
  • Length of barrel: 4 to 6 inches
  • Caliber: .31
  • Address: Several variations including: ‘SAML COLT LONDON’ with finials.
    ‘COLN COLT LONDON’ also ‘ADDRESS. SAML COLT/ LONDON’
    with long finials and ‘{ADDRESS COL: COLT/LONDON}’ with brackets.
  • Weight: 24 ounces. Depending on barrel length.

Colt Model 1849 London Pocket Percussion Revolver

The Colt Model 1849 London Pocket revolver was manufactured at the London factory from circa 1853 through to 1857 with its own serial range from 1 through to approximately 11000. The quality of the London Pocket was thought to be better than its American counterpart. The five-shot .31 caliber London Pocket has an octagonal barrel with loading lever and came in three different barrel lengths of 4”, 5” and 6”. The frame was stamped on the left side of all revolvers with ‘COLTS/PATENT’ and the cylinder had the roll design of the stagecoach holdup scene. On engraved guns the ‘COLT’S/PATENT’ would be hand-engraved. Revolvers were finished with a blue barrel and cylinder with casehardened frame, hammer and loading lever. The steel back-strap and trigger-guard found on most London Pocket revolvers after serial number 1000 were either blued or silver-plated. The grips almost always are one-piece varnished walnut and one-piece select burl walnut grips on engraved specimens or special order revolvers.

On early London Pockets the parts were manufactured at the Hartford factory and shipped to the London factory where they were assembled and finished. The imported back-straps and small trigger-guards were made of brass and are found on revolvers up to about serial number 1000. Several early addresses are found including hand engraved ‘SAML COLT LONDON’ on #26, ‘COLN COLT. LONDON.’ on #52 and ‘ADDRESS SAML COLT/LONDON’ with long finials at either end on #65. All are left-handed reading from breech to muzzle. The most common address found on most London Pockets is the two-line ‘ADDRESS COL COLT./LONDON’ with a bracket and finials at both ends reading muzzle to breech. There are several variations of this address.

All London manufactured revolvers were required by the British Government to be proof fired and stamped on alternate chambers of the cylinder with Crown over GP and Crown over V. Also the barrel was proof marked with both stamps stacked on top of each other on the left side of the barrel lug. Late London Pockets were sold into the American market being made up from parts that were shipped back to Hartford after the London factory closed in 1857. Many of these will not be British proofed. It is estimated that about eleven hundred were engraved in London by factory engravers and more than three thousand of the production were cased.

Philip Boulton of Southampton, England has collated and recorded a survival rate of at least 8.79% of the original production of Colt Model 1849 London Pocket revolvers. For in-depth reference on the Colt Model 1849 London Pocket revolver see ‘Colt’s Pocket ’49, it’s Evolution, including the Baby Dragoon & Wells Fargo’ by Robert M. Jordan & Darrow M. Watt.

More Info:

Cased Colt Model 1849 London Pocket percussion revolver

Cased Colt Model 1849 London Pocket percussion revolver serial number 820 with six inch barrel and full accessories including ‘James Dixon & Sons’/Sheffield’ bag-type pocket flask, ‘Colt’s Patent’ stamped steel mold, cleaning rod, nipple key & screwdriver and 500 count galvanized cap tin.

Left side of Colt Model 1849 London Pocket percussion revolver serial number 820. Blued barrel and cylinder with case-colored frame, loading lever and hammer complimented with one-piece varnished walnut grips.

Right side of Colt Model 1849 London Pocket percussion revolver serial number 820 showing large blued iron trigger-guard.

Colt Model 1849 London Pocket percussion revolver serial number 820 showing ‘COLT’S PATENT’ stamped on left side of the frame.

More Colt New Model Army and Navy Percussion Revolvers

The Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver was introduced in 1850 and manufactured through to 1873. As many as 215,348 of this model were produced at the Hartford factory in Connecticut with serial numbers beginning at serial number I through to 215348 which is the highest number known.

The majority of revolvers were blued with casehardened hammer and loading lever. The grips were of one-piece varnished walnut or select burl walnut, ivory on engraved or special order guns. The most sought after grips came from the famous Charter Oak tree.

The Colt Model 1851 London revolver was manufactured in London at Samuel Colt’s only manufacturer outside the U.S. from 1853 through to 1857. The revolvers were numbered in their own serial range from serial number 1 through to 42,910.