Colt Model 1862 Police Revolver Made In 1863
- Product Code: FHG-GB12
- Availability: In Stock
In 1861 Colt introduced two new pocket model revolvers in the more powerful .36 caliber chambering. Until that time, all of Colt’s “Pocket” guns had been .31 caliber, or in the case of some of the Root revolver production, .28 caliber. These new pocket revolvers can be considered “scaled up” 1849 Pocket Models or scaled down Belt Pistols (aka “Navy” models), as both guns had features of their smaller and larger siblings. The two new models were known as the Model 1862 Police and the Model 1862 Pocket Navy.
The “Police” model resembled a scaled down, early production Colt Model 1861 New Model Belt (Navy) revolver, built on a Colt Model 1849 Pocket frame. The .36 caliber revolver had a five shot fluted cylinder and the grip frame and triggerguard were of Colt Pocket size and style. It had a round barrel, a creeping loading lever and was available in 3 ½”, 4 ½”, 5 ½” and 6 ½” barrel lengths. The Pocket Navy was essentially a scaled down Model 1851 Navy that was also built on a Model 1849 Pocket frame, with a .36 caliber, five shot, rebated round cylinder that was roll engraved with the same Stagecoach Hold Up scene used on the Model 1849 Pocket. Like the Police model it used a Pocket-sized frame and triggerguard but had an octagonal barrel and conventional swinging link loading lever like those used on the Model 1849 and Model 1851 revolvers. Like the Police, it was available in four barrel lengths ranging from 3 ½” to 6 ½”, in 1” increments. The standard finish for both revolvers was blued barrels and cylinders, color case hardened frames and silver-plated brass backstraps, gripstraps and triggerguards. A few of the revolvers were produced with iron grip frames and triggerguards, which were also silver plated, but these are only found on very low number, early production guns. Early production revolvers will be found with the desirable Hartford barrel address, but the majority of the production carried the typical New York barrel address. Although both models are referred to with the model date of 1862, both went into production in 1861, and would remain in production until the end of the Colt percussion era in 1873. During that time some 47,000 of both models would be produced, manufactured concurrently, and utilizing the same serial number series, regardless of model. According to Colt researcher and author R.L Wilson, it is believed that about 60% of the total production of the two models was of the 1862 Police pattern, which would be approximately 28,200 guns, produced over about the thirteen-year production period. Compared to the Colt Pocket, with about 331,000 guns produced, this makes the 1862 Police a much less common gun, with only one being manufactured for about every eleven Model 1849 Pocket Models.
The Colt Model 1862 Police Revolver offered here is in about VERY GOOD+ condition. The revolver is serial number 15943 and was produced in 1863. The revolver has a 4 ½” barrel and the typical fluted cylinder of the 1862 Police Model. The top of the barrel is marked in a single line with the usual New York address and reads:
ADDRESS COL SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA
The lower left side of the frame, forward of the cylinder is marked in two lines: <b>
and one of the cylinder flutes is marked:
PAT. SEPT. 10TH 1850
The matching serial number 15943 appears throughout the revolver. It is present on the bottom of the barrel lug, frame, triggerguard and butt. The last four digit of the serial number also appears on the wedge and inside the grip frame cut out of the one-piece grip in period ink. The barrel is frozen to the cylinder arbor pin, and I could not remove it from the frame to check the arbor’s serial number and the rear face of the cylinder to see if it was numbered. While early Pocket Police revolvers had their cylinders numbered in one of the flutes like the early “Fluted” Army revolvers, the later production guns were numbered on the rear of the cylinder.
The revolver some nice traces of its original finish, with about 20%+ of the original blue present. Most of the remaining blue is the protected areas of the barrel, under the barrel and on the barrel’s web and in the cylinder’s flutes. The frame retains some minute traces of case color around the screws and in protected areas but is mostly a lightly mottled and oxidized brownish patina. The balance of the gun has a moderately oxidized brown patina with some areas of surface roughness and a couple of patches of light pitting. This is most noticeable in the last inch of the barrel on the right side near the muzzle. There are some flecked areas of surface roughness on the barrel as well, but they are not horribly noticeable as they blend with the rich brown patina. Most of the metal of the gun remains smooth other than in the areas noted and all the markings remain clear and crisp. There are the usual impact marks on the barrel web, around the wedge, from having it beat out of the gun and into the gun over years of use. The bore of the revolver is in about GOODcondition and is dark and heavily oxidized. It retains deep rifling but also shows evenly distributed moderate pitting along its length. The original truncated brass cone front sight is in place on the top of the barrel, near the muzzle. The creeping loading lever retains some nice traces of its case coloring at the web, with the balance of the lever having taken on a moderately oxidized brown patina that matches the balance of the revolver very well. The loading lever functions smoothly and correctly and locks securely into place under the barrel when not in use. The rebated fluted cylinder retains about 20%+ original blue, mostly in protected areas like the flutes and cylinder stop notches. The cylinder shows some small areas of very light pitting scattered over its surface, as well as some pinpricking, most of which is around the cut outs for the cones (nipples) and around the chamber mouths. All of the original cones remain in place and show moderate wear but remain fairly crisp and usable. The safety pins on the rear face of the cylinder all show moderate to heavy wear, with only one remaining in decent condition and the other four being little more than the battered remnants of the pins. The cutouts for the percussion cones at the rear of the cylinder show the expected moderate corrosion and oxidation expected from the caustic wear of percussion cap flash. The hammer retains some traces of its case coloring in protected area, with the balance of the hammer having a thickly oxidized brown patina that matches the gun, along with some areas light silvering. The brass grip frame and triggerguard retain some minute traces of their original silver-plated finish, most of which is confined to the tight recesses, nooks, crannies and protected areas of the frame. The exposed brass has an attractive golden patina. The revolver is in VERY GOOD condition mechanically and times, indexes and locks up tightly. The action remains crisp, and the revolver operates exactly as it should. The one-piece walnut grip is in VERY GOOD+condition and is free of any breaks, cracks, or repairs. The grip retains about 75%+ of its original varnish, with most of the wear and loss around the base of the sharp lower edges grip. These areas show the most wear overall, but the flared edges remain fairly crisp. The grip does show some scattered dings, rubs and mars, but nothing indicative of abuse, just lots of carry and use.
Overall, this is very attractive and desirable example of a mid-Civil War production Colt Model 1862 Police revolver, produced in 1863. The gun remains fairly crisp, is mechanically fine and retains some nice traces of original finish. The 1862 Police is literally ten times less common than the 1849 Pocket, so the chances to obtain a nice example come along very rarely. This is a very attractive example of a .36 Colt Police that will be a nice addition to your collection of Colt percussion revolvers or Civil War era handguns.