Gun Specifics:

  • Range of serial numbers: 1 – 38,843
  • Date of manufacture: 1861 to 1873
  • Total production: Approx. 38,843
  • Length of barrel: 7½ inches
  • Caliber: .36
  • Address: ‘-ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT. NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA-’
  • Weight: 2 pounds 10 ounces

Colt Model 1861 Navy Percussion Revolver

The Colt Model 1861 Navy Revolver was a streamlined version of the Model 1851 Navy. It was manufactured from 1861 through to circa 1873 in a serial range from 1 through to approx. 38843.. It came in 36 caliber with a six shot cylinder and 7½ inch round barrel with a creeping style loading lever. The grips were normally one-piece varnished walnut. It had a casehardened frame, hammer and lever with the remainder blued. The brass backstrap and triggerguard were silver-plated. The Barrel address was: ‘- ADDRESS COL. SAM’ COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA.-‘ with COLTS/PATENT stamped on the left side of the frame. Also 36 CAL was stamped on the left shoulder of the trigger-guard. The cylinder scene shows the battle between the Texas Navy and the Mexico Navy.

The main variations are as follows:

The first one hundred manufactured had fluted cylinders with no cylinder scene. They were stamped PAT. SEPT 10TH 1850 within one of the flutes. Examples with the third type shoulder stocks are found only in the serial range from 11000 and 14000. Only about one hundred were produced with four screw frames with the recoil shield cut for engaging the stock yoke. It is rare to find a canteen shoulder stock with this model. Several hundred 1861 Navies were sold to the Army and Navy during the Civil War with many showing no inspector markings. When present they appear as cartouches on the grips and single letters on various parts of the metalwork. It is very rare to find U.S.N. stamped on the brass butt of naval contract revolvers and to find U.S. stamped below the COLTS PATENT on the left side of the frame.

Some 1861 Navies were shipped to the London Pall Mall Agency from the Hartford factory with iron grip-straps. A very few of these feature the ultra rare barrel address of ‘-ADDRESS COL. COLT LONDON’.

Philip Boulton of Southampton, England has collated and recorded a survival rate of only 2.90% of the original production of 38,864 revolvers. For in-depth reference on Colt Model 1861 Navy percussion revolvers see ‘The Book of Colt Firearms- 3rd Edition’ by R.L. Wilson. For values, check out ‘Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms… and their values’ by Norm Flayderman.

More Colt New Model Army & Navy Percussion Revolvers

Through the Models of 1862 and 1865

A total of approximately 200,800 Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver were manufactured at the Hartford factory from circa 1860 through to circa 1873. They were serial numbered in their own range from 1 through to about 200800.

The Colt Model 1861 Navy Revolver was a streamlined version of the Model 1851 Navy. It was manufactured from 1861 through to circa 1873 in a serial range from 1 through to approx. 38843.. It came in 36 caliber with a six shot cylinder and 7½ inch round barrel with a creeping style loading lever.

The Colt Model 1862 Police Percussion Revolver was manufactured from 1861 through to circa 1873 in their own serial range from serial number 1 through to approx. 47000. The Police was in 36 caliber with a five shot rebated and half fluted cylinder.