Manufactured in 1863 with original holster. Serial 11,296. Very fine Navy model. 40% of the original blue remains on the barrel. Frame has strong case colors. Grips are good with some of the original varnish remaining. Action works perfectly. This is a top-notch example of an 1861 Navy!
Design of the Colt Model 1861 Navy was not unlike Colt's previous "Navy" offering - the Model 1851 Navy - and was essentially a refined version of the strong selling firearm. It was chambered for the .36 paper cartridges and operated from the standardized percussion principle. As a "single-action" model, the weapon required the operator to manually "cock" the hammer each time before firing. Guns of this Colt family were clearly marked along their left sides with the "Colts Patent" branding engraved text as well as the caliber size (.36), the latter something of a handy visual reference. The loading lever was of the "creeping" style. The lightweight nature and operating principles of the Model 1861 Navy allowed the weapon to be fired with some confidence from atop a horse, making it ideal for Union cavalrymen and the like. Approximately 38,500 of the Model 1861. This example being produced in 1863.
The Colt Model 1861 Navy saw usage on the battlefields of the American Civil War and, like the Colt Model 1851 Navy before it, also saw actions in the violent American expansion into the West. This Colt model, however, did not see production numbers to match its predecessor's 250,000 manufactured. Confederate forces likened the lighter Model 1861 Navy while the Union's preference was for the Model 1860 Army. The Model 1861 Navy was purchased for use by both the United States Army and Navy. It is thought that less than 3% of original Model 1861 Navy revolvers exist today, making them an extremely rare find for collectors.
Inventory Number: HAN 134