Autry Museum of the American West

Model 1851 Navy Revolver

left side

left side

1857; serial number 68220
Manufacturer: Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company
Engraver: the shop of Gustave Young

In terms of numbers, the Model 1851 Navy Revolver was the second most popular Colt percussion firearm ever manufactured. Over 215,000 revolvers were manufactured from 1850 to 1873, plus another 42,000 at the London factory. Only the Model 1849 Pocket Model Revolver outdistanced it. Interestingly, despite their names, both models were actually introduced around the same time in 1850. Early collectors gave each model its name before research confirmed the correct date of origin. The term Navy, however, seems to have been coined by Samuel Colt, who thought the model’s specifications were best suited for naval service. Nevertheless, the majority of the models sold to the government were designated for use by the U.S. Army. This Model 1851 Navy Revolver originally came with an engraved canteen shoulder stock with matching serial number.

  • right side

    right side
  • cylinder detail

     cylinder detail
  • revolver detail

    revolver detail

  • left side

    left side
  • right side

    right side
  • The revolver originally came with this canteen shoulder stock with matching serial number

    Autry National Center


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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