Original U.S. Civil War Colt M1860 Army .44cal Percussion Revolver with Cylinder Scene made in 1862 - Matching Serial 68959
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice .44 caliber Colt Model 1860 Army Percussion revolver, with the standard 6 shot round cylinder and 8" barrel. Gun is in very good used condition and fully functional, with a lovely patina. Action and barrel frame lock up are tight. The address marking is still fully legible on the top of the barrel:
- ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA. -
The COLT'S PATENT marking is still fully visible on the left side of the frame, and unlike most we see, it still has a clear COLT'S PATENT over PAT. SEPT 10TH 1850 marking on the cylinder. More importantly, the "Naval Engagement" scene on the cylinder is about 75% complete! Most of these that we see only have traces of the scene left, and many have none left at all!
The pistol has a nice worn oxidized finish, and does not look to have been refurbished at any time. The barrel, frame, trigger guard, grip frame all bear matching serial number 73460, denoting year of manufacture as 1862. The cylinder, barrel wedge, and cylinder arbor pin are all marked with shortened number 8959. That makes this a very desirable "ALL MATCHING" example, with no parts swapped out!
Original walnut grips are solid, though they definitely do show wear from use and cleaning. The right side has some cracks, and the left side is missing a sizeable chunk running 2/3 of the way up from the bottom. Both sides still show partial inspection cartouches at the bottom, though they are unfortunately only "ghosts", and not legible. The pistol is complete, and actually functions almost flawlessly. It has good indexing with a strong cylinder lockup, and a crisp dry fire. We did not notice any of the finicky behavior we often see from revolvers of this vintage.
The bore shows strong lands and grooves, with some fouling and oxidation overall, but nothing major. The barrel - frame connection is wobble free. All of the cap nipples are present and clear, though they do show wear and oxidation from use.
This is a very nice example of the classic side arm used during the U.S. Civil War, ready to display!
Year of Manufacture: 1862
Ammunition Type: Percussion Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 8 inches
Overall Length: 14 inches
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)
This product is available for international shipping.
IMA considers all of our antique guns as non-firing, inoperable and/or inert. Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 921(a)(16) defines antique firearms as all guns made prior to 1899. This law exempts antique firearms from any form of gun control or special engineering because they are not legally considered firearms. No FFL, C&R or any license is required to possess, transport, sell or trade Antique guns. All rifles and muskets sold by IMA that were manufactured prior to 1899 are considered Antiques by the US BATF (United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms). Therefore, all of IMA's Antique guns may be shipped to all US States and most nations around the world.
These antique guns are not sold in "live" condition, and are not tested for the the ability to feed or load any type of cartridge. They are sold as collector's items or as "wall hangers" not for use, and we make no guarantees regarding functionality aside from what is stated in the description. Any attempt at restoring an antique gun to be operational is strongly discouraged and is done so at the risk of the customer. By purchasing an antique gun from IMA you thereby release IMA, its employees and corporate officers from any and all liability associated with use of our Antique guns.
Pre-1899 Manufacture, no licenses required, allowed to ship to almost any deliverable address across the globe. Please note that for international shipping, these MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services. International customers should always consult their country's antique gun laws prior to ordering.
- Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon