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Only Known Verified Match Pair of Colt .31 M1848 Baby Dragoon(s)
According to Robert Jordan, leading authority on Colt Baby Dragoons and author of “Colt's Pocket 49 It's Evolution including the Baby Dragoon and Wells Fargo” and his latest book "Colt 1851 and 1861 Navies & Conversions", these are the only known verified pair of Colt M1848 Baby Dragoons with consecutive serial numbers. For the advanced Colt Collector or Colt Historian, these Colt Model 1848 Baby Dragoons, serial number 11469 & 11470 were recently “Expertised” by Author Robert Jordan and his three page Letter(see photo)is included with this sale. From my own research and from what I have read, I have discovered that the Colt places production of these revolvers at 1849, an important transitional period for Samual Colt and Colt's Manufacturing Company. According to Mr. Jordan's Book, the Pachanian Study (American Arms Society of Arms Collectors Colt's 1848 Pocket Model-Baby Dragoon “A Classification by Model, 2013), the Shumaker study (Colt's Variation of the Old Model Pocket Pistol 1848-1872), R. L. Wilson (The Book of Colt Firearms, third Edition), Arthur Tobias (Colt Cylinder Scenes 1847-1851) and Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms, 9th Edition), both are the rare second transition model (Pachanian 59/17), which features include, for the serial number range, the correct Right Hand Barrel Address with Dashed Finials (Jordan page 23)(Pachanian 59/20)(Shumaker page 37), Elongated Cylinder Stops (Jordan page 29)(Pachanian 59/20)(Shumaker page 25 & 37), Type 4 Cylinder Patent Stamp with Stage Coach Scene (Jordan page 37)(Pachanian 59/20), Square Back Trigger Guard (Pachanian 59/20), Short Thin Curved Trigger (Pachanian 59/20, Rounded Forward End Trigger Slot (Jordan page 30)(Pachanian 59/20), Slim Jim Grips with Slight to Medium Acclivity (Jordan pages 39 & 40)(Pachanian 59/20), No Hammer Wheel (Jordan page 26)(Pachanian 59/20) and a Single Safety Pin (Jordan page 27)(Pachanian 59/20). In addition to the above characteristics, both revolvers have the correct Forcing Cone (Jordan page 25), the correct 2 1/2” Frame (Jordan page 25), the correct smooth Arbor Pin (Jordan page 34), the correct Type 2 Arbor Cups (Jordan page 34), the correct Cylinder Rachets (Jordan page 27) and both have the correct “T” (William Tuller) inspector's stamp (Jordan page 40) on the right Bolster for the serial number range. The Jordan's Study on page 42 indicates production estimates of the second transition model at just 300 (first serial number 11100 to last serial number 12434) of the 13350 total M1848 Rammerless Baby Dragoons produced. Of that number, it is estimated that only 25.7% (average between the Jordan Study of 24% and the Shumaker Study of 27.5%) were manufactured with 5” barrels. Samual Colt designed the Model 1848 in part for those heading west for the California Gold Rush and needed a lightweight revolver for personal protection. They were considered the first concealed weapon of their time. The rammerless feature allowed the revolver to be drawn quickly from a pocket without catching on the fabric of an inside coat pocket. There are photos of Colt Baby Dragoons being carried by both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War(see photo). The Baby Dragoon was more accurate and more powerful than earlier pocket guns and their lighter weight made them the weapon of choice for Pony Express Riders and the Wells Fargo Company. They experienced harsh conditions so few specimens, possible 6-10% or less, survived and of those that did, most are found in poor condition, rarely with original finish. I am not a gunsmith or qualified to dismantle these revolvers past removing the wedge, barrel and cylinder safely and without possibly damaging these revolvers. In my opinion and using Flayderman's condition guide, serial number 11469 is in excellent condition and retains at least 90% Stage Coach Cylinder Scene and 90% original silver plate. All numbers match including the barrel, frame, trigger guard, butt strap, cylinder, arbor and wedge. Slim jim grips are in excellent condition and retain 95% original varnish. Oval cylinder stops. Single cylinder safety pin is gone. Bore is in excellent condition and mechanics are crisp. Barrel address line and Colt Patent Stamp on frame is sharp. Hammer lacks knurling and may be a period replacement or, as stated by Shumaker in his book on page 17, last paragraph “at this period of Colt's production history, frugality was a virtue which might well mean the difference between making a profit and substaining a loss. For this reason, Colt did not waste usable but obsolete parts whenever improved parts were introduced into the manufacture of his Pocket Pistols or any other guns then currently in production at his plant.” Serial number 11470 is in fine condition and retains 70% of the stage coach cylinder scene and 90% of the original silver plate. All numbers match including the barrel, frame, trigger guard, butt strap, cylinder and arbor. The wedge is period but not numbered. The slim jim grips retain about 70% original varnish and the right grip has a hairline that does not appear to effect the integrity of the grip. Oval cylinder stops. Single cylinder safety pin is gone. The bore is excellent and the mechanics are crisp. Barrel address line and Colt Patent Stamp on frame is sharp. Hammer has the correct knurling (Jordan page 26) with the standard top line. According to the Jordan study, page 42, less than 100 original cased Baby Dragoon cases exist today. There are no known original double cases. The double display case was custom ordered by me from Bill's Cases to display these revolvers. It is made of African Mahogany to original Colt standards for Baby Dragoon cases. Included with the case is a period unopened tin of Eley London 100 percussion caps with green paper seal(Jordan page 261 (3)), a hard to find period Eagle Powder Flask (Jordan page 256 (3)), a period M13 Colt's Patent .31 caliber brass bullet mold(Colt Percussion Accroutrements 1834-1873 by Rapley page 321)(Jordan 257(3)), a rare original Colt Baby Dragoon Nipple Wrench(Jordan 259 (1)) and misc .31 caliber conical lead bullets and lead balls.
In his Letter of Expertise, Mr. Jordan states “It is very rare to encounter consecutive serialized Colts...This is especially true when talking about Colt Baby Dragoons.” He goes on to say “There are many small differences in rammerless Baby Dragoons. If all the small differences are weeded out and only Baby Dragoons having the exact sames features as yours are counted...this leaves a very small group indeed...AND no other verifiable consecutive pair are known to me.” He sums up his letter by saying “I believe that these guns are all original with the possible exception of one hammer, which was probably a period replacement and should not be regarded as a serious fault. The guns are historic and very rare and desirable; they would be an asset to any serious collector.” Three day inspection period with full refund if not as described and they must be returned insured for the full purchase price and in the same condition as sent. These revolvers are antique and can be shipped directly to you. Buyer to select shipper of choice and pay for the cost of shipping and insurance. Buyer must be at least 21 years of age and provide a current State issued Drivers License to verify same. Payment is due within 7 days from the date of purchase. If payment is not received in that time frame the revolvers will be relisted with no further notification to you. Don't miss this incredible opportunity to own the only known verified pair of documented consecutively serial numbered Colt Baby Dragoons.
Model: 1848 Baby Dragoon
Caliber Info: .31
Manufacture Date: 1848