View Full Version : Colt wheelgun help needed

November 17, 2009, 17:34
OK all you historic Colt wheelgun experts. I am looking for a little assistance in estimating a value of a antique Colt that my Aunt and Uncle have. I know nothing about these except for a little research done on the net. It is a .31 caliber model 1849 pocket pistol or Baby Dragoon as I guess they where called. I have only seen the one picture below of it, but by the picture it appears to be in decent shape. The serial number is in the 309,000 range. From the research I have done that would put it towards the end of production, somewhere in the early 1870's. I have checked some prices on Gunbroker but they seem to be all over the place. I would greatly appreciate any help that can be given on approximating its value for them. If there is any additional information I need to get from them on helping estimate a value, let me know.

November 18, 2009, 09:10
The pictured revolver is a 1849 Pocket Model and not the Baby Dragoon. The reason you see prices all over the place is because there are many factors to consider. Is it all matching? What is the condition of the cylinder scene (roll engraving)? Any blue, case coloring or silver plating left? Does it function properly? Is it loose? How is the bore/chambers/nipples? Check out "Flaydermans Guide to Antique American Firearms" for detailed descriptions of condition and values. In the latest book, it shows values for the Pocket Model from $500 to $20,000 for the very rare variations. The basic Pocket Model is probably the most commonly found Colt percussion revolver.

November 18, 2009, 09:25
I do know that it is all matching serial numbers and they stated that the engraving is mostly visible with some wear. I have forwarded on the other questions to my Aunt and Uncle and will post what I find back from them. Thak you Gazz.

November 18, 2009, 15:58
Nice little pistol. I guess the .32 was a popular caliber even in the days of the dinosaur .44s... Wonder if they actually stopped anything.....

November 18, 2009, 19:21
Them little poppers like this Colt and the 41 deringer were feared weapons. They didn't stop much, but the greasy lead bullets (balls) carried a lot of dirt, lint and crud into a wound. Usually took a man 4 or 5 days to die from infection or blood poisoning.

Much better off getting shot dead by a .45 Colt. :tongue:

Gazz got it right. You need a gee-whiz antique Colt appraiser here. Origional finish persentage, wear make a big difference. Whatever they do, DON'T clean it up OR polish off the "patina".

November 18, 2009, 22:57
You should definitely have that little Colt looked at by someone who is very familiar with them. It looks fairly common but, the devil is in the details.
And, also the condition.
MAINER is correct. Tell them not to do ANYTHING to the revolver.
About anything they would be likely to do is very likely to have a negative impact on the value.
Is there any family history that goes with the gun ?
Being able to trace, and possibly document it right back to when it was new might be a plus for the value.

November 19, 2009, 07:01
Thanks for all the info and help guys. The first thing I told them when they asked me about it was to no do anything to its fit and finish. I am not too sure about family history on the pistol as I didn't even take my Uncle as being one to have any firearms. These are the answers of Gazz's questions I received back from my Uncle:

The answers to the questions are:
-yes, all parts match,
-the cylinder scene is faint but present. It is hard to discern but appears to be a couple of wagon wheels and some other stuff.
-I don't recall any bluing or silver plating (I am at work).
-It is very tight and appears functional. There is just a very slight looseness in the cylinder rotational latch. No play in the trigger, hammer, etc.
-I am not sure how to rate the bore/chambers/nipples. If you find some criteria to check against I will try to evaluate the condition more thoroughly.

Does anyone know of someone very familiar with them in the west central Indiana area?

November 20, 2009, 20:42
Maybe someone over on the SASS forum could help......