NAVAL BATTLE SCENE METROPOLITAN “NAVY” .36 Revolver Civil War Colt Antique
Scarce with Only 6,000 Made!
Here we present an antique Metropolitan Arms Company “Navy” Percussion Revolver, made circa 1864-66, in New York City with a total production of around 6,000 examples. Over the years, there has been very little that was positively known about the Metropolitan Arms Company of New York but is has long been assumed by firearms historians that the firm was established to take advantage of the massive fire that took place at the Colt Patent Firearms factory in February of 1864. With Colt’s production capacity severely curtailed, there was a perceived opening in the civilian percussion revolver market.
The newly established Metropolitan Arms Company stepped into the void left by the Colt fire by bringing three models to market, all of which were basically copies of current production Colt revolvers. The primary product was a copy of the Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver, as is this example. The secondary product was a copy of the Colt Model 1862 Police Revolver, and the final product was a variation on the Model 1851, which essentially a copy of the Colt Model 1861 Navy Revolver. None of the guns were produced in great numbers and even the Model 1851 type revolver which was produced in the greatest numbers is fairly scarce gun on the market today. Between the formation of the company in 1864 and when they went out of business circa 1866 it is estimated that a total of 8,900 revolvers were produced. Of these roughly 6,100 were of the “1851 Navy” pattern, about 2,750 of the “1862 Police” pattern and about 50 were of the extremely rare “1861 Navy” pattern. Interestingly all were .36 caliber guns, and no other calibers were produced.
It is believed that the firm was initially having trouble selling their revolvers. An indicator is the fact that the “Navy” revolvers were produced from serial number 1 through 63 and then the numbering jumped up to 1164, skipping the numbers in between. It is believed that they wanted people to believe they were selling more revolvers than they actually were, indicating they were popular. This has actually been documented in the past with some Smith & Wesson models, and more recently has been suggested to have take place at the New Haven Arms Company to make Henry Rifle production appear greater than it really was. The company used the same strategy in the production of their Model 1862 revolver and those guns started at number 1100, rather than 1.
The overall condition is good. Original patina. There is a good amount of holster wear at the muzzle from getting it in and out. The numbers match. Replacement barrel wedge. The action is great. The bore is in good condition with strong rifling. The grip is solid. The initials “S.W” are in the bottom of the grip frame. The glass topped case is in good condition. A scarce revolver from the Civil War that would make a great display!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 7-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .36 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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