A very curious pair of Colt Londons
RIA has a set of matching, though mismatched, Colt London Navys up for grab this week.
While Colt’s Hartford, Connecticut factory made the bulk of the company’s wheelguns in the mid-19th Century, production also occurred in England, to a smaller scale. Colt London made something like 40,000 Model 1851 Navy pattern revolvers in three different series at their armory near Vauxhall Bridge before production halted in the 1870s, with about a quarter of those being sold to the British military.
The above set, produced in 1855, are classic second series guns with 7.5-inch octagon barrels on iron frames with a distinctive large round trigger guard. However, at some point very early in their life, the guns had the cylinders swapped and, as one is well-worn while the other spent comparatively more of its life in storage, the long-ago change apparently stuck.
C’est la vie