This incredible, excavated artifact was dug in Fredericksburg, Virginia on private property and with permission from the landowner. It is a M. 1851 Colt Navy and is in nearly perfect dug-up condition. It is not a barn find or an early pickup. That would be fine, of course. But you can tell from the patina and the frozen-solid cylinder than the gun came out of the soil. Electrolysis has been done in order to preserve this pistol from rusting and the process did free the hammer and loading level. They will now move but, as a collector of dug weapons myself, I would leave this beauty precisely as she is. Nothing has been added to this gun -- no repairs, no new screws or replacement parts. It is exactly as found. The grips, of couse, have rotted away after almost 150 years in the Virginia dirt.
Here's the coolest part of about this gun: All the serial numbers match and date to 1862. Moreover, there is a number "2" beneath the serial numbers. I am informed that this indicates the pistol was part of a matched set. I wonder what happened to number one? If someone could afford a matched set of Colt revolvers in 1862 (or before), he must have been rather well to do and was almost certainly an officer. I try not to get too "over the top" with my imagination but it's hard not to wonder about this weapon. Are the chambers empty because the gun was fired in the heat of battle and discarded or dropped? We'll never know.
I've been collecting excavated pistols since 1980 and I have never come across one of these with a number "2" below the SN. If I didn't already have a loaded Colt Navy in my collection, this one would not be for sale. The explosion in the popularity of dug pistols and swords has been monumental in the collecting field and it's one of the few areas not touched by the past recession. Collectors just can't get enough of these. I think some of that is because certain collectors want a relic that was recovered from a Civil War site. It's the old notion that the last person to touch the item before the modern digger was a Civil War soldier or officer. But some of the enthusiasm is also because non-excavated firearms in minty condition -- Colts particularly -- are shockingly expensive and these are comparatively affordable. Also, because of issues involving patination on a dug item, a replacement screw or part is much more obvious than with a non-dug specimen. I don't want to sour anyone on non-battlefield firearms. I love them! But you definitely have to be careful.
This one is as "right" as they come and, like everything I sell, is backed by a generous return policy and a lifetime guarantee for authenticity.
You just can't go wrong here, folks! And I am gonna rue the day I let this baby go, but you just can't keep everything. (Though some days, I do try!)
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