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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone,
I'm interested to hear your thoughts, opinions and approximate value on my Colt.
I have never removed a screw from it, but all the S/Ns I find match except for the barrel.
Someone carved their initials in the handle. Looks like A.P. I don't know if that's from the war.
Everything on it seem to work smoothly and crisply.
I'm assuming from the condition of the nipples and the barrel that it's a wall hanger.
Thank you.

Does anyone know it there is anything special about the number "2" stamped on the inside of the cylider?


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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I've never heard anyone mention a number stamp on the inside of the cylinder. ???
At first I did post the worst pick of the barrel. Here are the other 3 I took.
 

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Boy Colt, I'm surprised no one has replied. I can't tell you much and you probably already know what I know....mostly. As you mentioned the initials on the bottom, man, who knows? The cartouche on the left grip is the accepting inspector from the army.

I don't think the barrel or the nipples look that bad. Actually I believe the old piece looks pretty good. Obviously if you did want to shoot it the revolver should be checked by a competent gunsmith familiar with percussion revolvers.

Value? I see them listed generally around $1,000.00 give or take a few hundred.
 

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First off, welcome to The Firearms Forum. I would guess the reason no one has answered yet is because of the new software that took over a couple of days ago. No one knows this thread it here, yet!! Hang in there, some of the experts WILL find it and help you out it will just take longer that it used to. By the way, great pictures!!
 

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I've seen and fired modern reproductions with worse barrels than your Colt and some shot just fine, others not so much. If everything checks out as safe mechanically and you can get the nipples cleaned or replaced it might just shoot pretty good. Just take extra care in cleaning it, those small pits and imperfections in the bore will make it a little harder to get all the fouling out. If I had it, I'd shoot it at least once to see if it still shoots more accurately than I can and if it did I'd shoot it again. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you Sharps4590,
Just the sort of input I'm looking for from people who actually know guns/smithing.

Exellent.

Grizzley1,,
Wow... sounds encouraging.
 

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Your Colt is not in high collectors grade condition so a trip to the range after some careful cleaning, inspection and replacing a few parts like the nipples if needed won't hurt it's collectors value, just make sure to keep all of the original parts if you do need to replace a few things. Keep it cleaned and lightly oiled being careful about getting oil on the wood grips. Petroleum oils and black powder fouling don't mix well together so use a plant or animal based oil if you do end up shooting it. If you don't plan to shoot it then regular gun oils will keep it preserved and protected just fine. There are a couple threads in the black powder section discussing cleaning, oiling and lubes and loading methods for cap n ball revolvers. Of course most of us don't have the real deal from the 1860's era but aside from the age of your Colt what we do nowadays will work for an original.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Grizzley1,
Your Colt is not in high collectors grade condition so a trip to the range after some careful cleaning, inspection and replacing a few parts like the nipples if needed won't hurt it's collectors value, just make sure to keep all of the original parts if you do need to replace a few things. Keep it cleaned and lightly oiled being careful about getting oil on the wood grips. Petroleum oils and black powder fouling don't mix well together so use a plant or animal based oil if you do end up shooting it. If you don't plan to shoot it then regular gun oils will keep it preserved and protected just fine. There are a couple threads in the black powder section discussing cleaning, oiling and lubes and loading methods for cap n ball revolvers. Of course most of us don't have the real deal from the 1860's era but aside from the age of your Colt what we do nowadays will work for an original.
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I would never want to break or loose original parts.
Good to know it wouldn't hurt the value if I decided to.
Excellent. If I do fire it I'll read the threads and get the proper lubes.
When I got custody of it, it came in a nice soft, thick padded, zippered case. Once in a while I will get it out and "play" with it. For the most part it remains oiled, in it's case, in my gun safe and when I handle it I use white cotton gloves.
 

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The wedge screw has been replaced. With the replaced barrel I'd say it's worth around 900, maybe a little more but the collector value is gone. The nipples look pretty good from what I can see. As long as the timing and lockup is good there's no reason not to shoot it. It's not a museum piece so the white gloves really aren't necessary.
 

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I'm with the others. I don't think I would go crazy with the loads but start out at like maybe 18 grains to see how she feels. You can work up from there. Of course, this is all after getting the OK from an actual gunsmith.

I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The wedge screw has been replaced. With the replaced barrel I'd say it's worth around 900, maybe a little more but the collector value is gone. The nipples look pretty good from what I can see. As long as the timing and lockup is good there's no reason not to shoot it. It's not a museum piece so the white gloves really aren't necessary.
Hawg,
Thank you for your input.
Yes, it looks like a couple of replacement screws on it maybe.
This is interesting to me that at least a couple of you say the nipples look O.K. Shows what I know. I assumed they are shot (ha ha). (y)
A long time ago I read that the oils on my hands might fade/remove the cartouches. That's why the cotton gloves.
 

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The oils on your hands won't remove the cartouches, but if left on the gun the salt from your sweat can cause something called rust. A wipe down with a lightly oiled cloth keeps rust at bay.
 

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The serial number indicates 1863 as the year Colt's made it. You question the condition of the barrel and the nipples. The barrel is a tad pitted, but I've seen much worse. As has been noted above, this means that IF you intend to fire it, you will need extra attention to clean it. The nipples don't look all that bad to me. If it were mine and IF I were to fire it, I'd soak the nipples for a week (maybe two) or so with Liquid Wrench (spraying and soaking the daylights out of them from both sides) and replacing them with fresh ones. Use a correct fitting spanner to remove and replace them, and be patient/gentle when or if you do.

I am envious! That is a fantastic Model 1860. A few parts have been replaced, but if I were 160 years old I figure I'd have a few parts replaced, myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The serial number indicates 1863 as the year Colt's made it. You question the condition of the barrel and the nipples. The barrel is a tad pitted, but I've seen much worse. As has been noted above, this means that IF you intend to fire it, you will need extra attention to clean it. The nipples don't look all that bad to me. If it were mine and IF I were to fire it, I'd soak the nipples for a week (maybe two) or so with Liquid Wrench (spraying and soaking the daylights out of them from both sides) and replacing them with fresh ones. Use a correct fitting spanner to remove and replace them, and be patient/gentle when or if you do.

I am envious! That is a fantastic Model 1860. A few parts have been replaced, but if I were 160 years old I figure I'd have a few parts replaced, myself.
Thank you jim brady,
The more I read from people who know guns the more I am encouraged to try to fire it. I doubt it would be anytime soon but I have nothing but time.
Do you have hands on experience of removing the nipples? (I mean the "correct spanner" wrench.) It doesn't need a special tool?
I like doing things myself so the only question I might have for a gunsmith would be if the chambers and bore line up well enough. I can shine a light down the barrel and asses it for myself (probably not a good idea). I doubt I can get an evaluation of that on a post.
And after 160 years... yes! :ROFLMAO::LOL::ROFLMAO:
 

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The nipples use a nipple wrench, they are available from most black powder supply houses. Make sure you tell them it's an original Colt's 1860 Army to make sure it's the right size for your nipples.

To have it checked for proper timing and barrel alignment to the cylinders, take it to a qualified gunsmith, he will know how to do it right and will have all the tools he needs.
 

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There are a number of 'cap and ball' revolvers on the market (and many more were made over the years!) As Griz said, make sure you get a nipple wrench (what I call a spanner wrench) made for a Colt .44 revolver. This will ensure a correct fit. I am not a gunsmith of any sort - I just have extensive experience with mechanical things. I suggest Liquid Wrench because it is one of the very best products available to free rusted or corroded screws and bolts. It is a great product, but you do need to give it a chance to work. That is why I suggested that you soak those nipple threads and give it a chance to work on the rust. After those threads have soaked, use the proper fitting wrench gently and carefully to free them from the cylinder.

This should be something you can do yourself, but if you aren't comfortable doing it - take it to a gunsmith and have them do the job. Just don't go gorilla doing it. If it were my revolver, I'd try to do it, but if it seems they won't budge - STOP and take it into a professional and let them give it a go.

Keep us posted! This is one of the more interesting projects that I've seen in a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This should be something you can do yourself, but if you aren't comfortable doing it - take it to a gunsmith and have them do the job. Just don't go gorilla doing it. If it were my revolver, I'd try to do it, but if it seems they won't budge - STOP and take it into a professional and let them give it a go.

Keep us posted! This is one of the more interesting projects that I've seen in a while.
Sounds like solid advice. Thank you.

It looks like the number is between nipples.
Yes. The number 2 was stamped there. I was just wondering if anyone here had knowledge of those. It seems weird to me to stamp a single digit, not someone's mark or initials.
 
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