Handguns Recently acquired Colt 1851 Navy in the 99xxx range.

dbrown0398

Cadet
Joined
May 22, 2016
Location
Moulton, AL
I recently acquired a Colt 1851 Navy in the 99xxx serial number range. All matching serial numbers with the exception of the wedge. Is it a good idea, and worth it, to contact Colt for one of the factory letters? Would really appreciate hearing from some of you that are long time Colt and Civil War era firearms collectors regarding this and regarding any extra value it may bring to my Colt.
Thanks,
JDB

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WJC

Major General
Judge Adv. Genl.
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Thanks for sharing the photos of your new acquisition.
If you bought it for an investment, or even if you are just curious, it might help to purchase the paperwork. Further, you might want the paperwork for insurance purposes.
It's up to you.
 

ucvrelics

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Nice Colt. What is the serial # and I will look and see if it shows up in the SRS. Does it have any military inspectors marks on the metal and cartouchs on the wood part of the grips. I see a field made lanyard loop on the bottom. The only thing a Colt letter will show was where it was shipped. I would only to that if it has military markings on it as they made these for civilian use as well. A letter will increase the value if there is any info in the letter.
 

dbrown0398

Cadet
Joined
May 22, 2016
Location
Moulton, AL
Nice Colt. What is the serial # and I will look and see if it shows up in the SRS. Does it have any military inspectors marks on the metal and cartouchs on the wood part of the grips. I see a field made lanyard loop on the bottom. The only thing a Colt letter will show was where it was shipped. I would only to that if it has military markings on it as they made these for civilian use as well. A letter will increase the value if there is any info in the letter.

No cartouche marks on the grip but there is a letter “G” on the left side of the brass trigger guard housing. That’s the only inspector type marking that I’ve found so far.
 

dbrown0398

Cadet
Joined
May 22, 2016
Location
Moulton, AL
Thanks for sharing the photos of your new acquisition.
If you bought it for an investment, or even if you are just curious, it might help to purchase the paperwork. Further, you might want the paperwork for insurance purposes.
It's up to you.

I had not thought about the letter helping with the insurance value. That’s a very good point that I wasn’t even taking into consideration.
 
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ucvrelics

Colonel
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Colt Letters are nice if they tell you anything and if the do it will raise the price a little depending on whats in the letter. Ive never had good results with them and its a $250 **** shoot.
 

WJC

Major General
Judge Adv. Genl.
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Answered the Call for Reinforcements
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I find the information on the website enough for me. But then I only have one Colt, a personal hand me down 1860, and I know who it was issued to.
 

hrobalabama

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Location
Andalusia, AL
I have had several in that serial range that were shipped south. I don't think any in that serial range would have military inspectors marks.
A Colt Archives letter is needed. They are expensive but the only way to verify to whom it was shipped. If it was shipped to a Southern dealer, the value would more than quadruple.
 

dbrown0398

Cadet
Joined
May 22, 2016
Location
Moulton, AL
I have had several in that serial range that were shipped south. I don't think any in that serial range would have military inspectors marks.
A Colt Archives letter is needed. They are expensive but the only way to verify to whom it was shipped. If it was shipped to a Southern dealer, the value would more than quadruple.

Appreciate it everyone. Looks like I’ll be on the phone with Colt next week.
 

sourdough

Corporal
Joined
May 29, 2017
Location
Pe Ell, Washington
The frame should have case colors, not the blue as shown. Red flag there. The TG and BS show remnants of silver plating. The lanyard loop on the butt is a nice addition. Too bad that the right side barrel lug is so beat up at the wedge, and the wedge screw is so buggered up. I would guess it is what would happen with soldiers in the field without proper tools.

All in all, a nice gun.

Jim
 

Lanyard Puller

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
South Carolina
Nice find and a BIG yes. Get the "Letter".

A lot of the Hartford address 98-99xxx guns went South, some in very small lots and to very surprising people and places. Add the cost of the letter to the value of the revolver.

There are no red flags on this gun. It shows holster were and use. The lanyard ring in the butt just sings Dixie. Don't replace or add any parts unless period {the missing nippple, for example.}

Keep us posted on the letter if Colt has the info on the gun. Don't know if it was an AL find but I'd put my money on a CS dealer appearing on the letter.
 

dbrown0398

Cadet
Joined
May 22, 2016
Location
Moulton, AL
Nice find and a BIG yes. Get the "Letter".

A lot of the Hartford address 98-99xxx guns went South, some in very small lots and to very surprising people and places. Add the cost of the letter to the value of the revolver.

There are no red flags on this gun. It shows holster were and use. The lanyard ring in the butt just sings Dixie. Don't replace or add any parts unless period {the missing nippple, for example.}

Keep us posted on the letter if Colt has the info on the gun. Don't know if it was an AL find but I'd put my money on a CS dealer appearing on the letter.

Appreciate it & most definitely will post updates once the Colt letter comes in. I’d love for it to have a tie to my home state of Alabama.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
I once had a Colt Navy in the 99,000 range that I lettered, and found it had been shipped to the Conning company in Mobile, Alabama in January 1861. It had a name non professionally scratched into the butt, A R Rayford, who was a Mobile Alambam artilleryman in Captain Ketchum's Battery, which became Company A of the Alabama State Artillery. I believe he was a member of a Mobile Alabama artillery militia unit before the War.
I took good photos of it, and I will attach a photo of the Colt letter, which was written to me, and the butt showing the serial and the name of A R Rayford scratched into it.

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hrobalabama

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Location
Andalusia, AL
I once had a Colt Navy in the 99,000 range that I lettered, and found it had been shipped to the Conning company in Mobile, Alabama in January 1861. It had a name non professionally scratched into the butt, A R Rayford, who was a Mobile Alambam artilleryman in Captain Ketchum's Battery, which became Company A of the Alabama State Artillery. I believe he was a member of a Mobile Alabama artillery militia unit before the War.
I took good photos of it, and I will attach a photo of the Colt letter, which was written to me, and the butt showing the serial and the name of A R Rayford scratched into it.

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James Conning was a jeweler by trade but became a gun dealer and sword maker after 1861.
 

Tom/Idaho

Cadet
Joined
Apr 26, 2017
I also have a 1851 Navy Colt 99XXX with matching numbers except wedge. Colt letter cost $300.00 and told day, month,year & shipped to only. Letter took 90 days and is valuable to me only for historical information for my heir. Mine was made and shipped Jan 1861 to a shop in Philadelphia. Four months before the war began. Some letters may have more information.
Was worth it to me.
Tom/Idaho
 

Greshamian

Private
Joined
May 13, 2020
Location
Scotland
I have been advised that a letter would be worthwhile for this Navy (13XXX) because of the chequered grips. On the other hand, it is quite expensive. Do let us know if you go ahead with the letter and what you learn.

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ucvrelics

Colonel
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Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
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May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
I have been advised that a letter would be worthwhile for this Navy (13XXX) because of the chequered grips. On the other hand, it is quite expensive. Do let us know if you go ahead with the letter and what you learn.

View attachment 359057
Very Nice Colt. A letter from Colt will show if its a custom order. In looking at the engraving it appears to be a factory special order. Please let us know what you find out.
 
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