Revolvers of this type were purchased by the Board of Ordnance for use by British Troops in the Crimean War. The first order of 4,000 Colt Navies was made in March 1854 for issue to the Royal Navy at the time of Britain's entry into the War, followed by another 5,500. In 1855 14,000 were ordered for the Army, but out of a total of over 24,000, few have survived.
See Joseph G. Rosa, Colonel Colt, London, pp. 66-100: Colt Revolvers and the Tower of London, p. 37, plates 58-61; Robert E. Brooker, Jr., British Military Pistols 1603-1888, p. 77