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Saturday, 2 January 2016

Colt Cylinder Engraving;

The .36" Calibre Model 1851 Navy Revolver may be the most well known of Colts early revolvers - perhaps 250,000 were produced. - Certainly today there are plenty of replicas being used.

Colt 1851 - Octagonal Barrel.

The 'Navy' is so called because of the naval scene roll engraved on the cylinders - this model was not purchased by any Navy *** for official issue. - *** OOPS see p.s. below.

COLT 'Navy' Cylinder Engraving
- used on Both 1851 and 1861 models.

This scene is meant to show the victory of the Texas Second Navy at the Battle Of Compache, 1843.
Model 1861 - (round barrel)

Texas had declared its independence from Mexico in 1836 - but Mexico would not recognise this. A combined squadron of vessels from the Republic of Yucatan and from Texas won the day in 1843.

These familiar scenes were applied to cylinders by a roll engraving process developed by Waterman Lily Ormsby (1809-1883) who invented the 'grammograph' machine used to copy details onto medals and bank note plates. This was used later as a pantographic machine to roll-die engrave on metal surfaces.

Ormsby was the founder the Continental Bank Note Company and is said to have helped in developing the Morse Code.

- This is another Ormsby Engraving used on Colt Cylinders:
 "Ranger and Indian" Engraved on Walker Revolvers.
Ain't history wonderful? You don't see much of engraving on our current firearms - other than 'commemoratives' - but it should be easy to use the latest engraving techniques (lasers, water jet -whateva!) to produce a run of  specials ..

It doesn't need to be elaborate total coverage - it could be tasteful eh ..

*** P.S. - Rod has put me right about 'Navy' purchases:
Hi Marty
Happy New Year!  The Royal Navy were issued 9,600 1851 Colt Navy revolvers, out of a total of just over 23,000 ’51 Navies ordered by the British government, plus they were official issue in NZ by the various Provincial Governments.  They were also the most popular private purchase revolver in the 1850s’, 60’s, and 70’s in NZ with retailers selling them throughout the country.

Marty K.