Colt Model 1861 Navy Revolver
"Richards-Mason" Conversion

This is an original Colt Model 1861 Navy Revolver fitted with a factory installed percussion-to-cartridge conversion - Richards-Mason type. These were converted during the mid to late 1870s from returns of various military and civilian 1861 Navy revolvers. This gun is a 4-digit serial number (47XX) indicating a second-year production run (1862) of the original 1861 Navy series (Civil War era); the conversion is post-Civil War from 1870s. They can be found in rim-fire (offset firing pin on hammer) or center-fire (centered firing pin on hammer). These were converted from .36 caliber percussion to .38 caliber cartridge; all of these revolvers - conversion or otherwise - retain the original .36 caliber markings. Both .36 and .38 calibers are low pressure black-powder loads and not intended for modern smokeless powder/loads. The earliest conversions - ~2000 of them - were produced at the Colt factory from existing parts (with a conversion kit added) or converted after the fact, as mentioned above.

If you need further information concerning markings or specifications, please post your questions to me via the Guestbook.

Return to the Firearms Identification Page

©2001 - C. Alan Russell - All rights reserved.