This is a very fine, near mint condition, and all matching Colt Model 1849 Pocket Revolver, with 4” barrel, which was manufactured in 1856.
Colt sought to capitalize on the success of his large Dragoon revolvers in the late 1840s with the introduction of a smaller “pocket” line of revolvers. The first of these was the Model 1848 or “Baby Dragoon” revolver, which had a squareback triggerguard, round locking slots on the cylinder, the Ranger and Indian Fight cylinder scene, an octagonal barrel without rammer, and a five-shot .31 caliber chambering. The Model 1848 came in barrel lengths of 3”, 4”, 5” and 6”. This design was finalized and ready for tooling up by January 1, 1848. These early design pocket pistols did not have the integral loading lever until 1850, as this was not considered necessary for a pocket arm. Colt produced the Model 1848 “Baby Dragoon” Pocket Revolver from 1848 until 1850, with approximately 15,000 manufactured. These pocket revolvers were very successful, and Colt quickly introduced a more refined version in 1849.
The Model 1849 Pocket Revolver is considered a smaller version of the Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver. The Model 1849 would become one of the most successful Colt revolvers of the time and was made from 1850 until 1873, with over 325,000 models made in the United States and an additional 11,000 made in London. The Model 1849 came with various barrel lengths from 3” to 6”, and the cylinders were either five or six-shots and all were .31 caliber. This diminutive revolver was popular as personal defense weapons and many were sold in the American west to pioneer families in the 1850s, and many more were acquired by soldiers during the Civil War.
The Model 1849 Pocket Revolver weighs between 24 and 27 ounces depending on the barrel length and as noted, was chambered in .31 caliber. The Cylinder was engraved with the Stagecoach Holdup scene.
The Frame on this Colt has the matching serial number "129578" on the bottom. The Frame retains 95% plus of its original, still bright, color case-hardened finish. It is obvious that this pistol was rarely, if ever, used as the color case-hardening is typically one of the first things to dull. All three of the single-slot Frame Screws are present and their slots are unmarred. These three screws also retain all of their original blued finish on the heads. The left front portion of the Frame has the "COLTS/PATENT" stamp, which is still crisply stamped with no wear at all. The Cylinder Stop is present and undamaged, and it secures the Cylinder firmly when the Hammer is cocked, during firing (hammer fall) and when the Hammer is at rest. The original Arbor or Cylinder Pin is present, and it is serial number matching with “9578” stamped on the bottom. The grease threads are unmarred. The right recoil shield is correctly without the capping groove
The original Hammer is present with the cross-hatching on the thumb piece, known as the Hartford Type Hammer Knurling, and it also retains 95% of its original color case-hardened finish. There is some minor frosting on the right side near the tip, but overall, the hammer is in mint condition. There are eight diamonds in the checkering from top to bottom. The checkering is still very crisp. The internal Hand, which advances the Cylinder during cocking, is present and undamaged and it still advances the Cylinder precisely and smoothly. The Main Spring is still strong and remains in the white. The Mainspring Screw still retains the vast majority of its fire blued finish, and the slot is unmarred. The internal Sear and trigger release are crisp.
The Grips or one-piece Stock is the original Colt 1849 black walnut stock in mint condition. This stock retains its original oil finish and has only a very few, minor dings and scratches. The original matching serial number “9578” is penciled into the backstrap recess.
The original iron silver-plated Backstrap has the matching serial number "129578" on the bottom and it still retains 95% plus of its original silver plating with wear noted on the sharp edges and at the bend. The original Butt Screw is also present and has an unmarred slot while retaining the majority of its original blued finish.
The original silver-plated iron Triggerguard is serial number matching with "129578" stamped on the bottom front. The Triggerguard still retains 90% plus of its original silver plating with wear noted on the sharp edges. There is a small, serif “G” inspection stamp on the right side of the guard. Both original single-slot Triggerguard Rear Screws are present, and the slots are unmarred. The original Trigger is present, and it retains considerable original blued finish with wear noted on the edges. The original single-slot Triggerguard Front Screw is present, and the slot is unmarred.
The original Cylinder is present and retains 95% of its original blued finish. The "COLTS PATENT No" and matching serial number “129578” is present on the side and they remain crisply stamped. All of the original Stagecoach scene remains clearly visible. The front face of the cylinder has a small star stamp. All five original Nipples are present with minor corrosion along the edges. All five Nipples have clear and unobstructed channels to their respective cylinder chambers, each of which still remain very clean and still serviceable. All five of the original safety pins are present and are undamaged, providing further evidence that this revolver was seldom used. The Arbor channel remains very clean and shiny.
The original 4" long, round, .31 caliber Barrel is present and is serial number matching with "129578" stamped on the bottom. The Barrel still retains 90% plus of the original blued finish with minor wear exhibiting a dark plum patina. The original brass post front sight is present and is still secured tightly to the barrel. The top of the Barrel has the relatively scarce first type Model 1849 Colt address, which has the early “ADDRESS SAML COLT / NEW YORK CITY” stamping, which remains as crisp as the day it was made. The bore is in very fine condition with very minor frosting. All along its length it has considerable brightness and very crisp rifling.
The original Loading Lever is present and is serial number matching with “9578” stamped on the underside. The Loading Lever retains 95% plus of its original color case-hardened finish. The Loading Lever Latch is present and retains the majority of its original finish and it remains tightly secured to the lever with the Loading Lever Latch Retaining Pin. The original Loading Lever Plunger is present and is secured by original Loading Lever Plunger Screw, which has an unmarred slot. The Loading Lever Screw correctly enters from the left side. The Wedge is serial number matching with “29578” stamped on the bottom and it retains 95% of its original, bright blue finish. The original Wedge Screw is also present and has a slightly marred slot.
The revolver is very tight when assembled with no movement in the barrel assembly when the wedge is installed. The cylinder rotates smoothly and locks up tightly when the hammer is cocked. The revolver functions perfectly. This is, by far, the nicest Model 1849 Pocket Model Revolver that I have ever had the privilege to offer for sale and would be nearly impossible to upgrade.