Recent Find 1861 Colt Army Revolver

stevep85

Cadet
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Good morning,

Firstly let me say hello, I am new to this forum and to collecting civil war pieces.

I live in the U.K. and have been collecting for about ten years, mainly concentrating on the Boer War and WW1 era.

I recently picked up this revolver, which has now opened up a new area of collecting for me. I am keen to know more, please be brutally honest it’s the best way to learn!

What I think I have:
* A Colt Army model of 1860
* Built in 1861
* Military issued
* Factory original, matching numbers on all visibly numbered parts....

* Military acceptance cartouche worn off (trace amounts visible)
* cylinder is not numbered. I think it likely that it was lightly struck and lost to time rather than deliberately removed.
* Cylinder does have matching ‘H’ acceptance stamp, that appears on most other parts

Thanks for your help

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Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
Good morning and welcome from the Book Review forum and the great State of Texas!

Forgive me if my mind may not be up to spec yet, (first cup of coffee), but I'll help however I can.

Yes you have a bone fide Colt's M1860 revolver, with the "H" stamp being a US Military acceptance stamp. As for the serial number, my normal go to reference book doesn't have the serial numbers by year for the model, which probably ain't the books fault, but more the fault of the Colt Factory catching fire in 1864. But by the 4-digit serial number I'd bet on it being made around 1861.

Thanks for sharing pictures of your beautiful revolver! I've always had a soft spot for those M1860's.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Shows all signs of being all original, and evenly and attractively worn. This is an early War produced gun made on US military contract, as you say. A colt letter is almost certainly available for $300, but all it will likely show is that it was shipped with a group of 1,000 to the US Army on a certain date. I would not waste money on such a letter. You already know from the gun itself it was made on military contract and the cartouche shows that the gun, when finished, was accepted by the overall US inspector (this also meant payment was approved for this particular gun). So, we know it was shipped by Colt to the US. A letter would not add to this info, and a Colt letter won't tell to which unit or soldier this was issued.
A nice, honest gun you have.
 

ucvrelics

Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
Nice looking old war horse. It was indeed made in 1861 as @Rusk County Avengers stated, it left the plant with the naval scene engraved on the cylinder which you can still see part of. It is not listed in the SRS and as @Jeff in Ohio stated a Colt letter will only tell you which military arsenal it was shipped to, if they even have the info. Thanks for sharing.

9901 60A 63 CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
9982 60A 63 CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
9996 60A 62 CO L 16TH PENNA VOL CAV
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Nice looking old war horse. It was indeed made in 1861 as @Rusk County Avengers stated, it left the plant with the naval scene engraved on the cylinder which you can still see part of. It is not listed in the SRS and as @Jeff in Ohio stated a Colt letter will only tell you which military arsenal it was shipped to, if they even have the info. Thanks for sharing.

9901 60A 63 CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
9982 60A 63 CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
9996 60A 62 CO L 16TH PENNA VOL CAV

Your listing of the only three serials on the Springfield Research (SRS) list out of the 1,000 guns in the 9000 - 9999 serial range demonstrates how rare is an exact match. SRS has no records of where the other 997 guns in that thousand were used!
 

ucvrelics

Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
Your listing of the only three serials on the Springfield Research (SRS) list out of the 1,000 guns in the 9000 - 9999 serial range demonstrates how rare is an exact match. SRS has no records of where the other 997 guns in that thousand were used!
I only list the 4 digit ones that started with 99. An exact match is indeed RARE
 

stevep85

Cadet
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
wow, thank you for all of the replies and the information. Great help, and it seems I made a good call with the little knowledge I had when purchasing.
I can’t take credit for the photographs, they were taken by the dealer however!

am I correct in thinking that the cylinder may be original to the revolver?

I was considering the Colt letter, at the $100 I thought they were...but prices seem to have gone up (or I was originally mistaken!)

I presume as the factory was sadly destroyed after production of this piece there may not even be any records.

I have seen a number of threads where various pieces have been matched with their original units, how should I go about researching the history of this piece, that’s at all possible?

I am still waiting to receive the revolver, when I do I will add details of grip numbers (if any) etc.

many thanks again and stay safe
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
I only list the 4 digit ones that started with 99. An exact match is indeed RARE

Yes, you are correct. Here is the entire list of the Colt 1860s in the 9000 to 9999 range, and you can see there are only 15, so that still leaves 985 out of 1000 guns unknown!

903560A 65CO G 8TH NY VOL CAV
922960A 63CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
923960A 05 62CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
931760A 63CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
935360A 05 62CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
935360A 63CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
950560A 05 62CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
967360A 63CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
976760A 05 62CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
976960A 05 62CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
976960A 63CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
978260A 05 62CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
980360A 05 62CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
983360A 05 62CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
984360A 63CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
990160A 63CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
998260A 63CO B 1ST NJ VOL CAV
999660A 11 62CO L 16TH PENNA VOL CAV
 

kenysd

Private
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
this is what it looked like off the line in 1860's
these are Colt reintroduction's from the 1970's.
They duplicated the originals and picked up the serial numbers from where they left off 100 years ago.
all markings are the same, etc. bone hardened case colors, I made this set using the 1860 army and the 1851 colt first issue with the squared guard.
I have fired originals many times and they really work.
the safety pins are worn down on the cylinder I see. that is normal.
very nice gun.
I would guess $1500 USD for sure. but..keep it, they aren't making any more!
Ken


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