Colt 1849 Wells Fargo
The Colt 1849 pocket pistol was Colt's more popular percussion revolver. Between 1849 and 1872 over 320,000 were produced. There were many variations produced with different barrel lengths, features and markings. The "Wells Fargo" is a term used to describe a rounded triggerguard and no rammer. There are two versions of the Wells Fargo that were produced at different times. The first version is known as the Short Frame Wells Fargo. These were produced is short batches in the same serial number range as the 1849 Pocket. The Short Frame variation starts in 14,400 serial number range and continues to the 63,300 serial number range. The estimate production is 2200 short frame Wells Fargos. They were produced in 3" and 4" barrel length. The frames used were left over baby dragoon frames and are 1/8" shorter than the 1849 pocket frame. The barrel has no provision for a rammer nor a loading cutout in the back for loading. The pistol is loaded by removing the barrel and using the cylinder pin to press the bullet into the chamber. The end of the cylinder pin is cupped. The cylinder pin also does not have grease grooves like the other 1849 pockets.
This example falls toward the end of the first type serial number range in 1853. It is complete and all the markings are visible and readable. The metal is a brown patina with scattered areas of pitting. The cylinder scene is strong and clear. The serial numbers match including the wedge. A lot of silver remains on the triggerguard. The wood grips show much varnish. The action is nice.
This is a scarce variation of the 1849 pocket series.