Colts Page 4

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This is an incredible "package" of the Old Express days, and shipping by Express, both Holster, Colt and markings. THIS Colt has been in a vault for 40 plus years, just now being listed for sale. Starting with the Messenger Belt : First, it is made from Alligator Hide, and lined with a chamois material. It is SPECIFICALLY for this revolver, in size and depth. The Belt is trimmed in shiny black leather around all the multiple pockets and holster. The Alligator leather remains flexible and relatively soft. The inside of the belt is marked to match the Colt 1878 revolver.

The Colt Model of 1878 in .45 caliber, is an EARLY production Model. It has what is called the "Fat Grip", a slightly larger grip than the rest of the total production. Being found on about the first 5,000 revolvers. This 1878, Serial No. 524X is a "Fat Grip". with the checkered hard rubber grips. The barrel was shortened to 2-7/8 Inches, in the day, more than likely by the Southern Express Messenger, as the belt holster is an EXACT fit to the Colt 1878 !!

 The Back Strap is Property Room marked, by the Property Manager at it's issued location, and 100% authentic and correct.

Southern Express Company was one of the "bigger" companies serving the U.S. in the 19th century. Primarily serving the Southern tier of the U.S. but also connecting with W.F. & Co., American Ex. Adams Express , etc... to be able to ship packages THROUGH OUT the entire U.S. Like ALL the rest, they needed weapons to guard the shipments of goods and valuables against Stage Coach Robbers and Train Robbers, even Office Locations ! . ALL Messengers went armed ! This fellow went in style, a Money Style belt, made from Alligator and a DA 1878 Colt customized to fit his needs ! This is a RARE opportunity to own a real piece of history, even an Alligator Messenger belt !

PRICE $6,250

The Colt 1878 has about 10-15% of the original factory nickel finish, the balance is an untouched natural light gray patina. The .45 cal marking is still on the trigger guard, but the barrel address is not legible from wear. The checkered hard rubber grips show some wear, but all checkering  is still quite defined and visible, with NO damage. The working actions are 100% correct, on both Single and Double Action Modes. Since 1878, still 100% functional each and every time called upon. You know this "outfit" saw action, as not one Express company didn't fall prey to bandits in the 19th century.

COLT NEW LINE .30 REVOLVER...Scarce Barrel Length, 1-3/4 inch... 1875

The .30 Colt New Line is an interesting chapter in Colt production. It is THE ONLY revolver ever made by Colt in .30 caliber, and ONLY for two years, in a total of only 11,000 units. MOST all had the 2-1/4 inch barrel, VERY few the 1-3/4 inch barrel. Why so short lived ? During this period of arms history many other firms were making the .30 Pocket Pistol. Hopkins & Allen, Hood, Forehand, etc... and ALL sold way ! less expensive than Colt. True to their nature, rather than sacrifice quality, and sell for less, Colt chose to discontinue the .30 New Line. Therefore, one in this elevated level of condition and barrel length is a great rarity and find for the collector. Serial No.485X has 99.9999% of all its original bright nickel Colt factory finish. The highlight colors of blue on the screw heads is present, just slightly dulling.  The bright fire blue on the hammer reverse is still present only slightly darkened. The Rosewood grips still have all their varnish, and show next to no handling dings. The mechanical functions on the working action function 100% correctly, each and every time !

It would be very difficult to improve on this example, excluding engraved or exotic finish, in condition and scarcity.

The "etched" panel is still completely present and vividly seen !

All factory markings clear and present, all matching serial numbers.

PRICE $ 1,850


One of the MOST DIFFICULT  Single Action revolvers for collectors to obtain is a PRE 1898, Antique Bisley ! The very first and few were introduced in early 1896, and sent to England, after all they are named for the Bisley Target Range in England. It wasn't until 1897 that U.S. Commercial Production began to be somewhat substantial and the Bisley became another single action available to buyers. Besides being a scarce model in Black Powder, this one has a Nickel factory finish Another rarity as most to all were blued and case. It also is in .45 Colt caliber, not a lighter weight target caliber. Serial No.17473X was finished with a nickel plating by the Factory. A 123 years later, only about 15%+ of the nickel remains, dominantly found on the barrel, behind recoil shield, and trigger guard. The balance is a very light gray patina. This is good because there is no harsh contrast on the overall finish image.  All parts are factory original, and ALL factory markings are clear and present: Barrel address, barrel legend Bisley Model .45 Colt, frame patents, and ALL matching serial numbers. The screw heads are all crisp and defined, no burring. There are traces of bright blue left on the hammer reverse and trigger. The checkered hard rubber grips, original to the Colt, show everyday hand touching, causing a smooth wear.

left view of hard rubber grip

Mechanically: this Colt operates PERFECTLY, cocks, locks, indexes, fires, all with original precision. This Bisley was a constant companion to someone for many years , seeing HONEST use, NO abuse, therefore works so well today. In review, a Black Powder Antique Bisley is rare indeed due to  limited early production, and then in Nickel finish, also .45 Colt.

PRICE $ 3,750

Point of Interest: Mexican Revolutionary, Pancho Villa, was rarely ever seen without his Colt Bisley, his favorite for fit, and function.


1897 Bisley Colt

factory nickel finish on Colt Black Powder

in .45 Colt caliber

original checkered hard rubber grips worn smooth

all parts factory original on the .45 Bisley

all factory markings are clear and visible


This is a very small production window for the conversions of the 1861 Navy revolver. Only 2,200 were ever made, and issued / sold in the Mid-1870's The Model of 1861 is considered by many to be the most "elegant" of all the percussion series, with sleek lines. This one, Serial No.187X, has an unusual feature. Below EACH serial number, appears a deliberate "punch dot". Although this 1861 does not have a U.S.N. marking, it is one of a few which were pulled from production, and sent to the Navy to complete an order, or to replace a failed Navy. ALL Serial Numbers , all locations, are matching including cylinder. The overall condition is as follows: 60-65% factory original nickel plate, the balance a soft plum/gray patina. Almost all the brass still has the plating, and is untouched. The cylinder has 50% nickel, as the "lay down" side is less, however, the cylinder scene is still crisp and clear.cylinder scene of 1861 Navy conversion revolver

The grips show hand use over the years, and a small percentage of varnish is present, with only the slightest corner rounding. Most IMPORTANT: The working action is PERFECT. The hammer cocking positions all function 100% correctly. The cylinder advances, locks tight, and indexes properly and has a smooth release to fire. ALL the screw heads are clean. ALL factory applied markings: barrel address, frame patents, caliber on shoulder, and serial numbers are all highly visible. ALL parts are original to this 1861 Conversion. A SCARCE and significant revolver, and the arming of the Navy in the Mid 1870's. PRICE $2,850 SOLD

Colt Navy-Navy revolver 1861 Navy conversion CF 1870's




close up of Colt Navy-Navy revolver 1870's


APRIL 30, 2021


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