What is this? 1849 Colt Pocket Mystery Mark

RobertH

Private
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
I just got this beautiful '49 Colt Pocket in today's mail. Ive really been wanting a Colt Pocket with a 6" barrel. Bit of a mystery (to me anyways) is a strange mark where the ".31" should be on the trigger guard. It looks like an x? Or possibly a K? And where's the .31, I don't think it's been rubbed off?
Any thoughts on this?

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Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Yes, it's a Colt factory inspectors mark...it is not a military inspection mark. I have the exact same "x" in the same spot on my 1849 Pocket.

Look carefully inside and out and you might find some more. I see a letter at the front of the trigger guard (is that an "s"? Hard to tell from that pic). Mine has an "L" in the same spot. I'd have to go fetch my gun to see what other marks are on it and where...I can do that if you find that helpful. (I spotted the "L" based on a pic I have on my handy-dandy cell phone).
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Could you please post a pic of the rifling? I am curious to see what the progressive twist looks like in the 6 inch barrel. I have a 4 inch, and I am surprised and disappointed about its twist rate....there is barely any twist in the 4 inch. It's like they cut off the last 2 inches of the barrel where the most twist would be apparent (in a progressive twist rifled barrel), and left the very gradual twist rate of the first 4 inches (do you follow me? alternatively, they didn't adjust the rifling machine to compensate for the 4 inch barrel). So, there isn't much spin on the ball as it exits the 4 inch, thereby making it less accurate than it probably could be. Many a squirrel has survived as a result of that! :mad:

So, if you can, please indulge my curiousity with the requested pic.
 

RobertH

Private
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
I don't know what all the plated finishes were on the brass, but I do know that silver and nickel plated versions were made. Sometimes it's completely worn off on the outside, but some plating often survives on the brass beneath the wooden grips. Does yours have any?

I haven't taken the 6" Pocket apart yet. But I also have a 4" Colt Pocket that I'm currently working on and have it apart. I hadn't really noticed, but it does have plating on the inside of the brass. It appears to be silver.

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RobertH

Private
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Could you please post a pic of the rifling? I am curious to see what the progressive twist looks like in the 6 inch barrel. I have a 4 inch, and I am surprised and disappointed about its twist rate....there is barely any twist in the 4 inch. It's like they cut off the last 2 inches of the barrel where the most twist would be apparent (in a progressive twist rifled barrel), and left the very gradual twist rate of the first 4 inches (do you follow me? alternatively, they didn't adjust the rifling machine to compensate for the 4 inch barrel). So, there isn't much spin on the ball as it exits the 4 inch, thereby making it less accurate than it probably could be. Many a squirrel has survived as a result of that! :mad:

So, if you can, please indulge my curiousity with the requested pic.

I don't know how easy the 6" Pocket is going to come apart. The wedge screw seems to be a little bent. Not sure what's going on with it yet. I'm hunting down some parts now for the 6" and will get started on . But sure, I'm curious now too. I'll let you know. I'll take a look at the 4" too. That would be weird if they didn't adjust for the different barrel lengths.
 

RobertH

Private
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
And here's my 4". Pretty lame in the twist department just like yours. So lame, you really got to look to even see a twist. Just barely a twist as it gets towards the "dangerous" end.

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RobertH

Private
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Here's the two Stainless Steel screws I dug out of the 6" Pocket. I had to hammer them out with a punch because they wouldn't thread out. I think they were a bit smaller then the original. I would prefer to NOT hammer on my Colts, but I was careful and it worked fine. The bent one was the Trigger screw. Now I know why things were jamming up a bit.

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Joined
Nov 1, 2018
What was Colt thinking when he did not adjust the rifling for the barrel length? Is the same thing seen in other Colts of the era, or other manufacturers?
 

Honest John

Cadet
Joined
Aug 9, 2016
Take a 1/4" wood dowel and wrap a patch around it so it is a tight fit in the barrel. Hold a pencil with the point touching the dowel and slowly push the dowel through the barrel. This will exactly mirror the rifling. Lead balls and patched balls require a slow twist so they don't strip the rifling. Kentuckys might have one twist for 40" or so.

This is a repro pocket navy so it only represents the process, not rifling like a Colt.

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