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1860 Colt Army pistol

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Gibby2, Mar 24, 2003.

  1. Gibby2

    Gibby2 New Member

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    another

    Another...........

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  2. Gibby2

    Gibby2 New Member

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    Last one

    Thanks for being patient while I figured this out......

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  3. astute observer

    astute observer New Member

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    !860 Army Colt

    Pretty nice original 1860 Army Colt! The condition appears to be about average. A significant Civil War revolver, and among the nicest "feeling" handguns of all time (in my hand at least).
  4. CountryGunsmith

    CountryGunsmith New Member

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    Thanks for the pictures.

    A little more specific information on that particular pistol. The gun itself was manufactured c.1863. An enormous amount of Model 1860 revolvers (over 200,000) were produced in its 13-yr run, with 1862-63 being the two heaviest years by far - for obvious reasons.

    Although you would need to measure, it appears to be the standard 1860 Army with 8" barrel. If you look at the rear of the grip strap, you should see that it has a mortise for attaching a shoulder stock. Of course, it is .44 caliber with a 6-shot cylinder.

    You have already identified many of the markings, but if you look closely you will see some others:

    - ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S.AMERICA -

    on the top of the barrel, as you noted. The 'L' in SAML is smaller than the rest and is underscored, an abbreviation for 'Samuel.'

    COLTS
    PATENT
    U.S.

    should be on the left side of the frame, toward the muzzle

    44 CAL

    on the left side of the triggerguard strap. This may well be worn completely away.

    What you are seeing on the cylinder is the last four digits of the serial number within a cartouche, followed by PAT SEPT 10th 1850. The cylinder would have originally been roll-stamped with what is called the Naval Engagement scene. (Side note: the TEXAS Navy!) Pretty common for that to be worn away. You should also see the last few digits of the serial number on other major parts, although dont be too concerned if the numbers differ (more on that in a moment).

    The marking on the grips is actually WHR for William H. Roberts, a government inspector for the 1860 Army revolvers.

    Originally, the gun would have had the 'military' finish which was a somewhat dull blue, brass triggerguard, and case-hardened frame, hammer and loading lever. The walnut grips had an oil finish. It was originally sold with an accompanying bullet mould and combination screwdriver/nipple wrench. These accessories add considerably to the overall value, if present.

    A great many of the 1860 Army revolvers were arsenal-refurbished after the Civil War. Typically, there was no impetus to make sure that gripstraps, wedges, etc, matched after refurbishment hence the mismatched triggerguard on your revolver. I would agree that this has minimal (if any) impact on the value or desirability of this piece.

    It should be noted that the 1860 Army was such a successful revolver that it remained in service until supplanted by another Colt design - the 1873 Single Action Army.

    Initial retail price lists from Colt in 1861 list that revolver for $25, with the shoulder stock an $8 option. Realistic market value today for your revolver in that condition would be $1000-$1250. I would counsel insuring for $1750-$2000 to allow for inflation.

    Congratulations on your acquisition, and thanks for sharing this wonderful old Colt.
  5. Gibby2

    Gibby2 New Member

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    Information

    Thanks to all for the information! I really appreciate the clarifications, and details about the 1860 Army Revolver.

    The gun was found in my inlaws attic, we were cleaning it out and found it laying under some old papers. I belive that my wives grandfather owned the gun as past of his costumes, for he owned a costume store and has some old uniforms, bags of buttons, helmets etc. floating around the attic. The hard part for me is to try to find the right people to talk with to investigate real or reproduction, just as you fine gentleman have helped me with the revolver. Thanks again, I really appreciate the information.

    :)
  6. astute observer

    astute observer New Member

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    Be careful...

    Gibby,
    Ge careful not to be hasty in throwing ANYTHING away! If there are any genuine Civil War uniforms or parts thereof in amongst all of that accumulation, they are quite valuable. Uniforms are among the most desirable of Civil War relics and can bring more than most Civil War weapons.
  7. Gibby2

    Gibby2 New Member

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    Additional info

    AO, Thanks for the feedback. Any recomendations as to where I can go to find out what to look for?


    :)
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