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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Default Colt 1861 Model Navy

    I have acquired a Colt 1861 Model Navy Regular Production model percussion revolver. The loading lever is missing from the bottom of the barrel. The cylinder, hammer, and trigger work well. There are also 4 notches on one side of the handle and 3 on the other, I know this probably doesnt add value but adds to the mystique of the weapon. There is also an inlay on both sides of the handle that says "Chief". All of the numbers match on the weapon. The finish is surprisingly good for being dug up on a farm in Indiana in 1940. Trying to find an approx. value since the gun is not complete?

  2. #2
    Clyde's Avatar
    Clyde is offline Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
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    Default

    Just what does "The finish is surprisingly good for being dug up on a farm in Indiana in 1940" mean - since that will establish the value to a considerable extent. I know where a 1940 Ford coupe is, that is in surprisingly good condition for having set outside beside a barn since about 1950. How much is it worth, since it is incomplete, the passenger door and truck lid being missing....
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  3. #3
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    Dec 1969
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    Trying to price a gun in "dug up" condition with missing parts is something only an expert can really do and be close.

    An 1861 Navy standard model in 10% original condition and with all parts would be worth about $1,500, but that's with all parts. Consider the "dug up" condition and missing parts and the value is going to be much less.
    If the dug up condition is pretty bad, value might be almost nil.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Default

    By looking in the guide I have, the condition of the metal and the wood is probably 10 - 20%, but missing the loading lever.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Southern New Hampshire
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    Default

    Actually, a more interesting question (to me, anyway) would be "How did it come to be in the ground in the first place?"

    Do you have access to the finders (or desendents) or only the story of where it came from?

    Notches and inlay on the stock panels could indicate that it was an important item to someone once upon a time, if so, how did it go from that to being buried?

    Was it ploughed up in a field, found in a trash dump or removed from a burial plot?

    Are there any historical records of any notorious, semi-notorious or "wanna be" notorious persons meeting their end in that area of Indiana?

    Or, how about local heroes, any of those that would, maybe, match up to this item?

    I know that all of this is a lot of work for an item that may be of passing interest to you but, sometimes, this sort of research really pays off. If you can connect the item to someone known (even if only locally) it adds a lot to the value of any item.

    I once found a framed group photo at the local dump with a dollar bill (1933 silver certificate) behind the photo. The bill had been signed by everyone in the picture. The frame was worth, maybe $10 on the local market, the bill maybe $2-$3. Showed it to a local historian who connected it to a social organization (long since disbanded) in town and managed to find that two of the members were still alive. They interviewed those two men, showed them the pictue and got several hours worth of tape about what life was like in the mid 30's for the members of their social class. Apparently that was a big day for their group and everyone there got the same remembrance from the outing. Both of the men had long since lost their photos and this sample triggered many, many memories to them. Compared to the dollar value of the physical item this information was priceless.

    As to how that photo ended up in the tip is easy to explain, grand children cleaning out the ancestral home. Endless piles of stuff that is not in current fashion and carries little meaning to the current generation. The really interesting part of all of this is that it provided a small bit of insight into the family history of the same kids that dumped the photo in the first place as both of the survivors knew the owner of the photo.

    In this case I doubt that you would glean that much info but the potential is there.

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