PDA

View Full Version : I found buried treasure...no joke! ***Now wit pitchers***


John Browning
04-21-2010, 7:55 PM
I found some buried treasure. Sort of. It was found in between the floorboards of a turn of the century school that is being torn down. What is this treasure you ask? Try a freaking COLT 1851 NAVY! It is in much rougher shape on one side than the other, termites must have ate the grips and it looks pretty much like it spent most of the 20th century in between the floorboards of a school, but damn, I'm happy! I've run the serial number, and it was made in mid 1863. I'm not sure what to do with it, but mechanically it does index mostly correctly, and shows signs of possibly being able to function even though it will probably never be fired.

I know this thread is worthless without pics, but it may be a couple days before I get to post them. I'm going to do some work with kroil and a rag to see what I've got.

Score!:clap:

69Mach1
04-21-2010, 7:55 PM
Freakin Score! Congrats.

kurac
04-21-2010, 8:00 PM
Nice, if it could only talk

Argonaut
04-21-2010, 8:01 PM
Super, We frequently find guns in boats that we scrap....It is always fun.

NorcalGSG
04-21-2010, 8:03 PM
SWEET! Thanks for the report

hylander
04-21-2010, 8:04 PM
That is Awsome :cool:
Awaiting Pics

John Browning
04-21-2010, 8:05 PM
Nice, if it could only talk

All I know is that it really seemed like it was very much hidden there on purpose. If I could figure out how it got there, I'd be like this all day long:

http://www.digitalbricabrac.com/gifs/aceventura.gif

finfan
04-21-2010, 8:06 PM
Nice, if it could only talk
It would know it's ABCs & arithmetic. That's a cool find!

TWoods450
04-21-2010, 8:09 PM
don't do too much cleaning/restoring, it could reduce its value. but man what are the chances?!?! awesome find.

CSACANNONEER
04-21-2010, 8:13 PM
You lucky SOB! DO NOT attempt to "clean it up" unless you know what you are doing! You could make it worth a lot less if you do not do it right.

John Browning
04-21-2010, 8:14 PM
OK, I'm too pumped to share this find, so pics will be up in a few. They will be crappy ones for now, but better than nothing. I'll get some much better ones up this weekend.

Fate
04-21-2010, 8:17 PM
That's awesome!

robertjq
04-21-2010, 8:17 PM
oh man thanks, i was looking for that!

LOL, good find!

pullnshoot25
04-21-2010, 8:22 PM
I am salivating right now. Seriously.

Eat Dirt
04-21-2010, 8:23 PM
There's going to be a BIG crowd waiting to see those pictures

45DAVID1
04-21-2010, 8:24 PM
don't tell the anti's about people taking guns to school in the 1800's or they may freak out!

mls343
04-21-2010, 8:24 PM
Waiting, waiting...

What a score! Congrats!

patriot_man
04-21-2010, 8:31 PM
:useless:

CSACANNONEER
04-21-2010, 8:36 PM
Here, let me help you post some pics of it. My camera is right here so, just send it to me. I will take pictures of it and send you the pictures. I'll just keep the old thing here to pay for my time.;)

ojisan
04-21-2010, 8:38 PM
We're waiting....
:toetap05:

John Browning
04-21-2010, 8:42 PM
Photobucket is being a beeyotch...5 more min....promise...

OK, so Photobucket hates my RAW images. Must convert to .jpg. Sorry!

Fate
04-21-2010, 8:46 PM
Tease!

CFV
04-21-2010, 8:53 PM
super tease

greyhd
04-21-2010, 8:57 PM
:toetap05:

CSACANNONEER
04-21-2010, 9:01 PM
It's been 20 minutes. I can't wait much longer. Please, just a little peak right now.

jdberger
04-21-2010, 9:03 PM
:gene:

John Browning
04-21-2010, 9:04 PM
OK, here are some really quick, crappy pics. I've only gone over it with a rag and some Kroil, so she is as she is when pulled her out of the floor it was in for the last century. Amazingly, while the parts that were on the floor took a beating, some of the naval scene is still crisp as they day it left the factory in 1863. Here she is:

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e283/scobun/1851Colt001.jpg

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e283/scobun/1851Colt006.jpg

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e283/scobun/1851Colt007.jpg

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e283/scobun/1851Colt012.jpg

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e283/scobun/1851Colt018.jpg

John Browning
04-21-2010, 9:09 PM
http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e283/scobun/1851Colt019.jpg

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e283/scobun/1851Colt024.jpg

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e283/scobun/1851Colt022-2.jpg

John Browning
04-21-2010, 9:12 PM
I'll do some proper photos this weekend. If there is anything specific you all want to see, I'm happy to entertain requests. :)

patriot_man
04-21-2010, 9:13 PM
That is just awesome!

Ronco
04-21-2010, 9:18 PM
DuraCoat that baby!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_G-EWSfJ1PwE/SVUVYBJHNeI/AAAAAAAAAuE/T7DAfQ6pYf0/s400/usfa-shootingmaster.gif





















JK;)

Mr. Beretta
04-21-2010, 9:19 PM
Wow! :eek:

Just Wow ! :eek:

CSACANNONEER
04-21-2010, 9:19 PM
It looks like it was in great shape when it was put there.

tuolumnejim
04-21-2010, 9:22 PM
You found yourself one fine piece, it's in great shape for what it is.

Eat Dirt
04-21-2010, 9:25 PM
Wow .................

What a nice find and project !!!!

ojisan
04-21-2010, 9:26 PM
Oh my!
What a find!
:jump:

Beatone
04-21-2010, 9:27 PM
Wow, killer find. :eek:

John Browning
04-21-2010, 9:34 PM
Thanks guys! I need to go buy a lotto ticket.

The two big questions are:

1. What the heck do I do with it? (i.e. Attempt to restore it? Send it off to be restored? Oil it up and keep it as is?)

2. What the heck is it worth?

I'm really not as into the Old West/Civil War stuff and don't know what the heck to do with this thing.

ojisan
04-21-2010, 9:42 PM
I would carefully remove the rust as best as possible, clean it up and find some period grips.
No refinishing.
Then glass box / wall hang it.

I'd say it is an instant family heirloom, therefore, the value is priceless.

If you can find a serial # on it, you might be able to trace some of its history.

John Browning
04-21-2010, 9:46 PM
I would carefully remove the rust as best as possible, clean it up and find some period grips.
No refinishing.
Then glass box / wall hang it.

I'd say it is an instant family heirloom, therefore, the value is priceless.

If you can find a serial # on it, you might be able to trace some of its history.

That is kind of what I was thinking. The serial number on it is still legible plain as day and all matching: 153xxx. Where can I look for more info?

Thank you for the suggestions.

CSACANNONEER
04-21-2010, 9:46 PM
It's worth about $10 but, I'm a nice guy so, I'll give you $20 for it.















I'm not a collector and I don't have the expertise to appraise it but, I'm willing to bet that it is worth no less than $500 and oossible three or four time that.

Full Clip
04-21-2010, 9:47 PM
"Turn of the century"?
You mean like 1999?
But seriously, nice find.

ojisan
04-21-2010, 9:51 PM
Colt will help you...they issue letters like S&W.
I think the research and letter was $60.
They usually show where and to who it was sold, giving clues for more research.
http://www.coltsmfg.com/faq-q1-c1-Can_I_call_the_Colt_Archive_Department_to_get_info rmation_about_my_firearm_.aspx

John Browning
04-21-2010, 9:51 PM
"Turn of the century"?
You mean like 1999?
But seriously, nice find.

I'm sure you could find a nice Hi-Point somewhere in a school built in that '99. The kids (or whoever hid it) back then took guns to school certainly had good taste. This thing was probably pretty nice when it went in there. :)

Eat Dirt
04-21-2010, 9:52 PM
Didn't Josie Wales hide one somewhere ????:2guns:

Argonaut
04-21-2010, 10:01 PM
Josie wales was fiction......But Wild Bill Hickok used 36 cal Navies in real life. Very desirable collector, could be in the 10K range if the finish is original (not a reblue) . It looks really good. Many have no original finish left at all. There were a lot of them built and they were very popular. Many were converted to cartridge pistols. There should be plenty of comps around to judge the value but I would find a real expert to ask. I had a 1849 Pocket Colt that would have been a 20K gun but it did not have matching serial numbers. I am curious if it is a blue. Maybe the gun curator at the Gene Autry would help. They have helped me with antique carriages through the years.

John Browning
04-21-2010, 10:02 PM
Didn't Josie Wales hide one somewhere ????:2guns:

Well, you had better believe I'm going to watch that movie this weekend with my 1851 Navy in hand to find out. I know John Wesley Hardin was a fan of the '51 Navy, as was Bill Hickok, Robert E. Lee, Doc Holliday, and Ned Kelly so really the chances are great it was stashed there by one of them. Right?

John Browning
04-21-2010, 10:06 PM
Josie wales was fiction......But Wild Bill Hickok used 36 cal Navies in real life. Very desirable collector, could be in the 10K range if the finish is original (not a reblue) . It looks really good. Many have no original finish left at all. There were a lot of them built and they were very popular. Many were converted to cartridge pistols. There should be plenty of comps around to judge the value but I would find a real expert to ask. I had a 1849 Pocket Colt that would have been a 20K gun but it did not have matching serial numbers. I am curious if it is a blue. Maybe the gun curator at the Gene Autry would help. They have helped me with antique carriages through the years.

The finish, at least what is left of it, is original. That much I can tell from the cylinder and barrel alone. I'll send some pictures to the Gene Autry curator and try to get a Colt letter. This thing just screams 100 kinds of cool to me, and I really appreciate everyone's suggestions. My wife thinks I'm nuts and doesn't understand what the big deal is.

I'm glad I have a place full of other equally crazy people to share with.

Fate
04-21-2010, 10:10 PM
That is soooooo freakin' cool. You probably would be blown away at how much she's worth. I'm hesitant as I don't want to lowball it. Don't overclean her or refinish her. Good leads on more info.

I'm jealous!

Fate
04-21-2010, 10:13 PM
DuraCoat that baby!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_G-EWSfJ1PwE/SVUVYBJHNeI/AAAAAAAAAuE/T7DAfQ6pYf0/s400/usfa-shootingmaster.gif





















JK;)

:ban:

RANGER295
04-21-2010, 10:20 PM
Is there anything in any of the cylinders?

Edit… I had a .36 cap and ball that was totally rusted solid but you could see had four balls in it.

Awesome find… Please do not do anything to it other than oil it until you talk to a true professional.

Japsican
04-21-2010, 10:28 PM
Take it to the Pawn Stars!:p

Ronco
04-21-2010, 10:35 PM
:ban:
Did my wife tell you to write that?? She would love it if I were banned. :p

Intimid8tor
04-21-2010, 10:36 PM
I get excited when I find a $5 bill and you find this?

Rigma
04-21-2010, 10:47 PM
I have a direction for you to look. The fact that it was hidden unloaded and with no ammunition is VERY significant.

IF the gun does indeed have a historical past, I the fact it was stashed in a school house with no ammo lends me to believe it would not have been by one of the more famous "gun-slingers."

However, it does remind me of the stories of a famous stage coach robber who was known to regularly hold up Wells Fargo Coaches with an unloaded gun (usually a shotgun though...).

Charles E. Boles (aka "Po-8" bandit, or Black Bart) was a man who lived the life of a wealthy business man in San Francisco, and would rob Wells Fargo stage lines to fund this charade.

I'm not sure the exact location where you found it, but it would sure increase the value if you could draw some links to history. It would at least be interesting to learn that the location you found it was a place he would pass through when he headed North to the Redding area to do his robberies.

It's a long shot, but it's fun to imagine.

Let me know if you need research help.

Gryff
04-21-2010, 11:15 PM
Where was the school? This is really a fascinating story.

11Z50
04-22-2010, 3:48 AM
Waaaaayyy Cooooollll!!!!

It is a great mystery about the circumstances of how/why the revolver got to it's hiding place. Perhaps the school marm offed a bully and then hid the weapon? Maybe one of the builders hid it from his spouse because like us, he couldn't resist a good deal and didn't want his wife to know???

I would try to determine when the school was actually built and who did the work. If the place was built around 1900 the 1851 Navy was a dated weapon even back then.

Certainly, a great find, and one that is worth some serious research.

Rob454
04-22-2010, 5:00 AM
Personally I would have Colt do a search for the history of the pistol. I wouldnt clean it up anymore and install the old grips back on it or some old used ones. Then have a case made/make a case for the gun and hang it on a wall. Its been there for a while. IMO its more of a history item rather than something to shoot. if you are not into the old west guns etc then you can probably sell it.
If it was me I would also try to document a value for insurance purposes.

PeterGenius
04-22-2010, 5:33 AM
Wow you were at the right place at the right time. Great find! Antique Roadshow anyone?

E Pluribus Unum
04-22-2010, 5:57 AM
All I know is that it really seemed like it was very much hidden there on purpose. If I could figure out how it got there, I'd be like this all day long:

If you find out who it is, don't tell anyone.... the anti's will want to exhume the body and charge him with carrying a gun in a school zone.

E Pluribus Unum
04-22-2010, 6:06 AM
The OP is in Contra Costa County.... Black Barts first and last robberies were in Copperopolis, Ca.... very close to CCC.

Interesting... :)

Tacom
04-22-2010, 6:36 AM
Man that is awesome. Thanks for sharing! Except I think most of us in the thread are wondering "why not me?"

kajvid
04-22-2010, 6:50 AM
$150k-$250k for a pair.

http://fineestateliquidation.com/civil-war-colt-model-1851-navy-revolvers-found-in-new-york/

John Browning
04-22-2010, 7:43 AM
Thanks for all the input guys, I really appreciate it. I'm certainly going to research this one. The first bit of research I did yesterday to make sure I've got a legit claim to ownership, and after running it past my attorney friend, he says I'm 100% the legit owner. He said I can certainly feel free to share the new aquisition, but if it turns out to be worth anything it might be best to leave the details of when, where and how it was discovered out. So at least for now, I can't share those parts here.

The one thing that really surprises me is that it seems like it was in really good shape when it went in, but that had to be 40 years after it was made at my current best guess at the age of the building.

I'll be back on later tonight to keep digging for more clues on this mystery.

Oh, and yes, it was fully unloaded when found.

paradox
04-22-2010, 8:00 AM
The OP is in Contra Costa County.... Black Barts first and last robberies were in Copperopolis, Ca.... very close to CCC.

Interesting... :)

80mi is not close at all, especially by horse.

ponderosa
04-22-2010, 8:29 AM
I'm glad you didn't wake up today and it was all a dream. That is an awesome find. Congrats!

CSACANNONEER
04-22-2010, 8:46 AM
Take it to the Pawn Stars!:p

Yea right. You do understand that Pawn Stars is totally fake. Right? When they needed a cannon, they contacted my unit along with several others offering to rent one for a day.

mlatino
04-22-2010, 9:20 AM
There's my Colt.. I've been looking for that thing.. Thanks!
It was under the floorboards at the school, right?
My lawyer will be contacting you..









ok j/k.

Tallship
04-22-2010, 9:23 AM
I would carefully remove the rust as best as possible, clean it up and find some period grips.
No refinishing.
Then glass box / wall hang it.

I'd say it is an instant family heirloom, therefore, the value is priceless.

What he said. Here is an example of an 1851 with an estimated price from an upcoming RIA auction: http://www.rockislandauction.com/view_item.aspx?aid=49&iid=256463

The events of how you found it make it worth far more to you than to anyone else.

Fate
04-22-2010, 9:26 AM
I get excited when I find a $5 bill and you find this?

Haha...yeah. My sentiments exactly. Going to go outside and shake my fist at the sky again and shout, "Why NOT me?!?!"

:o

TregoMark
04-22-2010, 11:19 AM
Sweet find! Here's one auctioned in '06 that's close in serial number:

http://www.cowanauctions.com/past_sales_view_item.asp?ItemId=33452

another:

https://www.gunrunnerauctions.com/listings/details/index.cfm?itemnum=954881449

eighteenninetytwo
04-22-2010, 1:00 PM
Excellent find , very jealous. It reminds me (like I needed reminding) of why we like curio and relic stuff. For the floorboards of the school, read every pawn and second hand shop and old gun store back room we visit, hoping to try to find a treasure under dust and grease. LOVE IT.

E Pluribus Unum
04-22-2010, 3:01 PM
80mi is not close at all, especially by horse.

California is 164 thousand square miles. I think 81 is darned close considering the area.

Have you ever traveled far on a horse? I have.

81 miles is not that far; you could easily cover it in a couple days. Black Bart robbed coachs all over northern California and Oregon; 81 miles is a walk in the park compared to the ground he covered.

paradox
04-22-2010, 4:13 PM
California is 164 thousand square miles. I think 81 is darned close considering the area.

Have you ever traveled far on a horse? I have.

81 miles is not that far; you could easily cover it in a couple days. Black Bart robbed coachs all over northern California and Oregon; 81 miles is a walk in the park compared to the ground he covered.

So any old pistol recovered anywhere in northern California could be Black Bart's pistol?

The original assumption was that since Contra Costa county was "close" to Copperopolis it could be Black Bart's gun that he stashed away. Nobody would ride several days out of their way to stash a gun. Measured by convience in horse-n-buggy time, Tuolumne and Contra Costa counties aren't close. Hell, even with cars, I don't consider Groveland and Sonora to be close enough to stash a gun and they're in the same county!

Now if he'd found the gun in the historic Altaville school, things might be a bit different...

wamphyri13
04-22-2010, 4:26 PM
Tagged

E Pluribus Unum
04-22-2010, 4:56 PM
The OP is in Contra Costa County.... Black Barts first and last robberies were in Copperopolis, Ca.... very close to CCC.

Interesting... :)

80mi is not close at all, especially by horse.


California is 164 thousand square miles. I think 81 is darned close considering the area.

Have you ever traveled far on a horse? I have.

81 miles is not that far; you could easily cover it in a couple days. Black Bart robbed coaches all over northern California and Oregon; 81 miles is a walk in the park compared to the ground he covered.


So any old pistol recovered anywhere in northern California could be Black Bart's pistol?

All I said is that it was interesting. Personally, I think it is very unlikely that is Black Bart's gun; if it were a shotgun, my opinion might be different. I was simply pointing out that in this vast state, it was found 80 miles from Bart's most famous robbery site.


The original assumption was that since Contra Costa county was "close" to Copperopolis it could be Black Bart's gun that he stashed away.

No, that was not the original assumption. The original assumption was made before I got involved: that it was Black Bart's gun. I simply pointed out the fact that his first and last robberies were near CCC; they were. I am a history buff and I have studied California bandits like Black Bart, and Murieta, et cetera. I was trying to be helpful; I was not intending to endorse the theory, but it certainly could be explored.


Nobody would ride several days out of their way to stash a gun. Measured by convenience in horse-n-buggy time, Tuolumne and Contra Costa counties aren't close. Hell, even with cars, I don't consider Groveland and Sonora to be close enough to stash a gun and they're in the same county!

Actually, that was quite common. Why would they hide their guns closer to where they were going to rob someone?? The idea was to rob a stagecoach and then get out of the area. It would not make much sense to rob a stagecoach in Copperopolis and have to remain there to retrieve his weapons. It is much more likely that he would rob the stagecoach, run to copperopolis where he changes his appearance, sheds the gun, and blends into society. Guns were very expensive back then. They cost several month's salaries; not many people would discard a firearm that costs $5000.

Do a little research on 18th-19th century bandits and you will find that it is very consistent with the modus de operandi.

doc1buc
04-22-2010, 5:28 PM
If you find out who it is, don't tell anyone.... the anti's will want to exhume the body and charge him with carrying a gun in a school zone.
:rofl2: :detective:

John Browning
04-22-2010, 7:05 PM
All I said is that it was interesting. Personally, I think it is very unlikely that is Black Bart's gun; if it were a shotgun, my opinion might be different. I was simply pointing out that in this vast state, it was found 80 miles from Bart's most famous robbery site.



No, that was not the original assumption. The original assumption was made before I got involved: that it was Black Bart's gun. I simply pointed out the fact that his first and last robberies were near CCC; they were. I am a history buff and I have studied California bandits like Black Bart, and Murieta, et cetera. I was trying to be helpful; I was not intending to endorse the theory, but it certainly could be explored.



Actually, that was quite common. Why would they hide their guns closer to where they were going to rob someone?? The idea was to rob a stagecoach and then get out of the area. It would not make much sense to rob a stagecoach in Copperopolis and have to remain there to retrieve his weapons. It is much more likely that he would rob the stagecoach, run to copperopolis where he changes his appearance, sheds the gun, and blends into society. Guns were very expensive back then. They cost several month's salaries; not many people would discard a firearm that costs $5000.

Do a little research on 18th-19th century bandits and you will find that it is very consistent with the modus de operandi.

I was totally kidding when I said that it was stashed by some outlaw, but it was absolutely stashed and not forgotten, lost or mislaid. I have to admit, you've really got me interested. I just hope I can find something out, but then again the ability to imagine whatever you want is neat, too.

cmaher55
04-22-2010, 8:19 PM
Ok, pics yet...? Kinda on the fence until I see some pics....? Regards

E Pluribus Unum
04-22-2010, 9:33 PM
Ok, pics yet...? Kinda on the fence until I see some pics....? Regards

Where have you been?? Been there, done that... pics were already posted.. :)

John Browning
04-22-2010, 10:59 PM
After a few hours with some scrub pads and oil, I had to switch up to using some polishing compound and my dremel. I think I've just about got her cleaned up. Another hour or so and the brass frame will be shiny and new.








Just kidding. Strangely, there really isn't that much rust on it. I've only hit it with a rag and some Kroil/WD-40. I don't know what ate the finish and pitted the metal, I've never seen anything like it before. It looks pretty much exactly the same as in the pics after going over it with a rag and some oil.

jdberger
04-22-2010, 11:37 PM
blood

Ajax22 has a post with some pics of rusted guns. One was spattered with blood and the rust patterns were pretty similar.

kar6man
04-23-2010, 8:42 AM
Awesome find! As for finding out more information on it, whoever said to contact Colt was right. They will research it for you as much as possible. I'm not sure if they kept records of the specific buyer back then. My dad has a 1889 Colt SAA that was given to him and when we contacted Colt all that they were able to tell us was the is was sold to in a hardware store in New York City at the time. Good luck with your search!

pdq_wizzard
04-23-2010, 9:06 AM
I wish I could find buried treasure :eek:

sweet find!

Eat Dirt
04-23-2010, 9:11 AM
I wish I could find buried treasure :eek:

sweet find!


Me Too ..... I just find buried rocks !!!!!

Gryff
04-23-2010, 9:38 AM
Awesome find! As for finding out more information on it, whoever said to contact Colt was right. They will research it for you as much as possible. I'm not sure if they kept records of the specific buyer back then. My dad has a 1889 Colt SAA that was given to him and when we contacted Colt all that they were able to tell us was the is was sold to in a hardware store in New York City at the time. Good luck with your search!

Unless it was bought directly from Colt, the company wouldn't know who the individual buyer was. They will be able to tell you the dealer it was sold to as well as the year. That can be pretty cool info.

echo1
04-23-2010, 9:39 AM
That's a real great find. My buddys a general contractor and found a nickel plated 1896 Iver Johnson Gun & Cycle Works Safety Hammer in .38 S&W, in the floor of a Victorian he was restoring. He didn't like guns and gave it to me. Cleanded up nice.

Hoologan
04-23-2010, 10:13 AM
Is that on the Roster?

lol, j/k

Sweet find man!!

lmudave
04-23-2010, 10:41 AM
http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/2586/oldmany.gif (http://img691.imageshack.us/i/oldmany.gif/)

That's where I put it!!!! Now if I can just find my keys i'll be all set!
I'll swing by to pick it up this afternoon, even give you a period correct finders fee - $ .02 Thanks!

glennbtw
04-23-2010, 2:35 PM
The OP is in Contra Costa County.... Black Barts first and last robberies were in Copperopolis, Ca.... very close to CCC.

Interesting... :)

Black Bart, Joaquin Murrietta and others operated extensively in CoCo County. It was a rather lawless place in the mid to late 1800's. Excerpt from a piece in the Brentwood Press;

"One of the most prominent and vicious of the outlaw bands attacking the isolated ranchos of old Contra Costa was led by Claudio Feliz, Joaquin Murrieta’s brother-in-law. Claudio mounted an armed assault on Dr. Marsh’s Rancho Los Meganos, on December 5, 1850. After spending a pleasant afternoon as a guest of John Marsh, Claudio returned that night with a dozen outlaws armed with guns and lances. They overran the rancho, captured Marsh, looted the adobe ranch house, and just for fun, speared to death William Harrington, an unresisting Anglo visitor. The bandits escaped with $300, gold watches and guns. However Marsh was luckier than he knew. "

OP doesn't say where, but if it is from CoCo County I wouldn't be surprised.

E Pluribus Unum
04-23-2010, 4:13 PM
Black Bart, Joaquin Murrietta and others operated extensively in CoCo County. It was a rather lawless place in the mid to late 1800's. Excerpt from a piece in the Brentwood Press;

"One of the most prominent and vicious of the outlaw bands attacking the isolated ranchos of old Contra Costa was led by Claudio Feliz, Joaquin Murrieta’s brother-in-law. Claudio mounted an armed assault on Dr. Marsh’s Rancho Los Meganos, on December 5, 1850. After spending a pleasant afternoon as a guest of John Marsh, Claudio returned that night with a dozen outlaws armed with guns and lances. They overran the rancho, captured Marsh, looted the adobe ranch house, and just for fun, speared to death William Harrington, an unresisting Anglo visitor. The bandits escaped with $300, gold watches and guns. However Marsh was luckier than he knew. "

OP doesn't say where, but if it is from CoCo County I wouldn't be surprised.

Murieta was all over. He even spent significant time in the San Joaquin valley as far south as Bakersfield.

John Browning
04-23-2010, 5:05 PM
Black Bart, Joaquin Murrietta and others operated extensively in CoCo County. It was a rather lawless place in the mid to late 1800's. Excerpt from a piece in the Brentwood Press;

"One of the most prominent and vicious of the outlaw bands attacking the isolated ranchos of old Contra Costa was led by Claudio Feliz, Joaquin Murrieta’s brother-in-law. Claudio mounted an armed assault on Dr. Marsh’s Rancho Los Meganos, on December 5, 1850. After spending a pleasant afternoon as a guest of John Marsh, Claudio returned that night with a dozen outlaws armed with guns and lances. They overran the rancho, captured Marsh, looted the adobe ranch house, and just for fun, speared to death William Harrington, an unresisting Anglo visitor. The bandits escaped with $300, gold watches and guns. However Marsh was luckier than he knew. "

OP doesn't say where, but if it is from CoCo County I wouldn't be surprised.

Holy crap! I live in Brentwood! This was found in an area that these guys would have been operating if they were working out my way. This just got even more interesting....

Super Spy
04-23-2010, 5:23 PM
Your one lucky Dude! Buy a MegaMillions ticket!

scrat
04-24-2010, 7:22 PM
DuraCoat that baby!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_G-EWSfJ1PwE/SVUVYBJHNeI/AAAAAAAAAuE/T7DAfQ6pYf0/s400/usfa-shootingmaster.gif







JK;)

That would be the stupidist thing in the world to do. Restore it to its original glory. not too sure if it would ever be shootable. the trigger guard can be straightened. You need to check all the serial numbers to see if they match. Id give my left nut for that

smle-man
04-24-2010, 9:26 PM
Relic class guns are a hot collectable in their own right. Document how it was found, get the Colt letter (be prepared to pay a hefty sum) and leave it as found.

1*mike
04-24-2010, 9:39 PM
Whatever you do just keep CG family in the loop

jmzhwells
04-24-2010, 9:54 PM
I didn't know Nighthawk made revolvers, I'll have to check their website, I think I like that model.

TRAP55
04-25-2010, 1:11 PM
scobun, the black on the brass frame is whats left of a thin silver plate. Be extra careful not to "clean" off what's left.

John Browning
04-25-2010, 3:22 PM
scobun, the black on the brass frame is whats left of a thin silver plate. Be extra careful not to "clean" off what's left.

100% right, good catch. I didn't notice it was plating.

I've done some cleaning consisting of really just going over it with some kroil and a rag. The rust is almost all still there and it looks pretty much identical to how it appears in the pictures. I'm now not as sure that it hasn't been reblued since the "O" in Colt appears to not come full circle. It is mechanically 100%, it indexes correctly now at half and full cock on all cylinders, and only needs to have the mainspring changed or bent back into place, it will not come back to make contact with the hammer from anywhere past half cock to completely lowered. I think it may have sat in there at half cock and that is why the spring is now unable to return to its normal position. I know that springs lose their ability to function under repeated compressions, but I'm wondering if 100 years at half cock for a spring made of 1863 steel is exempt from the repeated compression rule.

The wedge is still stuck in place, so I haven't tried to dissasemble the thing. Next step is to get a Colt letter, and then contact the curator at the Autry museum, and take it to Butterfields and Butterfields for an appraisal. The silver plating makes it even more interesting. This thing gets neater at every turn.

Thanks for all the help guys. I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am. This is a hoot!

Doheny
04-25-2010, 3:27 PM
***Now wit pitchers***

Pitchers? Huh? ;)

http://blog.kir.com/archives/Roy%20O17.jpg

John Browning
04-25-2010, 3:34 PM
Pitchers? Huh? ;)

http://blog.kir.com/archives/Roy%20O17.jpg

Sorry, I meant pichers. I'm not that fluent in hippy. :)

http://i573.photobucket.com/albums/ss177/BeefyBeefo/ThreadWorthless.jpg

Eat Dirt
04-25-2010, 6:27 PM
100% right, good catch. I didn't notice it was plating.



Thanks for all the help guys. I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am. This is a hoot!

Every time I see a ' New ' post
I jump over to check it out to see whats new or any new pictures

Ronco
04-25-2010, 9:35 PM
That would be the stupidist thing in the world to do. Restore it to its original glory. not too sure if it would ever be shootable. the trigger guard can be straightened. You need to check all the serial numbers to see if they match. Id give my left nut for thatDuraCoat that baby!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_G-EWSfJ1PwE/SVUVYBJHNeI/AAAAAAAAAuE/T7DAfQ6pYf0/s400/usfa-shootingmaster.gif



JK :D



Scrat's right... Don't DuraCoat it. That would be the stupidest thing in the whole wide world. You should chrome plate it instead then add fake ivory grips and have it engraved. Thats what you should do. ;)

http://keystonearsenal.secure-mall.com/shop/images/174-277_th.jpg

John Browning
04-25-2010, 9:38 PM
Scrat's right... Don't DuraCoat it. That would be the stupidest thing in the whole wide world. You should chrome plate it instead then add fake ivory grips and have it engraved. Thats what you should do. ;)

http://keystonearsenal.secure-mall.com/shop/images/174-277_th.jpg

Krylon all the way. Two tone. I'm thinking red and gold.

Doheny
04-25-2010, 9:45 PM
Sorry, I meant pichers. I'm not that fluent in hippy. :)



Just bustin' your chops. Cool find for you.

TRAP55
04-25-2010, 10:30 PM
Keep up the soaking with Kroil.
As the rust softens up, you can scrape it off without damaging any remaining finish. Use a piece of heavy gauge copper wire, or small OD copper tubing, and hammer a chisel point on the end for a scraper. The copper will scrape the rust away without removing any bluing.
Use a plastic head hammer and tap the wedge from both sides between soaking. Tap all the screw heads too, and soak some more.
The O in Colt just looks like a light strike when it was stamped, pretty common. There's other indicators of a re-blue, and I'm not seeing any on the gun.
Don't worry about the mainspring until you get it apart, my bet is the hammer stirrup is rusty and binding with the spring. And/or the hand and spring are too. Don't cock it anymore than you have to, those hand springs are easy to break, and a pain to replace.
Colt will charge you to research the gun, weather they have records or not. You're paying them to look, "IF" they have them, you get a copy.
Unless the Colt letter provides some famous connection by providence, don't get your hopes up on value. The letter will probably only show when it was made, features, and what retailer it was shipped to, and when. Some of these guns were sold well into the turn of the century. Even if Colt can't letter it, that's one cool find!
BTW...if you need help getting it apart, feel free to give me a holler, I'd be glad to help out.

John Browning
06-10-2010, 10:05 PM
Well, I haven't done any more restoring other than hitting it with oil and cloth. It is too old for a Colt letter, and my research has come to a dead end. I just don't know what to do with this thing, so I'm putting it up on an auction site to see what it might be worth. If anyone here is really interested, PM me and I'll get you the link. I've got new pictures up if you want to see them, I can post here or you can see them on the auction site.

I'd love to keep it, but there are too many other things I'd like to have first.

telcolineman
06-10-2010, 10:23 PM
Holy Crap, Score

xibunkrlilkidsx
06-10-2010, 10:40 PM
Well, I haven't done any more restoring other than hitting it with oil and cloth. It is too old for a Colt letter, and my research has come to a dead end. I just don't know what to do with this thing, so I'm putting it up on an auction site to see what it might be worth. If anyone here is really interested, PM me and I'll get you the link. I've got new pictures up if you want to see them, I can post here or you can see them on the auction site.

I'd love to keep it, but there are too many other things I'd like to have first.

personally your nuts for selling this thing. its sat 100years or so already in some floorboards. im sure it would last a couple years in your safe while you find parts.

Czechsix
06-11-2010, 12:23 AM
Helluva find, I'd like to see what it eventually goes for.

And I agree that I wouldn't sell it either....you'll never see another one like it, and all the other things that you want can be bought in time.

Eat Dirt
06-11-2010, 7:14 AM
I think that there still a lot of people here that would like to see how this all works out for you ( Me included)
Where do you have it listed ?

Also post up some new pictures

This is a Great story ........... Don't leave us hanging..... We want to read the ending

John Browning
06-11-2010, 8:55 AM
I was really hoping to try to figure out more about the history, but with no Colt letter and no other information I hit a dead end. I don't really want to sell it, but after talking to a few people the numbers they started to talk about possibly reaching in an auction were pretty crazy. I'd really like to get myself either a Cooper Excalibur or some toys for my family trust in Reno that I can actually use, so we'll see what happens. If it doesn't get close to the appraisals, the next stop will be Butterfields, and if it still doesn't make it then I'll probably hold on to it for a few years.

I don't want to use this forum as a way to drive people to my auction. I will tell you it is on Gunbroker, and I'm happy to give the link in a PM. I will definitely keep you all posted as to how this turns out.

Here are some new pics:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4056/4688639983_8204772aa1_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4035/4688648001_867328398a_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4040/4689277730_a671c619f3_b.jpg