Custom Colt Second Generation 1851 Navy Martial Revolver
This Second-Generation Colt was customized by Lodgewood's own David Stavlo to be an exact reproduction of Colt's early-war martial "Open Market Procurement" Navies.
The Federal Government only had a small number of Colt's "Belt Revolvers" when the war began; not nearly enough to fully furnish its troops. In an effort to obtain a large number of Colt Revolvers as fast as possible, the government contracted with the Colt factory directly, sending a letter to Samuel Colt on September 17, 1861 stating that he should "send forward weekly as many revolvers as possible until further ordered." Even with the Colt factory producing revolvers at maximum capacity, the Ordnance Department still found themselves with a shortage of revolvers with which to equip the Army. In an effort to make up these shortages, the Ordnance Department also purchased a total of 8,117 Colt 1851 Navies from the civilian market. These large firms like Joseph C. Grubb & Co., Schuyler, Hartley & Graham, and Tyler, Davidson & Co. furnished civilian model Colts to the Federal Government at a cost of $16.00-19.75 a piece. Many of these Open Procurement Colt's were sent to the Federal Arsenal in New York City where they were inspected by Federal inspectors to insure they were fit for service. Colt's chief government inspector at the Federal Arsenal was Col. William Anderson Thornton. His distinct "WAT" cartouche is found on many U.S. Government Contract Colts, but he also inspected a few of the Ordnance Department's Open Procurement Colts. Open Procurement Colts with government inspector's marks are extremely rare, as most of the Open Procurement revolvers were sent directly to the units that needed them without being inspected.
This particular Colt Navy is an exact copy of the rare government-inspected Open Procurement Colts. It was made by Colt in the 1970's. Its original owner bought it from Colt and put it in storage for nearly 40 years before we purchased it and allowed David to work his magic on it. This Colt originally had a sqaure-backed, nickel-plated back strap and trigger guard. David replaced them with custom fit brass pieces cast from an original Colt Navy. David also made the grips out of American Walnut and stamped them with William A. Thornton's Cartouche, just like the originals. David also stamped the serial number on the trigger guard and back strap and added the sub-inspector approval stamps on the back strap, trigger guard and cylinder found on original martially inspected Colts. Like other Open Procurement Colts, this pistol is stamped "COLT'S PATENT" without the letters "US" stamped below it like Government contract models.
This pistol is literally one-of-a-kind and is the only Colt 2nd Generation 1851 Navy on the market with the correct, martial style 4th model brass trigger guard and back strap.