Handguns 1851 Colt Navy with rivets?

RobertH

Private
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
So I'm bidding on an 1851 Colt Navy. I noticed it has rivets instead of screws for the trigger screw, cylinder stop screw and hammer screw. That's the first time I've seen that, but started looking around and see some other '51's with rivets. Not all, but some. This particular '51 Navy was manufactured in 1851. I'm guessing the rivets were an early method that was changed to screws on later production runs?

Does anybody know the history of the rivets?
 

RobertH

Private
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Now I'm second guessing myself. He doesn't have any pics of the other side where the screw heads would be. I think they might actually be screws. The screw shafts just looked really huge. But I might be wrong about the rivets.
 
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Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Cap Guns might have rivets, but never any Colt percussion revolver.
Something bad happened to that gun, and some yahoo fixed it by riveting some piece of metal in place of the screw that should have been there.
On the Colt 1851 model, you most often see a rivet replace the screw attaching the loading lever to the rammer - sometimes the threads are still there and if you drive out the rivet, you can put in a correct screw. But sometimes you can't. Don't count on this working.
You describe three rivets through the frame holding hammer, trigger, and cylinder stop. A gunsmith has to remove those to repair or adjust the internal mechanism, and you can be sure no manufacturer or gunsmith would put rivets there!
 
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Peter Stines

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
Sounds like a hack job. But photos could tell us more. Maybe someone couldn't afford a new gun or to have this one repaired so they used what they had RIVETS. AT LEAST THEY DIDN'T USE DUCT TAPE!!!
FWIW I saw a gunsmith's ledger book from 1850's. He noted "put a ribet (sic) in a gun lock" Another entry spelled it "rebit"
 

Peter Stines

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
As far as rivets being used as an early method, there were several other revolvers that were manufactured at Colt's factory before the 1851 Navy's production. I've never heard of
As far as rivets being used as an early method, there were several other revolvers that were manufactured at Colt's factory before the 1851 Navy's production. I've never heard of rivets being used.
To give the gun a proper cleaning, routine maintenance or repair it usually required disassembly and rivets would have made it a nuisance. But if that was all you had you made do.....
 

krank

Cadet
Joined
May 19, 2020
Did you buy the gun? No way rivets will work on those parts. That all has to come apart for cleaning.
 
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