The Colt 1851 Navy is a single-action, .36 caliber revolver that was designed by Samuel Colt from 1847-1850. The cylinder on the 1851 Navy has an engraving which depicts the Victory of the Second Texas Navy at the Battle of Campeche from May 1843. This was done as a gesture of gratitude towards the Texan Navy, who was Colt’s first successful client. Approximately 250,000 of the “Colt Revolving Belt Pistol of Naval Caliber” were produced from 1850-1873, when the use of fixed cartridges in revolvers became more prolific. The contemporary designation “Colt 1851 Navy” was only applied years later by collectors of the revolver. Regardless of the “Navy” designation, the revolver was primarily purchased by military land forces and civilians, including some famous ones such as “Wild Bill” Hickok, Richard Francis Burton, Ned Kelly, and Robert E. Lee.
Initial date of manufacture:
1850 to present1873