WHY COLT OPEN TOP .22S? Good question. First there is historical significance. Second, there are a good number of types with variations galore. Third, no one fakes an Open Top .22, at least not yet. That’s because they are still relatively inexpensive and because they fly below the radar collectors can often snap up great guns at a modest price.
The key, as in all collecting, is to arm yourself with knowledge and keep your eyes open? And when an opportunity presents, strike!
This gun was in a lot of several guns in a regional auction. It was described as New York engraved with a gold wash. It was immediately identifiable as all factory, except for the gilt which was likely applied by B. Kittredge. He loved to gussy up his guns. Fortunately, no one else recognized it for what it was and it went for a song.
Many times I have often been surprised with boxes. As you can see, most box types are beyond rare. The basic Type 4 box is seen with some regularity, but other boxes are scarcely known. The early Type 1 box was in an auction for a Type 1 gun, but they did not show it. Admittedly, it’s no beauty but the only other known is in the Colt Museum, Hartford. I purchased the 1871 Type 2 and 3 box thinking it was for a Type 1. I had not seen this box before, but there it is. Note the difference in width between the 1871 and later boxes.
Colt Open Top .22 display at the Colt Collectors Convention, Fall 2015, Frisco, TX