Extremely Rare M1848 Colt Pre-First Model "Fluck" Dragoon 2nd Contract US Military Revolver with Prototype Octagon Barrel & Original Pommel Holster, .44 Cal, mfg. 1848. John Fluck is credited with discovering this unique model in 1956 and had originally thought that they were made as replacements for Colt Walkers which had blown up during service. He surmised that 300 or less were manufactured utilizing left over Walker parts. This theory has been debunked in recent years however with a much more intriguing history now known. Following the first military contract with Colt for Dragoon revolvers (the 1847 Walker model), a second government contract was established November 2nd, 1847 for 1,000 more pistols. This batch of revolvers incorporated several changes to the original Walker design and should technically be considered a "revised Walker" or "Pre-First Model" Dragoon. The guns appear within serial numbers 2001-3000 and have several identifying characteristics. Most notably the backstraps have a longer sloping profile than the standard Dragoons which followed, several components are reworked Walker parts (or castings thereof), and the serial number stamps are the same smaller die used on the Civilian Walkers (number 1001-1100) and Whitneyville Dragoons (number 1101-1340). By the time regular First Model Dragoon production began these stamps had been replaced with a larger die which continued throughout production. The Pre-First Model Dragoons were issued to mounted soldiers on the Texas frontier and Pacific Northwest and generally saw very hard use. This example, serial number 2242, is an original Second Contract "Fluck" Dragoon which has the added distinction of having a unique prototype octagon barrel. The barrel measures 7 3/4" long and is totally devoid of markings aside from a small punch dot where the serial number should be. The dovetailed brass front sight base holds a flattened Silver blade which appears to have
Wild West Legend Nat Love
aka "Deadwood Dick"
Important & Historic M1862 Colt Pocket Police Factory Conversion Revolver Inscribed to Nat Love, aka "Deadwood Dick", The Most Famous Black Cowboy & Folk Hero of The Wild West, Nickel Plated with Ivory Grips, .38 CF, mfg. ca. 1881 with 5 1/2" barrel. Nat Love (pronounced "Nate" Love) was born a slave in Tennessee in 1854. Love learned to read and write at an early age and in the years following the end of the Civil War he was already noted for his expert riding and horse breaking abilities. In 1870 he headed west to Dodge City, Kansas, where he joined up with a group of cattle drivers from Texas who he would spend the next two years working for. Love quickly became a formidable cowboy and marksman. In 1872 he moved to Arizona and took up work at the Gallinger Ranch. In 1876 Love drove a heard of cattle through Deadwood, Dakota Territory, and entered the 4th of July rodeo where he stunned the crowd by winning no less than six riding and roping contests. Love was declared the "champion roper of the western cattle country", a title which he proudly held throughout the rest of his years as a cowboy. It was at this rodeo Love earned the nickname "Deadwood Dick",
a name which was later regarded in his autobiography as "a name I was proud to carry and defend, if necessary, with my life." Love went on to take part in scores of adventures throughout the late 1870's and 1880's including capture by Indians, gun fights, and even encounters with Bat Masterson, Billy The Kid, and Pat Garrett. Nat Love left the cowboy life behind in 1890 after marrying the previous year and took up a job as a Pullman Porter for the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. Love published his autobiography, "Life and Adventures of Nat Love, Better Known in the Cattle Country as 'Deadwood Dick,' by Himself", in 1907. After moving to southern California, Love spent the last years of his life working as a security guard before passing away in 1921. Today Nat Love's image, dressed in full cowboy attire, has become synonymous with American western history and is universally regarded as the most famous black cowboy of the wild west. This M1862 Colt Pocket Police Conversion was likely acquired by Love sometime in the early 1880's and is period inscribed "Deadwood Dick" in old English along the backstrap with his name "Nat Love" engraved in script on the butt. Upon close examination there is no question the inscriptions were done during the period of use. A Colt Firearms factory letter will be included with the revolver which states it was originally shipped with blued finish and stocks "not listed" (wood) to J. P. Moore & Sons of New York City as part of an order for 50 guns. J. P. Moore was one of Colt's top dealers and most assuredly was responsible for adding the Nickel finish and Ivory grips seen on the gun today. Not long after it was likely re-sold and made it's way out west. Supposedly this gun was on display for years in a large western museum back in the 50's or 60's though I have not been able to find any further information regarding where. The pistol retains approximately 65% period Nickel finish with the balance having worn to a silvery/gray appearance. There is some very shallow, old pinprick pitting along the top of the barrel with mottled traces of case color on the hammer which have turned plum. The Ivory grips fit well with some minor shrinkage & swelling along the backstrap and triggerguard. They show a heavily worn and darkened patina with various age checks and stains. There is a period replaced sliver of Ivory along the back of the right grip with a smaller filled sliver opposite on the left grip. Matching serial numbers on the frame, barrel, cylinder, backstrap, triggerguard, and cylinder pin. The wedge is unnumbered but appears original. Clear cylinder scene, patent dates, and serial numbers. The barrel address heavily worn and partially visible. Original hammer, trigger, loading gate, ejector assembly, and bead front sight. The ejector head may have been re-shaped slightly and some of the screws appear to be later replacements. The action is crisp and functions very well. The bore shows very strong rifling front to back with moderately scattered blackpowder frosting and light pitting beginning near the muzzle. A proper cleaning may improve it. Opportunities do not arise often to own a truly iconic western figure's gun and as far as we know this is the only one of Nat Love's guns ever offered for sale. This is a significant piece of American western history worthy of the most advanced collection or museum display.
been originally inletted into the barrel beyond the base. Additionally there are three separate dovetails cut into the bottom flat (two filled) for the loading lever catch which is now missing. This would suggest that front sight and catch designs were being tested on this revolver in conjunction with the octagon barrel design. The stepped octagon barrel is specially made and has not been milled from a standard round barrel. The metal around the frame pins is thin and has broken through on one. The loading lever matches the gun perfectly and is numbered "9343" which would date to 1850. Matching serial number "2242" in the proper small font is marked on the frame, triggerguard, and backstrap. There are no visible numbers on the cylinder with only very faint traces of the rolled scene remaining. The frame is stamped "COLT'S / PATENT / U.S." with a small "P" marked behind the barrel on the left side. The wedge is unmarked and likely an old replacement. The metal shows a worn dark plum color thinning to gray overall. The brass backstrap and triggerguard show heavy wear with a smooth mellowed luster. The screw bolsters on the backstrap have both been repaired and replaced during the period with the high copper content of the brass used suggesting a Southern origin. The original wood grips are slightly undersized with rounded corners and show honest wear with a tight old 1" crack on the right side. Original hammer and trigger with mostly, it not all, original screws. The five-groove rifling is also unique to this gun (as opposed to the standard seven-groove) and is sleeved into the bore. Obviously yet another experimental element tested on this revolver. The rifling is very sharp front to back with no pitting. The action tends to hang up occasionally but is generally smooth and functions well. All nipples are clean originals. Included is the original pommel holster for carrying the pistol on horseback. Once part of a pair, the holster shows heavy wear and is missing it's flap yet remains in fair condition. This is an important piece of Colt history that not only served as a test mule for Dragoon development but also saw service on the Western frontier with probable continued use during the Civil War. A rare and unique addition to any advanced historical arms collection.
M1873 Colt Single Action Army Revolver, Nickel Plated, .45 Colt, mfg. 1892 with 4 3/4" barrel. This is a very sharp example of a desirable blackpowder frame first-generation Colt Single Action with all original components. Overall the pistol retains 90% bright period nickel finish which is just beginning to turn frosty with minor flaking. The finish may very well be factory original or is at least retailer applied when new. The original hard rubber grips fit perfectly and show light wear with no cracks or chips. Matching serial number "146910" marked on the frame, triggerguard, and backstrap. Original hammer, trigger, cylinder pin, ejector assembly, and blade front sight with all original screws. Clear patent markings with rampant horse, caliber designation, and two-line Colt barrel address. When cocked the cylinder tends to require the slightest assistance to fully lock into place but otherwise the action is crisp and functions very well. Everything feels smooth and tight as it should with no slop. Very good bore with clean sharp rifling front to back. A really wonderful Colt throughout and a fantastic investment grade piece. The iconic Wild West cowboy gun!