Colt Model 1883 Gatling Gun On Original Watervliet Arsenal Carriage

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  Lot #99  (Sale Order: 99 of 824) 
Sold for: $170,000.00 to onsite
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Amoskeag Auction Company, Inc.

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Location: Manchester, NH

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serial #463, 45-70 Govt., (10) 32” barrels, seven with very good plus bores showing strong, mostly bright rifling, with three rating good to near very good with strong rifling but with minor pitting, perhaps a few spots more moderate. The outer gun casing is a wonderfully aged tarnished goldenrod patina. The Colt’s Patent Firearms Co. manufacturers marking remains crisp above the trunnions. The breech has the model, caliber marking and serial number still crisp, albeit with some very old antique impact marks present; additionally there is a capital “GA” neatly stamped on the rear housing cover. The “D.F.C.” inspectors marking is stil crisp just below the Colt’s Patent date plate and the housing is dated “1887” ahead of it. While the Accles drum feed plate adapter is old, it is not an original Colt-made part, however its fit is excellent and the drum seems to operate well. The cartridge carrier drum and its backing plate through-which the bolts slide are original and “D.F.C.” inspected. The left and right trunnions are both “U.S.” marked and the heavy bronze yoke appears to be original equipment in every respect. The iron elevation bar appears correct and shows light oxidation remnants and very light pitting consistent with the age of the other correct components, the tensioning screw and knob which lock the elevation bar appear more contemporary. The gun includes what are likely its original front sights; there are two rear sight staffs included as well. The crank handle is unmarked and appears original, showing an old welded repair which is unobtrusive. The muzzles show appropriate very light pitting and appear to be original Gatling Gun barrels, their numbering slightly odd. Starting with the barrel in the No. 1 position, they are each numbered in turn….about 4-5” from the muzzles…in antique serifed font: 39, 15, 14, 34, 24, 15, 39, 24, 2 and 16. The bronze muzzle ring faceplate ring/nut shows peening all around its periphery – the reason is unknown but the nut seems to be affixed well and rotates properly with the faceplate. The bolts are all high-quality replacements, all numbered appropriately to their respective barrel/carrier position, 1-10, but none are inspector marked. Whether they are replacements from the period of use or more contemporary is unknown. It should be noted that the iron tiller bar and the bolt access port cover are also modern replacements, they are functional and well done. The gun rides atop an excellent original 1886-dated Watervliet Arsenal carriage, so-marked on the face of the axle left-to-right: “Watervliet Arsenal 1886 US 5”. The carriage has an old field gray-green paint with all the iron furniture appearing original and painted black. The wheel hubs are manufacturer marked: “Archibald Wheel Co. Lawrence Mass” (in Government testing…the Archibald wheel was found superior to wheels made at Bethlehem Steel). The right side ammunition box pivots and has slots for two Accles feed drums, the left box static and holds an extra, spare pinion gear for rotating the barrels. An original D.F.C.-inspected drum is included, in about excellent condition (the pictured drum is not inspected and is lot #357 in this sale). Factory records indicate that U.S. Model 1883 Gatling Gun serial no. 463, caliber .45 Long, shipped to the U.S. Army, May 20, 1887, meaning it is highly likely this gun and carriage have been together since “day one”. The 1883 model Gatling Guns had dual cyclic rates and could be cranked from either the right side of the gun or the rear of the gun, each providing a different rate of fire. There is no gunners seat present on the trail however at this point it would seem the most effective way to operate the gun would be from the standing position. The gun itself is about 50 1/2” overall length with a length muzzle to pintle ring of 9’. The wheels are about 56” tall and maximum width axle tip-to-axle tip is 75”. The overall height to the top of the Accles drum is just over 65”. Purportedly the gun runs perfectly, in fact the Nick Falcone family would fire the gun once a year with carefully loaded shells, cleaning it meticulously afterward. Rarely are these arms encountered and when they do become available, too many times are in fair repair or on modern-made carriages or tripods. This fabulous example retains many many original parts and sits atop an original, correctly dated field carriage, likely where it was set the day the U.S. Army received it in May of 1887. A truly stunning example for the finest advanced arms collection. (36934-1){ANTIQUE}[Nicholas Falcone Collection]

Estimate: 200000 - 300000

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This item is part of Auction No. 105 - Session 1
 Saturday, Mar 28, 2015 | 10:00 AM  Eastern
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Colt Model 1883 Gatling Gun On Original Watervliet Arsenal Carriage
Colt Model 1883 Gatling Gun On Original Watervliet Arsenal Carriage
Lot number: 99
Seller: Amoskeag Auction Company, Inc.
Event: Auction No. 105 - Session 1
Ends: Saturday, March 28 | 10:00 AM  Eastern

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