This is to my knowledge a population 1 of 1 brass Colts patent bullet mold for the .34 caliber Navy. It’s a mold still being researched and I invite any response or corrections. I’ve found no opportunities to publish (not even with Colt Collector group) or display it & my research so I thought I’d showcase it here.
In keeping with policies this item is being listed with intent to sell but until then I’m also providing here for a point of research & reference as I have found no other information on it aside from what I’m presenting. Enjoy my research and I hope you find it interesting. If anyone found a bullet in the wild please send me any info RE recovery.
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(my research/etc below unless otherwise noted)
Mold in question is shown to the right of a later model iron Colt Navy. Will update picture compared to a 2nd model Navy M22 as soon as able.
Mold age estimate: 1851 +- 3 years.
Mold specs: 5.85 ounces. 0.650 inches wide. 4.95 inches long.
Material: brass mold with iron sprue cutter.
Sprue cutter: Rounded cutter indicates early/first model Navy era. Possible ‘S’ inspection mark at bottom left. ‘Colts Patent’ stamp (likely no apostrophe but hard to tell). The sprue cutter screw is noticeably smaller than that of the .31 caliber Pocket, with a smaller diameter screw.
Mold body: surprisingly unmarked and very good condition throughout. The mold pin is on the left side vs right side pin seen on the iron Navy example. Interestingly, someone very long ago handled it while very hot and ungloved; clear fingerprints are showing on body of mold under the patina (ouch!)
Mold cavities: Very likely factory original cavities. Given the unusual conical dimensions, the mold cavities are likely original to this mold (IE not one of the Rapley-referenced post war Colt factory conversions). The round ball cavity is very well made; note the slightly raised top portion which when cut by the sprue produces a much more spherical example than that produced by the Navy example. Also note the round ball produced by the .31 Pocket example is less exact as the top raised portion is 3X above the ball which could decrease accuracy by being off balance.
Visually it’s most similar to #M22 in the Colt Accoutrements 1834 book (R. Rapley). This mold or caliber is not mentioned in either of his 2 Colt accoutrements books nor The Book of Colt Firearms (Wilson). But not a match to any regular Colt molds. Was this not made in Hartford/by one of the ‘established’ local mold contractors?
Of interest in The Gun Report I found a picture of a patent submission in 1851 of a tinfoil cartridge. The bullet drawn looks nothing like any documented Colt bullets - but very close to the example produced by this mold, save for it having a pointed tip and this mold producing a bullet with a rounded tip.
I found a few references to the small number of .34 Navy revolvers produced but no picture references. Would love to compare pictures to a cased .34 caliber Colt Navy accoutrements, if existing.
Bullet specs (measured 2):
.315 caliber conical (average around heel)
Conical: 81.4 grains
Ball: 53.8 grains
.365 caliber conical (average around heel)
Conical: 137.8 grains
Ball: 84.8 grains
Reference ‘The Gun Report’; February 1993 (page 17)
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