🥇 BANNER Dream find realized...and it tells a story!


Sr. Member
Mar 25, 2009
🥇 Banner finds
Detector(s) used
MXT/Gold Bug Pro
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I know some of you out there were like me back when I was a kid...a dreamer! In my preteens I absolutely loved watching the old western movies and even those swashbucklers having those great adventures. I always dreamed of finding buried treasure or a gun that someone lost in a gunfight!! I would literally have these dreams in my early teens of a shootout on a hill or cliff with the bad guy being shot off his horse and his gun that was in his hand ends up going over the side too. Well after getting into the hobby in 1975 and graduating from coinshooting to my passion of relic hunting in 1987, one of my dreams has been fulfilled...not buried treasure, but finding a complete revolver!! Not only finding, but eyeballing it!!!

Here is the story - I decided to break away from my norm of relic hunting and hunt a local route used by emigrants, trappers, miners, soldiers, etc. After pretty much exhausting the day with some occasional lead & Henry shell casings being found and a friendly wave to the rancher and his dog as they pass by on his ATV, I change my strategy. I noticed some high rock outcroppings away from the normal area traveled and on a whim started up a wash to go hunt them. Some more fired round balls were found along with various caliber fired bullets. Then, there...about 15 feet ahead, on the side of the wash, under a bush, I thought I saw a cylinder of a gun peaking out through the grass! Upon getting closer to it I knew I wasn't dreaming, it was a cylinder. My immediate thought went back to my childhood days and the countless dreams of finding a complete gun. As I slowly bent down to check it out and the closer I got, I could barely see the grip under the grass!! My heart really started racing then and I was so hoping that it was in a whole state. After setting down my detector and taking the "as found" pictures, I gently pull it from it's resting place and immediately see that it is not a whole gun. It was missing part of the barrel. I turned it over and then saw the big picture! In the lower part of the barrel were round balls all compressed together still fused together attached to the barrel. No wonder the barrel blew apart! I then noticed that half of the main spring was missing and there was one round ball still in the cylinder! After some pics. were taken of the revolver my main focus was now on finding the blown apart barrel, even if it took me until dark! Fortunately for me, it only took me about 20 seconds!! There about 1 foot away was the barrel, the other half of the main spring and a conical bullet!!! You can just imagine how ecstatic I was in finding the rest of the revolver!!!! It may not be a whole gun but it is a whole gun pieced together and what a story it tells!!!!! Because, in the blown off barrel piece I find another bullet wedged in it as well! I have spun so many scenarios in my mind as to just how this happened and what was going on that I think I could write the screenplay for a movie!!!!! What do you guys & gals think?

Research - Upon researching it I believe what I have is an 1851 Model Colt Navy Revolver. The serial number is 134083 and my hunting partner CC Hunter researched it to have been manufactured in 1863. Right in the middle of the Civil War!!!!!!! Also upon researching, found that it was a popular gun used by such guys as Wild Bill Hickok, Doc Holliday, Robert E. Lee, Quantrill's Raiders to name just a few.

I hope you can appreciate one of my personal dream finds becoming a reality! I would even go on to say that I am placing it right up there with one of my "top 10 finds" I have ever found!! Yes, even more so than some of my gold coins I have found! (and I have found two more since my last time posting)

Okay enough of the dialogue...here are the pics.!!



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Upvote 95


Silver Member
Jul 27, 2014
New York City
🥇 Banner finds
Detector(s) used
Minelab Excalibur II, Ace 250
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Absolutely stunning! Amazing!
The poor guy who fired that gun over 150 years ago was probably seriously injured by that backfire!
Banner find for sure! Once in a lifetime discovery! :hello2:


Silver Member
May 23, 2014
Upstate NY
🥇 Banner finds
Detector(s) used
Minelab Etrac / Equinox 800 / 8.5x11 DD and 5x8 DD coil /
Garrett ProPointer / Lesche Digger
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Wow nice find, if only that revolver could talk I would buy it a beer and listen all day


Bronze Member
Jan 24, 2014
Los Angeles
🥇 Banner finds
Detector(s) used
Minelab Excal II, Garrett AT Pro, CTX3030
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Whoa! Way cool. Congrats'


Silver Member
Feb 18, 2013
🥇 Banner finds
Detector(s) used
I’ve used about all modern ones but right now: CTX 3030, Nokta Anfibio, Equinox, Vaquero, White’s TRX
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
I wonder if the person who fired it was even injured because they kept trying to shoot the ball out of the barrel. Looks like it probably just came apart at the barrel because of all the pressure from the balls being compressed. I don't think it blew up. Makes you wonder if it was a life and death struggle.
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Gold Member
Jun 18, 2013
New Jersey
Detector(s) used
Minelab Excalibur II
XP Deus
Garrett pro pointer
XP Deus MI-6 pinpointer
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Great find, congrats!


Gold Member
Apr 9, 2012
South of the Mason-Dixon Line
🥇 Banner finds
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT-MAX
Garrett AT-PRO,
Garrett Groundhog,

Jack Hammer!
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
It's one of my dreams too. Every time somebody through an empty gun at the Lone Ranger, I used to wonder if I could find it. :)

Excellent find and story!

I wonder if the owner of the gun might have wandered away and maybe even passed away near there. I'd look for and pay particular attention to the relics found in the nearby area.

Congrats on crossing a bucket list item!
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