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 Review of the MGC 1851 Navy Colt Modelgun

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kiwigunner
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PostSubject: Review of the MGC 1851 Navy Colt Modelgun   Sat May 21, 2011 11:01 am

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND (based on internet commentaries)
Samuel Colt was the initiator and driving force in the company’s early years. His Patterson belt pistol not only changed the way Anglo-Texans interacted with the other inhabitants of the region, but on the global scale, Colt generally defined the mass production process of the machine age.

But the Colt Pattersons (named after the Patterson New Jersey plant) were rickety guns with a multiplicity of moving parts, mostly prone toward breakage from being under constant strain.

In 1847 the plans Colt had for a financial empire were killed off by the end of the Mexican War in 1847 which also killed the demand for the big .44 calibre Horse Pistols. In 1849 the combination of the California Gold Rush of ’49, the Missouri-Kansas range feuds, and the influx of new settlers into Texas fortuitously opened up a civilian market that proved the most reliable venue for Colt’s (and others') arms trade.

Able to sell ALL the .31 pocket revolvers he could make, he continued refining and simplifying the design at the same time. By 1851, the new Model 1851 in the .36" "Navy " Calibre was released. It was a far better for belt carry than the large calibre Walkers and Dragoons weighing a few ounces less than three pounds.

It was also clearly more effective than the popular .31s.and it gained immediate acceptance. In its day the 1851 Navy became the most popular Colt revolver ever made, sold, and fired. It was chambered for the .36 or .44 ball shot. The Colt 1851 Navy was produced from 1851 until 1873 and in that time over 250,000 Navies were made.
In Hartford, Connecticut 215, 340 pistols were produced and 42,000 were produced in London, England after Colt set up another factory there.

However the era of the percussion revolver was possibly the shortest epoch in the history of firearms. It extended from 1836 to about 1872 when general production gave way to metallic cartridge arms.

The Japanese MGC version was also short-lived when it was produced in 1967, failing to find favour among its customers who much preferred metallic cartridge-chambering replicas. Comparatively few were made, and today the all-metal MGC 1851 Navy Colt is a collector’s item, that currently (2011) lists for sale in Japan at over US$1000.

REVIEW
My MGC Model arrived in its original box having arrived here in NZ from the USA and clearing Customs in just 4 days! 'cheers'





It is all-metal apart from the usual plastic "wood: grips.
It appears un-fired, and was in excellent condition. The action is crisp and tight. When I used the loading lever I was surprised to find that the end-catch – which is normally spring-loaded – was in fact a dummy. The spring that allows the latching was actually situated inside the lever hinge below the barrel.



The next surprise was to discover that the take-down wedge is also a dummy – take-down being achieved by the removal of the cylinder spindle-bolt with a hex-wrench. This is situated under the hammer, with just enough room to manoeuvre.


The barrel is fully blocked and the only markings are a serial number under the frame, and the words “Old Frontier Navy Revolver” and “Japan” on the top left rear of the barrel/frame.


It is a fine example of early MGC Engineering and I'm extremely happy with it as an addition to my Western Collection - which also includes an MGC M-73 Winchester, RMI Frontier Colt, an MGC nickle-plated Derringer and a quality (really!) Denix British Bulldog (they sold like hot-cakes in the USA). 'Very Happy'


Kiwigunner




Last edited by kiwigunner on Sat May 21, 2011 11:43 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : typo corrections; add missing photo)
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Ozguns
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PostSubject: Re: Review of the MGC 1851 Navy Colt Modelgun   Sat May 21, 2011 1:33 pm

I think I have a bit of a soft spot for those percussion pistols. Smile It sounds like you really love them yourself.
And mentioning the Walker, I asked questions about my 1847 Walker some time back.
http://mp40modelguns.forumotion.net/t1335-1847-civil-war-revolver?highlight=1847+walker

Are you saying that ones like yours have sold for $1000? Wow!
That certainly is a fair bit of cash to fork out for a replica, when real guns would probably be available for that amount.
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kiwigunner
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PostSubject: Re: Review of the MGC 1851 Navy Colt Modelgun   Sat May 21, 2011 2:12 pm

Our dear Francky has one on Gun Broker at the moment: 'cheers
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=231102523

Hard to tell from the photos what colour metal it is; black or gold? There may be some extra data for the high price - but Francky knows his stuff and he prices accordingly.

And yes you're right - I have a soft spot for these old pistols - and enjoy learning through them about the evolution of firearms in general.

I plan to make a wooden replica display box for my Navy Colt, complete with powder flask & other accessories. But of course I'll keep the original cardboard box - they're extremely rare and valuable too! ('Smile'

Your post - which I have read before- was very interesting. Did you ever decide if the piece was an Italian-made San Marco replica or not? 'Question'

Kiwigunner


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Ozguns
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PostSubject: Re: Review of the MGC 1851 Navy Colt Modelgun   Sat May 21, 2011 2:21 pm

Jeepers, you certainly do your research well! Yours looks just about right to be like the one Franky has listed, box and all.
That certainly is a pretty penny.

As for mine, I don't know what the actual origin of it is. But I know it's got to be worth more than the hundred dollars I paid for it though.
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smootik
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PostSubject: Re: Review of the MGC 1851 Navy Colt Modelgun   Mon May 23, 2011 12:11 am

Wow, what a beauty! These early revolvers are something different, just as the metal MGC model is.
I think Francky's version was originally golden, polished to reveal surface underneath. Spots around protruding parts seem to be left untouched (it's not easy to polish evenly around the bends.

Informative post, too - I never tried to find out 1851 Navy origins and here it is :-)
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Momocampo
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PostSubject: Re: Review of the MGC 1851 Navy Colt Modelgun   Tue May 24, 2011 7:37 am

Hello Kiwi,
Yes, it is really a beautiful model !!
Me too, I would like to have metal one but it is too expansive. And I repeat, I prefer a good plastic model that a bad metal model.
Yours is MGC, so good one I think Smile
My CAW model army is really nice but I am a little bit disappointed. The price is high and the quality is not perfect (if you see my review, the barrel is easily scratched.

Anyway, great review and lucky you are.

Wink
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kiwigunner
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PostSubject: Re: Review of the MGC 1851 Navy Colt Modelgun   Tue May 24, 2011 9:15 am

Thank you for the feedback!
Percussion guns are a bit different ok - but worth the effort....and yes metal ones seem to be expensive!
Maybe there will become a new market if people on this forum start to develop this interest in addition to their other ones!
I now need a Remington!

I am pleased to have grown my Western Frontier collections of quickly - it was something I didn't plan!
C'est la vie! lol!'

Kiwigunner

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Momocampo
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PostSubject: Re: Review of the MGC 1851 Navy Colt Modelgun   Tue May 24, 2011 9:39 am

Your Winchester is great Wink
really, really nice.

The percussion revolver is good because the system is simple. The hammer hit the cap and "boooummm". Nothing more simple .

I am doing customs model with 2 HWS colt saa, I have some work to finish but I will do a presentation in this forum when I will ready.

Wink
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