Originally Posted by jondar
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.
Pertaining to US Cavalry orders, I am unaware of any nickel having been ordered by the military. Their are two ordered types, the original 7 1/2" barrel, and the altered to 5 1/2" barrel. Finishes were a combination of blue and case hardened. Only one caliber was ordered, it being .45 Long Colt as we now call it.
The revolvers you reference were after the Department of Interior (think politicians telling the military how to do it)was formed. These were two distinct groups who usually didn't play well together all the time. They (DoI) were most likely to have been the driving force behind outfitting the later scouts during that time. They were instrumental in driving wedges within the military, and for the way Indian scouts were finally treated.
Without totally hi-jacking the original thread, the revolver in the pawn shop is most likely a civillian model or a refinished US. Pictures and a better description would determine what it actually is, and a ballpark value.