Re: colt single action army
Well, I guess the question is whether the revolvers issued to the Indian scouts are military (U. S. on lower frame panel, left side) or civilian. I certainly don't know except they were issued by the Army to the scouts. Here is an excerpt from a poster on another gun forum:
"Another variation of the Cavalry issue Colt .45 single action army is referred to as the "Colt Indian Scout and Police" issued to the Crow & other tribe Indian scouts & police, needless to say. They are readily identified because they were nickle plated for rough service and they were exclusively issued to Indians, since they were not prone to cleaning & oiling their arms. Remington was also contracted to manufacture a quanity of single action model 1875, plated also, for the Indian police and marked accordingly. Any of these are rare & quite expensive also now. An excellent example of this is a very often reprinted photo of Custer sitting in front of his tent with Bloody Knife, Goose & Little Sioux each holding Nickled plated Colts and Custer's Remington rolling block rifle is resting on the ground next to a Bowie knife."
I guess we'll never know. A mystery within an enigma.