×
Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Scale (2024) Special Forces

Colt Model 1851 Navy


Percussion Revolver


United States | 1851



"The Colt 1851 Navy revolver became one of the most popular handguns ever produced, seeing totals reach some 250,000 examples by 1873."

Performance
Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Colt Model 1851 Navy. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
225 ft
68.6 m | 75.0 yds
Max.Eff.Range
6
Rounds-Per-Minute
Rate-of-Fire
750 ft/sec
229 m/sec
Muzzle Velocity
Physical
The physical qualities of the Colt Model 1851 Navy. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
355 mm
13.98 in
O/A Length
190 mm
7.48 in
Barrel Length
2.58 lb
1.17 kg
Weight
Single-Action
Action
.36 Cap and Ball
Caliber(s)
6-shot revolving cylinder
Feed
Open Iron Front, Fixed
Sights
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Colt Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver family line.
Model 1851 Navy - Base Series Designation


Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/17/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

At the end of the 1840's Samuel Colt was hard at work designing a new revolver of .36 caliber, this design becoming the famous "Colt Model 1851 Navy". The revolver then began production at the Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company out of Hartford, Connecticut in 1850 and manufacture would last until 1873. By this time, newer revolver types had appeared along with advances in cartridge design, but the Colt Model 1851 Navy would stand the test of time and remain a fixture across the globe. In fact, the Colt Model 1851 Navy proved to be one of the famous revolvers in firearms history with some 215,000 to 250,000 produced - essentially becoming the Colt concern's first "true" financial success with numbers only strengthened by the arrival of the American Civil War (1861 - 1865).

The Colt Model 1851 Navy received its "navy" designation by the usual depiction of a naval warfare scene engraved on the ammunition cylinder. The scene recounted the Battle of Campeche which had occurred in 1843 and involved the republics of Texas and Yucatan versus the nation of Mexico. While known for this engraving, not all Model 1851s were finished in this way - some simply utilizing basic smooth-sided cylinders instead. Despite the engraving's tribute, the revolver was not commonly used by naval forces as the name implies and use of the "navy" name went on to generically identify most any future revolvers being .36 in caliber - such was the Model 1851 Navy's place in history.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.


At its core, the Colt Model 1851 Navy was a single-action, percussion cap revolver with a rotating cylinder containing six rounds of .36 caliber ammunition (at this time being of paper and lead ball). As a "single-action" system, the revolver required the operator to "cock" the hammer before each firing. The first detent of the hammer set the weapon to "half cock" and allowed rotation of the cylinder while the second detent placed the revolver in "full cock", ready for fire (similar in action to the flintlock pistols that the percussion cap types replaced). Design of the revolver was "open frame" meaning there was no connecting bridge found across the top of the ammunition cylinder. The trigger was held low in the design and ahead of an elegantly formed pistol grip with flared bottom. The barrel was octagonal in form and completed to a 7.5 inch length while overall length of the gun was approximately 14 inches, its size making it highly portable by all manner of users - be they military or gunfighter in nature. Weight was approximately 1.18 kilograms. Sights were found at the front (bead type) and at the rear (notch at the hammer). As the Model 1851 Navy utilized percussion cap firing, these "caps" were added to each nipple at the ammunition chamber rear. Each chamber was also filled with gunpowder with the lead ball bullet seated therein. Construction of the Model 1851 Navy was very basic with the revolver able to break down into roughly about eleven major pieces including the barrel, hammer, cylinder, trigger, hand assembly, main spring, arbor, bolt, bolt spring and breech. This allowed it to be very robust and reliable when abused in the wide open spans that was the American Wild West.

The Colt Model 1851 Navy was favored by such high profile names that included gunfighters "Doc" Holliday and Wild Bill Hickok as well as Confederate General Robert E. Lee. While typically remembered as an American revolver, the Model 1851 Navy also made its way to Europe where it was used across Great Britain, Poland and Prussia as well as the empires of Austro-Hungary and Russia. Over 20,000 of the type were even manufactured at the London-based Colt London Armory.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Colt Model 1851 Navy. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company - USA
National flag of Australia National flag of Austria National flag of the Austro-Hungarian Empire National flag of Canada National flag of Hungary National flag of Ireland National flag of Poland National flag of Russia National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the Confederate States of America National flag of the United States

[ Australia; Austria-Hungary; Canada; Confederate States; Ireland; Poland; Prussia; Russia; United Kingdom; United States ]
1 / 1
Image of the Colt Model 1851 Navy
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Going Further...
The Colt Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver appears in the following collections:
HOME
SMALL ARMS INDEX
SPECIAL FORCES
ARMS BY COUNTRY
ARMS MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE ARMS
ARMS BY CONFLICT
ARMS BY TYPE
ARMS BY DECADE
AMERICAN CIVIL WAR ARMS
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks of the World U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols Breakdown U.S. 5-Star Generals List WWII Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.


©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)