In stock

Original U.S. Civil War Colt Model 1860 Army .44cal Percussion Revolver with Partial Cylinder Scene made in 1862 - Serial 78778

Regular price $2,395.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely wartime production .44 caliber percussion, 6 shot round cylinder, 8" barrel Model 1860 Colt Army revolver. The gun is in very good service used condition and fully functional, with a lovely worn gray patina overall, showing traces of the original bluing in areas. The end of the barrel looks to have had about 1/8" at the end removed due to damage, and the original sight replaced with a "German Silver" blade sight. Nice honest used examples like this are getting harder and harder to come by!

The barrel, frame, trigger guard, and grip frame all bear matching serial number 78778. This means that it was produced during Colt’s 1862 production, which ran from approximately #25,000 to #85,000. Made early in the civil warThe cylinder and arbor pin both bear shortened number 8778, while the barrel wedge is marked 8103, probably swapped at arsenal long ago. That makes this a very nice "MOSTLY MATCHING" example, with no major parts swapped out over the years.

The Colt single line address marking is still fully legible on the top of the barrel:


The COLTS PATENT marking is still visible on the left side of the frame, and unlike most we see, it still has a faint COLT'S PATENT No. over a clear PAT. SEPT 10th 1850 marking on the cylinder. These early Colt revolvers did not have the additional patent dates listed on the frame. The "Naval Engagement Scene" is actually still retained at about 50% on this example, which is definitely a rarity, as we usually see these completely worn away. There are proof marks stamped on various components as well, though there is not a "44CAL" stamping on the trigger guard, which is not uncommon, as many were not marked.

The original walnut grip is in very good condition, showing wear from use, and some minor chipping on the front toe and wear around the bottom, as is common. It has a lovely color, showing the wood grain well, with no cracks or other major damage, and there is a faint inspection cartouche on the right side of the grip, which a trained eye may be able to read.

The pistol is complete, and actually functions well with good indexing and a solid cylinder lockup. We did not notice any of the usual finicky behavior we see on revolvers of this vintage. The revolver still breaks down properly with removal of the barrel wedge. The barrel - frame connection is solid, with no wobble, and does not appear to have been adjusted in the past. The bore is in very good condition, showing clear lands and grooves with a mostly bright finish. There is some wear and past oxidation and fouling, as to be expected from a black powder percussion revolver, however compared to most this is definitely a great bore.  All 6 cap nipple cones are intact and clear, showing wear and oxidation from use.

This is a very good example of the classic side arm used during the U.S. Civil War, ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1862
Caliber: .44cal
Ammunition Type: Percussion Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 7 7/8 inches
Overall Length: 13 7/8 inches
Action: Single
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

The Colt Army Model 1860 is a muzzle-loaded cap & ball .44-caliber revolver used during the American Civil War made by Colt's Manufacturing Company. It was used as a side arm by cavalry, infantry, artillery troops, and naval forces.

The Colt 1860 Army uses the same size frame as the .36 caliber 1851 Navy revolver. The frame is relieved to allow the use of a rebated cylinder that enables the Army to be chambered in .44 caliber. the barrel on the 1860 Army has a forcing cone that is visibly shorter than that of the 1851 Navy, allowing the Army revolver to have a longer cylinder. Another distinguishing feature of the Colt 1860 Army, first introduced on the Colt 1855 Sidehammer Revolver, is the "creeping" loading lever.

More than 200,000 were manufactured from 1860 through 1873. Colt's biggest customer was the US Government with no less than 129,730 units being purchased and issued to the troops. The weapon was a single-action, six-shot weapon accurate up to 75 to 100 yards, where the fixed sights were typically set when manufactured. The rear sight was a notch in the hammer, only usable when the revolver was fully cocked.

The Colt .44-caliber "Army" Model was the most widely used revolver of the Civil War. It had a six-shot, rotating cylinder, and fired a 0.454-inch-diameter (11.5 mm) round spherical lead ball, or a conical-tipped bullet, typically propelled by a 30-grain charge of black powder, which was ignited by a small copper percussion cap that contained a volatile charge of fulminate of mercury (a substance that explodes upon being subjected to a sharp impact). The percussion cap, when struck by the hammer, ignited the powder charge. When fired, balls had a muzzle velocity of about 900 feet per second (274 meters/second), although this depended on how much powder one loaded it with.

The unfluted cylinder was 'rebated,' meaning that the rear of the cylinder was turned to a smaller diameter than the front. The barrel was rounded and smoothed into the frame, as was the Navy Model. The frame, hammer, and rammer lever were case-hardened, the remainder blued; grips were of one-piece walnut; and the trigger guard and front grip strap were of brass while the backstrap was blued."

A distinguishing feature of the Model 1860 was that its frame had no top strap, or no component running above the cylinder. Instead, its strength came from the lower frame and the massive fixed cylinder pin. This made the gun slimmer and lighter than its main competitor, the Remington Model 1858, but with a possible loss of strength. The fixed cylinder pin also meant that the barrel had to be removed in order to remove the cylinder, unlike the Model 1858, which only required you to remove the cylinder retaining pin.


By April 1861, 2,230 of Colt's earliest production went to dealers south of the Mason-Dixon line. The United States Navy ordered 900 fluted cylinder revolvers in May 1861 later issued to ships enforcing the Atlantic and Gulf blockade. United States Army orders also began in May, and 127,157 had been delivered before a 5 October 1864 fire put Colt's factory out of operation for the duration of hostilities.


Loading is a somewhat lengthy process, with each of the six chambers drilled into the revolving cylinder being loaded from the front, or "muzzle" end. A measured amount of black powder is poured into a chamber. Next a lead ball is placed at the opening of the chamber and seated by firmly pressing it in with the pivoting loading lever which is attached beneath the barrel of the revolver. For sealing each chamber, an over-size 0.454-inch-diameter (11.5 mm) lead ball is trimmed slightly by the rim of the chamber as the rammer forces it inside. Cap and ball shooters also often place a lubricated wad between balls and powder, or, alternatively, pack lard or a commercially-sold bore lubricant at the mouth of each chamber in an attempt to prevent powder in an adjacent chamber from being ignited by when the gun is fired, which is known as a chainfire.

When the Colt Model 1860 was used by 19th century soldiers, they most often loaded the gun using paper cartridges. These cartridges consisted of a pre-measured load of black powder and a ball, wrapped in nitrated paper (paper that had been soaked in potassium nitrate and then dried, to make it more flammable). To load each chamber, one only had to slip the cartridge into the front of the chamber and seat the ball with the loading lever ram. Then a percussion cap was placed onto the raised aperture, called a nipple, at the back end of the chamber.

The Colt 1860 cost approximately $20 per revolver. This was rather expensive during the 1860s, both for the United States Army and private citizens. Colt had been criticized by this high price, and by 1865 the revolver was reduced to $14.50.

The Colt "Army" revolver is to be distinguished from the Colt "Navy" revolver of which there were two models, the octagonal barrel Model 1851 Navy, and the round-barreled Model 1861 Navy, both Navy models being in the smaller .36-caliber.

NOTE: International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these. International customers should always consult their country's antique gun laws prior to ordering.

  • This product is not available for shipping in US state(s): New Jersey

    This product is available for international shipping.
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


Cash For Collectibles