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  #1  
Old 05-04-2022, 9:57 PM
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Default I Want To Buy a Colt 1851 Navy - questions

i've been looking at buying a Navy for 6 years. I"ve done a little research on them....
Seems that appearance, matching serial #s, patina, the amount of the original finish, and the visibility of the Naval scene on the cylinder are key.

I'd like to ultimately get 2 of them. a shooter and a safe queen.
I guess you could say that "funcionality" is my main concern.
I"ve looked on lots of auction sites and it's hard to get a read if they are just way over charging, under charging. seems that at the very least, an auction house can conservativly give a value range on a gun and then give a somewhat accurate decision, seeing as the gun is in thier possesion and has been (hopefully) examined by a professional.

i'm an M1-head, so i'm trying to approach this from the same evaluation criteria. is there a guage similar to an an M1 TE/MW guage? how do you measure the wear? can rifling be re-etched if it is lacking?
i've seen in movies (good/bad/ugly) like the sceen where Tuco goes into a store and takes apart a number of colts and checks the cylinder by listening to the click as he rotates it. i guess that enables you to find out if one of the chambers is bad. just a guess, but i've seen read about it in a few articles. What is this test called? (if anything)?
what other "functional" items do i need to evaluate?

here is a link to a gunbroker colt. seems decent (not amazing) matching serials, flat back trigger housing, a partially visible naval scene on the cylinder. some patina (i know that can be faked)

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/931530856

perhaps if you look at this listing you can explain things to look for and questions to ask that would help me in finding a good shooter. I'm thinking of leaving it black-powder, but there is always the chance i might throw in an uberti conversion cylinder in it. not sure. not so important in the purchase i think.

thanks in advance!!!
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Old 05-05-2022, 1:14 AM
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I only know where I would by it from. From this site. It's mainly like minded folks trading around. The prices are cheaper. The selection is meager and it takes a lot of patience to find what you want.

Recently a great shooter 1858 Remmington went for $1300.
A real good Ruger Old Army for $750.
Both tempted me.

https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/t...l-army.145861/

https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/t...to-750.140279/

I bought a gun there a month ago. And a few over the years. And sold some too. It's all traditional black powder and no modern inlines allowed to even be mentioned in the forum.
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Old 05-05-2022, 4:02 AM
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Get a Uberti reproduction 1851 and send it to someone for proper tuning if you want a shooter.

Using a smokeless conversion cylinder in an original Colt 1851 is a bad idea and very unsafe.

If you want to look at lots of very nice original 1851’s, then search the catalog at Rock Island Auction (remember that auction fees will raise the Price substantially).
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Old 05-05-2022, 4:30 PM
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NeW today.

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Old 05-05-2022, 4:33 PM
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You want a "shooter" grade original Colt 1851? Why not just get a repro to shoot?
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Old 05-05-2022, 5:29 PM
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I am not going to say anything one way or the other on shooting it..That is your decision..I will say I think that one is overpriced in my opinion..Good Luck whatever you decide on..
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Old 05-05-2022, 7:26 PM
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Originally Posted by California_Deplorable View Post
You want a "shooter" grade original Colt 1851? Why not just get a repro to shoot?
Because sometimes it's fun to see what they were really like and why people liked them so much rather than what some Italian company thinks they were like based on a few examples and figuring out how to mass produce them.

I want an original pocket pistol. As they were the most sold of the cap and ball colts there are LOTS of fine examples out there. I won't have to keep mine museum quality and can go ahead and shoot it.
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Old 05-05-2022, 7:41 PM
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The Colt 1849 .31 caliber is the pocket pistol that sold 300K plus copies.

They are a lot less expensive than an 1851 Navy.
(.36 cal).
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Old 05-05-2022, 8:14 PM
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I am not going to say anything one way or the other on shooting it..That is your decision..I will say I think that one is overpriced in my opinion..Good Luck whatever you decide on..

but this is still helpful. if you feel that it's overpriced and that's good info
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Old 05-05-2022, 8:17 PM
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Originally Posted by NapalmCheese View Post
Because sometimes it's fun to see what they were really like and why people liked them so much rather than what some Italian company thinks they were like based on a few examples and figuring out how to mass produce them.

I want an original pocket pistol. As they were the most sold of the cap and ball colts there are LOTS of fine examples out there. I won't have to keep mine museum quality and can go ahead and shoot it.
yes, i prefer to have the real thing. not a repo. it would be like buying a reproduction M1.......shamefull.

i think i saw hickok45 shoot a converted one along with a non-converted one.

but again. how do you measure the wear of the barrel? is there a tool? is there a known spec out there? are their lots of forgeries out there?
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Old 05-05-2022, 8:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Elgatodeacero View Post
Get a Uberti reproduction 1851 and send it to someone for proper tuning if you want a shooter.

Using a smokeless conversion cylinder in an original Colt 1851 is a bad idea and very unsafe.

If you want to look at lots of very nice original 1851ís, then search the catalog at Rock Island Auction (remember that auction fees will raise the Price substantially).
didn't they make a .38 conversion kit in the 1870's or 80's?
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Old 05-05-2022, 9:19 PM
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Have you researched 1850's metallurgy, the processes they used to harden steel?
It was very rudimentary, basically not much more than wrought iron/ You will not know what repairs, damage, heavy use that old revolver you're shooting went through over the last 140 years.

Keith stated in his 1961 book, Six Guns that when he was young, the single most common gunsmith repair was pre-1906 SAA's that had been bulged or split with smokeless ammo.

You're risking your investment, eyes, and fingers on what is a notch above wrought iron and a bomb inside it.

I have owned a lot of original Colts and black powder arms including an 1886 SAA, I shot most of them with powder, no projectile (no pressure) as I was curious to see them flame and smoke.

As mentioned above if you want to shoot antiques with even a low pressure load you're taking a risk, use a nice Italian replica, fingers don't grow back.

Just my 2 cents.

* Some "salty" old originals I shot with powder, but no ball, lol - the one on the right is a .38 conversion I popped some black powder blank in it and it ran fine, no need to put a real bullet in it - the replicas are just as much fun to shoot without worrying about the barrel going through the target.
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Old 05-05-2022, 9:27 PM
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Originally Posted by FluorideInMyWater View Post
yes, i prefer to have the real thing. not a repo. it would be like buying a reproduction M1.......shamefull.

i think i saw hickok45 shoot a converted one along with a non-converted one.

but again. how do you measure the wear of the barrel? is there a tool? is there a known spec out there? are their lots of forgeries out there?
Based on what Elmer Keith wrote about the old Colt's... You don't really measure it so much since the bore diameters were all over the map. I don't know if there's a way to measure the depth of the rifling, maybe cerocast the bore?

Could also check the engagement of the wedge (shouldn't be super deep), and the cylinder gap. See if the internals (the hand specifically) is in good shape. Make sure the nipples are stripped.
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Old 05-05-2022, 9:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elgatodeacero View Post
The Colt 1849 .31 caliber is the pocket pistol that sold 300K plus copies.

They are a lot less expensive than an 1851 Navy.
(.36 cal).
Precisely!
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Old 05-06-2022, 3:02 AM
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I understand your desire to find an original 1851 Colt Navy, a consideration that several people that have posted on this thread seem to have lost sight of. Nothing beats having an original. In typical internet fashion you got a slew of replies that are basically non sequiter in relation to the original question so I will take a stab at answering it:

The gun that you posted the link to is a nice honest example of a very early '51 Colt and is priced accordingly. If I saw it in person and was able to give it a close inspection, I would be very tempted to buy it.

But.........

There is no way I would shoot an original 171 year old gun. They are just too valuable to risk damaging them to be worth the experience. For that purpose I would buy one of the reproduction Navies that are on the market. If you want something that would be classified as an actual Colt, look for one of the Colt Blackpowder Series '51 Navies and use that as a shooter. While there are those that would argue that they aren't a "real" Colt, the "F" and "C" series will letter as a Colt from the factory and as an added bonus, they don't have the plethora of Italian proofs stamped on them that the Ubertis and Piettas have.

These are my Colt 1851 Navies. the cased one is a "F" series and the other is a "C" series.


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Old 05-06-2022, 4:47 AM
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Well maybe I will say something about shooting these old ones,LOL..

I do not think I would shoot a cartridge conversion so much in one..But the oldest original I shoot is a 1816 Harpers ferry..Also a Civil War Manhattan .36 Revolver, 1877 Colt and a Civil War era Remington Army, a couple 1800s Marlin Lever guns, and so on..I keep all BP loads light..Well under original loadings..I do not worry one bit about harm to the Firearm or the self in doing so..Do I take em out daily and fire 100 rounds, no..But they would I am sure as they are all in shootable condition, that is the key more than anything,,Safe to fire condition..

No deeply pitted chambers and bores for sure..

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Old 05-07-2022, 8:40 PM
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Originally Posted by highpower View Post
I understand your desire to find an original 1851 Colt Navy, a consideration that several people that have posted on this thread seem to have lost sight of. Nothing beats having an original. In typical internet fashion you got a slew of replies that are basically non sequiter in relation to the original question so I will take a stab at answering it:

The gun that you posted the link to is a nice honest example of a very early '51 Colt and is priced accordingly. If I saw it in person and was able to give it a close inspection, I would be very tempted to buy it.

But.........

There is no way I would shoot an original 171 year old gun. They are just too valuable to risk damaging them to be worth the experience. For that purpose I would buy one of the reproduction Navies that are on the market. If you want something that would be classified as an actual Colt, look for one of the Colt Blackpowder Series '51 Navies and use that as a shooter. While there are those that would argue that they aren't a "real" Colt, the "F" and "C" series will letter as a Colt from the factory and as an added bonus, they don't have the plethora of Italian proofs stamped on them that the Ubertis and Piettas have.

These are my Colt 1851 Navies. the cased one is a "F" series and the other is a "C" series.


yes, you are on point. honestly, i'm more of a collector than a shooter. i'm fine with not converting it to smokeless powder. for me, it is more of a collector's safe queen (or mounted in a shadowbox on the wall).

i agree with everyone that it could be potentially deadly firing a 150 year old gun. i had just seen someone on YouTube who converted it to smokeless using an Uberti conversion kit......but i'm fine just owning it. i forgot about the potential danger, like not shooting a 1903 under the serial # 8million b/c of catastrophic failures.

that second picture is a gem. i'm sure it's worth an arm/leg/spleen/first-born
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Old 05-07-2022, 9:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluorideInMyWater View Post
i'm an M1-head, so i'm trying to approach this from the same evaluation criteria. is there a guage similar to an an M1 TE/MW guage? how do you measure the wear? can rifling be re-etched if it is lacking?
i've seen in movies (good/bad/ugly) like the sceen where Tuco goes into a store and takes apart a number of colts and checks the cylinder by listening to the click as he rotates it. i guess that enables you to find out if one of the chambers is bad. just a guess, but i've seen read about it in a few articles. What is this test called? (if anything)?
what other "functional" items do i need to evaluate?
For some of your technical questions, cap and ball don't get TE/MW like an M1. More commonly, they have pitting from rust. If they were used and abused, the cylinder will be loose, have lots of end shake, the barrel wedge will get worn and won't lock up, hand will get worn and won't lock the cylinder, basically, everything gets loose.

I would recommend you watch a few videos on youtube about tuning repro revolvers, that will tell you what a revolver in good condition should do.

My short version would be, overall look at the patina and check serial numbers on parts to see if they match. Pull back the hammer with a very light drag on the cylinder from you other hand and see if each chamber locks up properly. Barrel tight on arbor? Cylinder gap/end shake. Barrel, check muzzle for dings/damage, look at rifling to see how sharp the edges are (Colts were gain twist, as far as I know, no replicas have that). Any shims in the arbor hole? Cylinder should have engraving in line with the condition of the rest of the piece. Check for pitting in the chambers. If you can take the nipples/cones out to make sure they are free, check that. On the frame, check if the arbor is tight in the frame. Check the bottom of the grip to see how many times someone used it as a hammer.....
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Old 05-08-2022, 9:35 AM
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For my money I would buy an Uberti repro through Taylor's, they disassemble and tune the guns before sale.

https://taylorsfirearms.com/hand-gun...nufacturer=173
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Old 05-08-2022, 7:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highpower View Post
I understand your desire to find an original 1851 Colt Navy, a consideration that several people that have posted on this thread seem to have lost sight of. Nothing beats having an original. In typical internet fashion you got a slew of replies that are basically non sequiter in relation to the original question so I will take a stab at answering it:

The gun that you posted the link to is a nice honest example of a very early '51 Colt and is priced accordingly. If I saw it in person and was able to give it a close inspection, I would be very tempted to buy it.

But.........

There is no way I would shoot an original 171 year old gun. They are just too valuable to risk damaging them to be worth the experience. For that purpose I would buy one of the reproduction Navies that are on the market. If you want something that would be classified as an actual Colt, look for one of the Colt Blackpowder Series '51 Navies and use that as a shooter. While there are those that would argue that they aren't a "real" Colt, the "F" and "C" series will letter as a Colt from the factory and as an added bonus, they don't have the plethora of Italian proofs stamped on them that the Ubertis and Piettas have.

These are my Colt 1851 Navies. the cased one is a "F" series and the other is a "C" series.


https://www.gunbroker.com/item/931530856
i got the owner to take some more pictures of that particular gun.
there are more on the link, but here are 3
1 - the bore
2 - disassembled
3 - the cylinder with a good picture of the engraving.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cylinder.jpg (55.2 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg disassembled.jpg (50.9 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg barrel.jpg (53.3 KB, 8 views)
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Old 05-09-2022, 8:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluorideInMyWater View Post
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/931530856
i got the owner to take some more pictures of that particular gun.
there are more on the link, but here are 3
1 - the bore
2 - disassembled
3 - the cylinder with a good picture of the engraving.
I'd take that to the range, it looks pretty good. First year production, squareback, there is a lot going for this one and the price seems in line with what I have seen elsewhere.
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Old 05-09-2022, 4:44 PM
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I'd take that to the range, it looks pretty good. First year production, squareback, there is a lot going for this one and the price seems in line with what I have seen elsewhere.
ok, i appreciate your comments! i appreciate good comments as well as bad. saves me from making bad decisions.

would you try to negotiate on this price? one person mentioned to me that they felt it was on the high end.

one-off question. do these appreciate in value well?
i'm an M1-head. i bought a bunch 15 years ago and they have quadrupled in price, but there is high demand and deminishing quantity (from the CMP at least...they have been sold out for 5 years)
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Old 05-09-2022, 4:49 PM
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decision was made for me. it sold for $4300. there were not bids until 1/2 hour before the listing ended. i guess it was a good one. i would not have been able to spend more than $3k, so oh well.
thanks for all your input. i'll have to scout for another one.
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Old 05-13-2022, 6:07 PM
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so i found another one on an auction site.
gun is all original with matching serials EXCEPT for the barrel. the barrel is within the same period i believe. gun is 2-million and the barrel is 2.1 million. it's a civilian model i was told and that only 1000 were made that year (1867).

my only concern is the barrel. it has dings and pits on the part with the colt navy address but the rest looks ok. seller wants $1650, gun seems to have a lot going for it except for the non-matching barrel. i'm not sure how much another barrel would be or if there is any way to track down a barrel by serial # (that would be cool). if it weren't for the dings it be all-in, so i need some feed back.
attached are a few pics for your consideration.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg barrel 2.jpg (91.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg barrel1.jpg (59.2 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg colt address.jpg (53.0 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg colt.jpg (91.4 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg cylinderb.jpg (77.2 KB, 8 views)
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Old 05-13-2022, 6:55 PM
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Personally, I would cherish an original Colt and not shoot it or shoot it very little at reduced loads. Modern replicas are much stronger than the originals and are very close in feel and function. I would not even think about putting a conversion cylinder in a original Colt. Conversion cylinders are made to fit specific brands of new reproduction's. Don't do it. There is not going to be any more Originals made. We are the curators of the past and it is up to us to preserve it.
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Old 05-13-2022, 8:22 PM
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Personally, I would cherish an original Colt and not shoot it or shoot it very little at reduced loads. Modern replicas are much stronger than the originals and are very close in feel and function. I would not even think about putting a conversion cylinder in a original Colt. Conversion cylinders are made to fit specific brands of new reproduction's. Don't do it. There is not going to be any more Originals made. We are the curators of the past and it is up to us to preserve it.
i agree. do you have any input on the gun's price or the barrel?
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Old 05-13-2022, 9:00 PM
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so i found another one on an auction site.
gun is all original with matching serials EXCEPT for the barrel. the barrel is within the same period i believe. gun is 2-million and the barrel is 2.1 million. it's a civilian model i was told and that only 1000 were made that year (1867).

my only concern is the barrel. it has dings and pits on the part with the colt navy address but the rest looks ok. seller wants $1650, gun seems to have a lot going for it except for the non-matching barrel. i'm not sure how much another barrel would be or if there is any way to track down a barrel by serial # (that would be cool). if it weren't for the dings it be all-in, so i need some feed back.
attached are a few pics for your consideration.
From what I've seen, $1650 would be on the low end for a functional 1851 Navy. FYI, your decimal point is off on the serial number, they made a bit over 200,000, not millions, that M1 rifle lingo is coming through . Cartridges were taking over by 1867 so low production for that year is not a surprise on an older design like the 1851. The upside, is the later revolvers generally saw less use and are frequently in better condition than those that went through the gold rush or the Civil War, etc.

I would get lots of pics and compare to resource material for how the Colt address should be and font and size for serial number stampings. Here is one with a close-ish serial number for comparison

https://www.collectorsfirearms.com/p...avy-ac234.html
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Old 05-13-2022, 9:55 PM
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From what I've seen, $1650 would be on the low end for a functional 1851 Navy. FYI, your decimal point is off on the serial number, they made a bit over 200,000, not millions, that M1 rifle lingo is coming through . Cartridges were taking over by 1867 so low production for that year is not a surprise on an older design like the 1851. The upside, is the later revolvers generally saw less use and are frequently in better condition than those that went through the gold rush or the Civil War, etc.

I would get lots of pics and compare to resource material for how the Colt address should be and font and size for serial number stampings. Here is one with a close-ish serial number for comparison

https://www.collectorsfirearms.com/p...avy-ac234.html
yes, you are correct. my decimal point was significantly off. original was 200,xxx and barrel was 210,xxx
i was told by a collector, who i'm assuming looked it up , that only 4K were made in 1867 for the civilian/private party crowd.
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Old 05-14-2022, 6:53 PM
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i tried and tried to contact the seller and he refused to respond. wanted another picture of the top of the barrel and bore.

i then started doing research and came across a great site.

so at 2am, i still had not heard back from the dealer and started searching the web.

there is a great site
https://www.gunvaluesboard.com

people log in who know what they are talking about and it's all about accessing the true value of any gun by experts.....for free.
i posted my question with pics, and an expert commented 6 or 7 hours later.

here was his response and his/her opinion of the gun in great detail. stuff i never would have known or thought of.

here was their response

>>>>>>>>>>>

fluorideinmywater - the frame of this Colt Model 1851 Navy was made in 1867 while the barrel was made in 1872. Both major parts would be classified as a Late Fourth Model variant. The remaining finish is 0% and several screws appear to have been replaced including the one in the butt and the one in the front of the trigger guard. The grips have been heavily sanded and refinished or replaced. The fact that two parts, the barrel and the wedge, are not original to the gun do affect the value significantly. I would say it is a $1200-$1500 gun at best. You can do better for $1700.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
so if you ever have a question regarding value of a gun and want someone in the know to commen on it and access it, i highly recommend it. i would not have had a clue about screws and the handle being sanded and refinished and the other stuff above.
do check out this site. it's worthwhile if you are in the market of a collectors item!!!!!
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Old 05-16-2022, 6:32 AM
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That's a fun site, I hadn't seen it before. Are you going to try to negotiate on the one in the photos, or keep on searching elsewhere?
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Old 05-16-2022, 2:50 PM
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That's a fun site, I hadn't seen it before. Are you going to try to negotiate on the one in the photos, or keep on searching elsewhere?
not going to deal w/ this guy. i emailed him six times for clarification on parts and asked for a pic of the top of the barrel and thru the bore. i told him i was a serious customer. he never responded. when the auction ended 3 hours later it was relisted for the same price. he just blew me off.

i rather find a good condition with all correct parts and serial #'s for the long term investment. probably around $5k level.
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Old 05-16-2022, 2:55 PM
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That's a fun site, I hadn't seen it before. Are you going to try to negotiate on the one in the photos, or keep on searching elsewhere?
yeah it's a great site. found it by accident. read some of the comments on other random antiques and the the people who commented really knew their stuff.
i would never known that the handle had been sanded down and refinished. he is misleading people by ommision of facts, and he should reply to questions about his items if he really cares about sales and repeat sales.

manipulating the finish of an antique is not illegal, but if you are selling it as 100% original then sanding the handle, shelacking the brass, and putting in non-factory screws constitutes fraud, IMO
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Old 05-16-2022, 6:50 PM
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yeah it's a great site. found it by accident. read some of the comments on other random antiques and the the people who commented really knew their stuff.
i would never known that the handle had been sanded down and refinished. he is misleading people by ommision of facts, and he should reply to questions about his items if he really cares about sales and repeat sales.

manipulating the finish of an antique is not illegal, but if you are selling it as 100% original then sanding the handle, shelacking the brass, and putting in non-factory screws constitutes fraud, IMO
I've been looking around a little for an 1849 Colt and found that a lot of sellers don't know anything about them more than being dishonest. Certainly there are slimy sellers, I've seen some Italian repros defarbed and stamped Cotl's Patent and aged so they look old. I find that dishonest but not everyone does....
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Old 05-16-2022, 7:01 PM
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not going to deal w/ this guy. i emailed him six times for clarification on parts and asked for a pic of the top of the barrel and thru the bore. i told him i was a serious customer. he never responded. when the auction ended 3 hours later it was relisted for the same price. he just blew me off.

i rather find a good condition with all correct parts and serial #'s for the long term investment. probably around $5k level.
That sounds like a good plan. You should be able to get some great condition for that price point and still be able to shoot it occasionally.
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Old 05-21-2022, 3:03 PM
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I only know where I would by it from. From this site. It's mainly like minded folks trading around. The prices are cheaper. The selection is meager and it takes a lot of patience to find what you want.

Recently a great shooter 1858 Remmington went for $1300.
A real good Ruger Old Army for $750.
Both tempted me.

https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/t...l-army.145861/

https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/t...to-750.140279/

I bought a gun there a month ago. And a few over the years. And sold some too. It's all traditional black powder and no modern inlines allowed to even be mentioned in the forum.
i can't believe i missed this thread......going to go check it out
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Old 05-21-2022, 3:42 PM
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For my money I would buy an Uberti repro through Taylor's, they disassemble and tune the guns before sale.

https://taylorsfirearms.com/hand-gun...nufacturer=173
are you sure about this? i went to thier site and didn't see anything about tuning them before shipping. i saw another guy on the net who does a slew of things, including changing the callber from .36 to .38........says that the .36 had some issues and boring it out to 38 for ball and cap solves the problem and increase accuracy.

$640 + shipping.


https://www.longhunt.com/web/index.p...m-black-powder

Our Price Includes the Following Custom Work:
Hone, and rework all internal parts
Replace springs with high quality U.S. springs (Lee's "Gunslinger Spring Kit")
Rebuild and harden single tooth hand.
Rebuild and harden bolt cam as necessary
Drill frame for Coil type Hand Spring and install.
Correct Bolt engagement and position
Rework sear and hammer for crisp 2 1/2lb. trigger pull
Re-cut forcing cone to 11 degrees
Square and smooth barrel face
Correct Cylinder gap for fouling
Correct timing and advance or delay bolt drop as necessary
Install Slix-Shot Stainless Steel Nipples
Correct Arbor Length in Frame

(yeah, so i decided on getting an uberti to shoot, while i wait for a nice collector's piece to show up)
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Old 05-22-2022, 9:02 AM
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I've been shooting cap and ball for decades and only recently learned about the 36 cal bore to cylinder sizing, see below for more detail. Short version, bores on 36s are oversize, and you can't just up the ball diameter because the cylinder determines ball diameter. That said, I have a Uberti 51 and I have no problem keeping it in the black on a B8 target at 25 yards.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...7&highlight=36
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Old 05-22-2022, 9:27 AM
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Originally Posted by FluorideInMyWater View Post
are you sure about this? i went to thier site and didn't see anything about tuning them before shipping. i saw another guy on the net who does a slew of things, including changing the callber from .36 to .38........says that the .36 had some issues and boring it out to 38 for ball and cap solves the problem and increase accuracy.

$640 + shipping.


https://www.longhunt.com/web/index.p...m-black-powder

Our Price Includes the Following Custom Work:
Hone, and rework all internal parts
Replace springs with high quality U.S. springs (Lee's "Gunslinger Spring Kit")
Rebuild and harden single tooth hand.
Rebuild and harden bolt cam as necessary
Drill frame for Coil type Hand Spring and install.
Correct Bolt engagement and position
Rework sear and hammer for crisp 2 1/2lb. trigger pull
Re-cut forcing cone to 11 degrees
Square and smooth barrel face
Correct Cylinder gap for fouling
Correct timing and advance or delay bolt drop as necessary
Install Slix-Shot Stainless Steel Nipples
Correct Arbor Length in Frame

(yeah, so i decided on getting an uberti to shoot, while i wait for a nice collector's piece to show up)
That is a serious list of upgrades and would stand up to some serious use for a long time. If you are using occasionally for informal fun, then you won't need all of that. If you are handy, you can do a lot of it yourself, and it's kind of fun. There are a few good books on tuning if you want to try, or at least understand what it is, and plenty of videos on You tube on tuning.

Have fun making smoke!!
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Old 05-22-2022, 3:43 PM
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That is a serious list of upgrades and would stand up to some serious use for a long time. If you are using occasionally for informal fun, then you won't need all of that. If you are handy, you can do a lot of it yourself, and it's kind of fun. There are a few good books on tuning if you want to try, or at least understand what it is, and plenty of videos on You tube on tuning.

Have fun making smoke!!
i watched some videos on shooting the 51 navy and it was really facinating! i had no idea of he process of loading. seems i had a "movie" perspective where even though they used a '51 they were using cartridges, even in movies that were during the civil war (good/bad/ugly). from my reading cartridges conversions didn't really come around until '70.
i knew they were using black (not smokeless?) powder in cartridges so i just assumed that everyone riding around during the civil war with all the bullets in their gunbelt were legit. just they weren't using smoke-less powder yet. wow! eyes wide open.

so this is how dumb i was. all my knowlege came from clint eastwood films and other Leone films. the seen from good/bad/ugly where Tuco steals a gun from an old store merchant was my knowlege of how to disassemble/assemble a colt. i actually thought the loading lever under the barrel was a "quick-release" lever that was used to take the barrel off. pull down to release. push back up to tighten. (yes i'm really really embarassed)

so i watched the process. then questions came up....how did they store the paper cartridges? those could not go on the gun-belt like cartridges. they would break, so where did they keep them, if not on the belt?. And once you shot your 6, you were done! no 10 second reload. maybe a 10 minute reload if you're lucky. mabybe a minute with paper cartridges, but you still have to find your cartridge box, unbox them, load them and ram them.. and then the (forgot the term) the arching of the flame one chamber to another setting of another round (could be really dangerous if they the 2nd chamber was blocked by the frame). could be catistrophic!.

anyway, i now have a much bigger respect for those pre conversion revolvers. i'm very intriguied. so i might want to invest a bit more in getting some additional work done. the cylinder differention is size with the barrel is interesting. makes sense. more play as the round goes down the barrel. more accurate if the ball is the same size as the barrel.

i've check the internet. there is 1 store with the steel 51 navy for $325 which is msrp, but everyone else is out. i re-read and browsed the page again from above. they have no rifles in stock, no parts in stock, no nothing. it might be a dead page that was never taken down after a possible chapter-7. i sent an email friday night. we'll see if i can get in touch with the guy tomorrow. apparently he is a top tier award winning cowboy single action champion, so he knows his stuff....
but if there are no guns to be bought then there are no guns to be modified/fixed.

i've just started reloading modern cartridges. have a Mark7 Apex 10 and a Dillon RL1100, so i'm hip to anything needing custom reloads, so i could really get into this (carefully, as not to loose hands or fingers)

any preference to the '61 over the '51? i know it is supposed to give you extra room to insert powder and balls, but does it really?

and another question. i'll just pile them on. is the Uberti "better or worse" than the "Cimmeron"? i've stumbled across some threads where people claim they are made on the same assembly line.....not sure how that works exactly. so is Uberti and Cimmeron synonymous?
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Old 05-23-2022, 7:28 AM
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We all have to learn sometime; nobody is born knowing this stuff.

I'll try to hit all your questions; let me know if I miss something.

Someone with metallic cartridges in the civil war was probably a Union soldier with a brand new Henry rifle (there were other cartridge rifles, too)

Cartridges for revolvers were packed in paper packets, six cartridges and eight caps (from memory). I don't know how they carried the cartridge packets. Walker revolvers were issued in pairs, so you got 12 shots before you needed to reload; they were also carried on the horse's belt, not the human's. Extra nerd fact, most soldiers would have rarely dealt with loose black powder going back to pre-revolution days. They were all paper cartridges.

'61 vs '51.....the opening for the bullets are a little bigger on the later revolvers with the creeping levers. If you are going to shoot a lot of conicals, it might be a consideration. I use round balls, so it's not been an issue for me. The major difference is the appearance. If you like the round barrel and more curvey loading lever, then '61; octagonal barrel, go '51. The best looking revolver of all time is the '62 pocket police (indisputable fact ). It's similar to the '61, but on a pocket size frame (from the 31 cal '49) cut for a rebated 36 cal, fluted cylinder.

Manufacturers; there are currently two, Pietta and Uberti (part of Beretta), both in Italy. There used to be a third, Armi San Marco (ASM) in Spain, but I don't think they make revolvers anymore. Uberti was general little better fit and finish than Pietta, but the current buzz is that Pietta has upped their game and Uberti has slipped a little. Right now, the choices are pretty limited since Italy was severly impacted by the plague. If you can look at them, both manufacturers mark them with the required Italian proof marks on the side, and "for black powder only" on the side on Pietta or under the loading lever for Uberti. Also, they have a maker's mark on them, Pietta is FAP in a diamond, and Uberti is a U in an octagon.
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