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  a reported 101 first contract delivered Model 1855 military ally purchased by the U.S. Government in April 1857.
   This rifle is one of rifles origin
 LOT 225 Very Scarce U.S. First Contract Colt Model 1855 First Model Military Percussion Revolving Rifle - Serial no. 285, 44 cal., 31 5/16 inch part octagon bbl., blue/casehardened finish, walnut stock. This rifle is one of a reported 101 first contract delivered Model 1855 military rifles originally purchased by the U.S. Government in April 1857, found in the 1-300 serial number range with spur type trigger guards and fluted cylinders. Surviving examples are considered rare today. According to page 194 of “The Book of Colt Firearms” by Sutherland and Wilson, “First contract Hartford rifles, all numbered below #300, are considered rarest of Hartford contract arms.” Some of the pre-war contract examples such as this one ended up in Confederate
hands at the beginning of the war. This rifle has a blade front sight that doubles as a socket bayonet lug, three-leaf notch rear sight with 100, 300 and 600 yard graduations, bordered knurling on the hammer, double spur trigger guard, fluted cylinder, the matching serial number “285” marked on the underside of the barrel, rear of the cylinder, cylinder pin, frame, trigger guard tang, and handwritten in black ink inside the forend channel, inspection initial “C” marked on the trigger guard tang directly after the serial number, “GG” on the rear of the cylinder, “COLTS/PATENT/U.S.” marked on the upper receiver tang, correctly without a barrel address, smooth walnut forend and buttstock with a partially visible “WAT” (William A. Thornton) inspection cartouche stamped on the right of the wrist, and a rifle buttplate. Includes a cleaning rod inside the buttstock. CONDITION: Good, with an attractively aged slightly artificially enhanced plum patina overall, some patches of minor pitting, and defined markings in the metal. The lightly sanded, re-oiled wood is fine with some light handling marks and dents, and a partially visible cartouche. Mechanically excellent. Surviving first contract Colt 1855 military rifles are seldom found in any condition, and this example would make a fine addition to any Colt or U.S. martial collection! Estimate: 6,000 - 9,000
  The Ordnance Department purchased 4,613 Colt 1855 Military Rifles during the Civil War.
LOT 226
Desirable Civil War U.S. Martially Marked Colt Model 1855 Military Percussion Revolving Rifle with Bayonet - Serial no. 1091, 56 cal., 31 5/16 inch part octagon bbl., bright finish, walnut stock. This is a scarce example of a U.S. martially marked Colt Model 1855 revolving rifle as manufactured in 1861. The Ordnance Department purchased 4,613 Colt 1855 Military Rifles during the Civil War; nearly 900 of these rifles were purchased from B. Kittredge and other commercial sources and over 3,700 rifles were purchased directly from Colt. The 1st and 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters (Berdan’s Sharpshooters), the 21st Ohio Infantry and 2nd Michigan Cavalry were primarily armed with Colt Model 1855 Military Rifles. The rifle was originally “in the white,” has a five-shot cylinder, a Root-type side hammer, ratchet-type loading lever, fitted with a block front sight base which serves as a mount for an angular socket bayonet, a modern made replacement folding three leaf rear sight, an iron cleaning rod with knurled handle and threaded end fitted in the forearm, “COLTS/PATENT/ U.S.” partially visible on the upper receiver tang, very faint remnants of boxed script inspection cartouches on both sides of the wrist. Faint small “K” inspector stamp on the left breech end of the barrel. All matching serial numbers “1091” marked on the barrel beneath the forearm, bottom of the frame, trigger guard tang, cylinder pin, cylinder and faintly visible on the toe of the buttplate. The stock and forearm are black walnut with a varnish finish. Factory sling swivels are located on the middle barrel band and trigger guard tang. The buttplate has a sliding trapdoor. Includes a period leather sling, socket bayonet marked with an “L” and a cleaning rod inside the sliding trapdoor compartment of the buttstock. CONDITION: Good showing evidence of genuine period use, with scattered patches of light to mild pitting and evidence of sanding on the “in the white” iron surfaces, with fading to some of the markings. Modern made replacement rear sight, cylinder pin release button and a few small screws. The refinished wood is very good with scattered light dents and scratches, general light wear, and some chips in the edges of the cleaning rod channel. The cylinder occasionally slips out of timing, mechanically needs work. The included bayonet and sling are both very good. This is a solid representative example of a U.S. inspected Colt Model 1855 military revolving rifle. Estimate: 5,000 - 7,500
LOT 227 Fine Civil War U.S. Colt Special Model 1861 Contract Percussion Rifle-Musket - NSN, 58 cal., 40 inch round bbl., bright finish, walnut stock. Approximately 100,000 of these rifle-muskets were manufactured by Colt during the Civil War, loosely based on the British Pattern 1853 “Enfield” rifle-muskets, and some of the design elements were used on the Springfield Model 1863 rifles. “1863” dated barrel and lock, Colt Hartford address marking on the lock, eagle and shield emblem on the bolster, “V/P/eagle head” proofs, “STEEL” and “M.N.M” inspection initials at the left of the breech, “AWM” and “JT” (John Taylor) boxed script inspection cartouches stamped on the left stock flat, and “US” marked buttplate. CONDITION: Fine, with scattered moderate surface freckling on the otherwise bright iron surfaces, most of the original blue finish on the rear sight, and absolutely sharp markings and edges on the lock and barrel. The stock is very fine with attractive original raised grains and rich oil finish, scattered light scratches and handling marks, a long, horizontal gouge visible on the left stock flat surrounded by exceptionally crisp cartouches, and distinct edges in the wood overall. Mechanically excellent.
Estimate: 3,500 - 4,750 209

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