And so Captain John
Paul Jones returned
to the British Isles, only this time as an American,
and on 23 September, 1779 he commanded a frail ship
hurriedly converted by the captain into a man of war, equipped
only with condemned guns, so unreliable they exploded while
attacking the Serapis, a superior British ship, nearly destroying
Captain Jones and crew.
However, with his own vessel on fire and
most of his guns disabled...his crew in panic and trying to
surrender...fire and smoke issuing from the lower decks...
mad carnage raging...
Captain John Paul Jones, his face blackened
powder, prepared to lead a boarding party, and when asked
by his antagonist who saw his desperate condition whether he
had struck his flag, he replied, as every schoolboy knows,
"I have not yet begun to fight!"
Then, by the inspiration of his example,
victory from defeat, he transferred his crew to the enemy ship,
captured his opponent and a few hours later watched his own ship,
Bonhomme Richard, named in honor of Ben Franklin's Poor Richard's
Almanac, sink beneath the waves.
Thus was born the tradition of the fighting
spirit of the U.S. Navy--and from that tradition, a powerful force
dedicated to defending the honor of the stars and stripes on the high
For this Tribute, we have selected the
renowned 1851 Navy Revolver made famous by Samuel Colt and his legendary
company. As one of Sam Colt's favorites, the 1851 had the largest
production run since the Pocket Navy. Then and now, the 1851 Navy is very
popular and sought after by collectors and historians alike.
This is issue is a tribute to all Navy
personnel who share a special bond and fighting spirit with John Paul
Jones. The Tribute will be the envy of many a collector, as well as
graduating midshipmen or retiring blue jackets.
When you hold this 1851 in your hand, you will
see that the balance is exquisite, and the artwork is extraordinarily
As you gently pull back the hammer, the
cylinder rotates smoothly with an even click. When your eye moves down the
7 1/2 inch blued steel barrel to the gold-plated front sight, you'll feel
that you've quickly gone back in history when this .36 caliber would have
been a necessary sidearm.
It's a fitting and lasting tribute to our
Naval forces, and I think you'll be thrilled with the detail on each
revolver. The artwork is a combination of gold, nickel and bluing, and the
contrast of the artwork is magnificent.
The embellishments on the weapon are intricate
and exquisite. The left side of the barrel has the words, "Historic U.S.
Navy Tribute," and the right side of the barrel has the words, "Commodore
John Paul Jones."
If you look closely at the left side of the
recoil shield just below the hammer, you will discover a cameo portrait of
Captain John Paul Jones.
Throughout all the decorations, King Neptune
presides. "I have not yet begun to fight" is featured just above the
trigger guard on the left side and Captain John Paul Jones prophetic wisdom
"In time of peace, prepare for war" is inscribed on the right side.
As you rotate the cylinder you find yourself
in the midst of a battle on the high seas....remarkable. This is a sidearm that can be
fired, can be cleaned, can be polished can be proudly displayed in