Autry Museum of the American West

Model 1851 Navy Revolver

left side

left side

1851; serial number 2886
Manufacturer: Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company

The Model 1851 Navy was the most popular of the large-caliber percussion revolvers produced by Colt. It was manufactured in .36 caliber with a six-shot cylinder and a seven-and-a-half-inch barrel. It weighed two pounds, ten ounces. The Model 1851 Navy was a favorite of Samuel Colt, as evidenced by his use of the model for presentation purposes. A rare photograph made in Berlin of Colt is the only known image of him holding a revolver—an 1851 Navy. The model was also a favorite for engraving, but presentation or engraved models are still quite rare and desirable. This example is engraved in an early vine scroll that dates only from the years 1848 to 1851. It also features a dot accompanying the serial number indicating special handling, polishing, and finishing as the piece proceeded through the manufacturing process.

  • right side

    right side
  • cylinder detail

    cylinder detail


Jeffrey Richardson

Web Development

Gary Cannone

Electronic Cataloging and Imaging

Marilyn Kim, Vlasta Radan, Carmel France, Rebecca Menendez, David Benitez, Susan Eisenstein


Marlene Head

Special Thanks

Greg Martin, R. L. Wilson

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