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LOT 218
Rare Documented Patent Arms Mfg. Co. Colt Paterson Second Model Ring Lever Percussion Rifle - Serial no. 282, 44 cal., 27 7/8 inch octagon bbl., blue finish, walnut stock. Samuel Colt manufactured approximately 500 Second Model Ring Lever Rifles at his Paterson, New Jersey, factory in 1838-1841. These rifles were serial numbered in their own range starting with serial number 1. Surviving examples of this historically significant Colt firearm are extremely rare. This rifle is featured on pages 188 and 189 of “The Paterson Colt Book” by R.L. Wilson and is discussed extensively on pages 199-201. Robert Pershing later in that section notes that “It is my belief, after subsequent research, that this rifle might well have been one of the second shipment, October 8, 1839. The rifle was issued to a soldier in the Texas Army and was kept by him when discharged. He started a cattle operation in South Eastern Texas, utilizing Galveston as a port for shipping his livestock. Later, he and his kin moved to Louisiana taking the gun with them. The family operated this ranch until the late 1920’s or early 1930’s. Paul Sorrell, a collector-dealer in Beaumont, Texas, discovered the rifle in the hands of the great-grandson of the original owner, who indeed could remember his grandmother telling about great grandfather using the rifle to kill cattle on their range on Grand Isle, Louisiana. The great-grandson was a druggist in Houma, Louisiana. This rifle came out of the brush, passed down, from generation to generation until 1991...The serial number is in the range that was the Government of Texas...” The great-grandson is identified as David Norman of Houma, Louisiana, and it
is stated that the rifle had been in his family since 1840. Further investigation reveals that he was born in 1935 and his father was David J. Norman Sr. (1905-1972), also a pharmacist in Houma, Louisiana, and his mother was Isabelle Carey Norman (1906-1995). It is not clear which of their ancestors was identified as the original owner, but from genealogical records it would appear his great- grandfathers all were too young to have been soldiers in 1840. One of his great-great grandfathers, Jose “Pepe” Llulla (1815-1888), was a noted duelist and fencing master in New Orleans and owned land on Grand Terre Island in Barataria Bay and raised livestock there, so it may have been him that the grandmother was referring to.
The rifle has the distinctive ring on the bottom of the frame ahead of the trigger guard to rotate the cylinder and cock the internal hammer and the Second Model type frame without a top strap. Other Second Model features include the loading lever, capping cutout in the recoil shield, and rounded shoulders of the cylinder. The barrel has the dovetail mounted blade front sight and dovetail mounted elevation adjustable notch rear sight. The top barrel flat is stamped “~*Patent Arms M’g. Co. Paterson, N.J.-Colt’s Pt.*~” reading towards the muzzle. The cylinder has the centaur, hunter, and deer scene. The matching serial number is stamped on the face of the barrel lug, rear cylinder face, and cylinder collar as well as a partial “82” at the toe of the crescent iron buttplate. The book states matching serial numbers also appear on several other components in concealed areas. The stock has a cheekpiece.

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