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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Barracks (Moderators: Major Matt Lewis, Pitspitr)  |  Topic: Another Colt Added to the Ship's Armory 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Another Colt Added to the Ship's Armory  (Read 3487 times)
Charles Isaac
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« on: April 14, 2012, 11:28:13 pm »


This one here's a Colonel Colt's Belt Pistol, Navy caliber, manufactured in 1855 at the factory Sam set up in London with 1/2 the workers being from the US. The stock is made of American black walnut because the English walnut was harder to machine and wore the cutters out quickly. The straps of these pistols were made under contract by Englishman out of iron with a large trigger guard and this English design, strangely, is what ended up on the SAA!  It's missing most of it's finish, but works as good as the day it was made with beautiful sharp gain twist rifling, excellent mechanics, a good deal of case coloring, and most of it's scene.

The cylinder pins are close to perfect with one being a little mashed, but still fully functional and I do believe the cones are originals. I've only ever fired it with round ball at 7 yards and it rips one ragged hole in the target. I do have an original mold that will cast round and conical and will be testing it with some conicals.

On the firing line, another shooter exclaimed to other shooters-"That's a real Colt!" And that's how it is now. It's the second decade of the 21st century and a Colt on the firing line is scarce as hens teeth-and I know at least a couple GAF members heard me say to them "Wow, you got a real Colt!" I own quite a few Colts, but yes, it surprises me too when I see someone with a Colt. But it always makes me feel good. Smiley



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Harley Starr
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2012, 12:34:24 am »

She's a beauty.
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2012, 06:32:44 am »

That is one nice pistol, Charles!  I love shooting Colt's myself, but you're right; they're much too rare!
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River City John
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 07:37:10 am »

Gorgeous!
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2012, 11:10:16 am »

A very fine piece of craftsmanship indeed.  Well done sir.
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2012, 02:29:32 pm »

Dee-lightful!!!
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 09:51:18 pm »

A lovely piece, indeed, my friend!

Will you be at the Missouri and/or National Musters?  If so, I should work on getting replacement nipples for my Upper Canada issued London Model, and we could have a little companionable Colt's revolving pistol shooting!





Marked to Upper Canada Volunteer Militia Cavalry 'B' Troop (headquartered at St. Catharines) ..... No. 4 of 50 revolvers issued to that Troop - the first 25 on 30 June 1856, 25 more on 5 January 1857:

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Charles Isaac
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2012, 05:59:18 pm »

I hope to be at a muster soon Rattlesnake, and yes, it will be great to see the arms from a century long past come to life once more! In keeping with the traditions of the Naval Services, I was hoping to have River City John and Col. Neiderlander fire my London Colt.

As you probably know, Philip Boulton of Southampton, England has recorded a survival rate at around 4 % of the original production number of 42910 London Navy revolvers, and as late as the 1960's, the English were pulling them from storage and destroying them! They are a true rarity in the World of Colts and I do believe the Upper and Lower Canada contract guns are the most desirable of the London Navies-a true treasure you have there!

Lt Ray of the English Army was presented with a London Navy by Samuel Colt himself!

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Niederlander
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2012, 10:03:31 pm »

I would be honored to shoot such a Colt!  Thank you for the thought!
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Charles Isaac
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 11:06:03 am »



I would be honored to have you shoot it, and if you don't break it, we can start to consider the "curse" broken!
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2012, 11:34:22 pm »

Charles, et al .....

After considerable delay (.... too many projects, too little time .....) I have finally gotten around to bringing my original London Navy revolver into full firing condition! 

The main thing was acquiring a set of new nipples threaded to fit original revolvers, then soaking the cylinder so I could remove the rather rusted and battered original nipples.  The new nipples I received (from Track of the Wolf) are marked "Colt" on one shoulder ..... and went in without a hitch.  (Never fear, the original nipples have been preserved.)

Although the revolver is fully functional, and operates crisply and cleanly, it had a couple  of apparent problems:
- the nipple shanks seemed too short (although the original and new nipples were the same) so that I was not getting sufficient contact to fire a cap.  (This may have been part and parcel of the next problem ....)
- also, there seemed to be a very excessive gap between the cylinder face and the the rear of the barrel, and the cylinder was free to shift forward on the axis pin to close up the gap .... which undoubtedly contributed to the failure of the hammer to make positive contact with the nipples.

I accordingly fashioned a "washer" from brass shim stock to keep the cylinder positioned further forward, with a much smaller cylinder/barrel gap.  This, in turn, required that each nipple be shimmed out somewhat.  Having fiddled with that to get it "right", the revolver now fires each cap without difficulty.   One great advantage of these original-configuration nipples is that a standard #11 percussion cap fits perfectly, and grips the shank of the cone quite firmly .... so firmly, in fact, that a well- seated unfired cap is quite a chore to remove!  What a joy after having experienced sloppy-fitting caps on various reproduction revolvers, which must be pinched out of round to grip the nipple at all, and still often come loose  .....

On another note, I have today completed arrangements to have an English-style case made for this revolver by William Shumate ("Bill's Cases" - http://www.billscases.com/index.htm) which will, of course, nicely accommodate the reproduction "Canada Commemorative" London Navy I also have.)  Although I have made pistol cases before,  I have heard such good things about the work done by this craftsman - for quite reasonable prices - that I decided to let him do the work!

The standard layout of a London Navy casing seems to have varied very little, and is like this:







I have always preferred green for a gun-case lining, so that is what I have ordered.
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Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier
Old West ClipArt & History Website:  http://rattlesnakejacks.com/
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 06:59:51 am »

Jack,
     I remember reading somewhere that the London produced Colts used cones (nipples) that were slightly longer than the American versions.  I have no idea why.  That may be part of the problem.
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RattlesnakeJack
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 04:32:31 pm »

Yes, I had read that ..... and although Dixie Gun Works offer both nipple sizes (in the original Colt thread configuration) the longer length were out of stock when I tried to get them.  The new nipples I did get came from Track of the Wolf, who only listed one size.

Since I gather the length difference is only 1/64", I wasn't sure that the extra length would have resolved the entire problem anyway, as there already seemed to be insufficient hammer contact on the original nipples before I set the cylinder forward.  Yesterday I tried again to order a set of nipples from DGW anyway, along with some other accessories to go into the case I have ordered, but they are still out of stock.
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Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
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River City John
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2012, 05:50:06 pm »

I hope to be at a muster soon Rattlesnake, and yes, it will be great to see the arms from a century long past come to life once more! In keeping with the traditions of the Naval Services, I was hoping to have River City John and Col. Neiderlander fire my London Colt.

I too would be honored.

RCJ
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"He who will not look backward with reverence, will not look forward with hope." - Edmund Burke
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Charles Isaac
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2012, 09:05:13 pm »

Charles, et al .....

After considerable delay (.... too many projects, too little time .....) I have finally gotten around to bringing my original London Navy revolver into full firing condition! 

This is truly exciting news Sir and this may be the first time in a very long time since two Colt's London Navies were on the firing line together!!

Our own Dalton Masterson fashioned a holster of heavy cowhide for mine-



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RattlesnakeJack
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« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2012, 06:32:58 pm »

Some time ago I received the case for my London Navy built by Bill Shumate (as I  mentioned having ordered, above) and have since accumulated most of the necessary accessories to fit it out -

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Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2012, 06:55:40 pm »

You gentlemen are going to give me a serious case of Colt jealousy!  The '51 Navy was the first pistol I fell in love with, and don't even own a replica anymore!
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Charles Isaac
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« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2012, 11:50:38 am »

Ha Ha! But you have a real Colt's Single Action Army!

 I don't have an SAA, but would like one some day.
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« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2012, 12:23:35 pm »

Ha Ha! But you have a real Colt's Single Action Army!

 I don't have an SAA, but would like one some day.
Not to mention a real Colt 1911 (not a 1911A1)
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« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2012, 12:48:45 pm »

Yes, I HAVE been fortunate in Colts.  I have a really nice New Service .45, too.  I still like that '51 Navy, though!
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