Handguns Firearms Specialties 1860 .44 Colt

KHyatt

Corporal
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
I thought some of you might enjoy seeing a recent purchase that I made. This is a late 1950s - early 1960s "reproduction" Colt in .44 caliber made by R.G. Wilson of Fulton Michigan. Some of you may know of him from the .45-70 revolver that he made (I've attached a magazine page regarding the .45-70 but I have no idea where it came from). This .44 has noticeable differences to the original 1860 Colt Navy. For example, the wedge is reversed, the grip has that odd screw in the center, and other differences that y'all may see. Some have speculated that this was done to prevent someone from trying to pass off reproductions as originals. Whatever the reason, these differences, together with the subtle details that indicate a handmade gun, add to the interest. This is serial number 7, and I'm told that there were only 10 made. If anyone has one of these or knows of someone else who does, I'd like to connect.

Enjoy!

.45-70 ad.jpg


FirearmsSpecialties_44_1.jpg


44_1.jpg


44_2.jpg




FirearmsSpecialties_44_4.jpg


FirearmsSpecialties_44_5.jpg
 

Bonedaddy

Private
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Looks like it has sat in that box for the last 50-60 years or reblued at some point. No wear on it all. I have no more information about it, but it is pretty neat. Didn't know anything about it. Thanks for posting it.
 

sourdough

Corporal
Joined
May 29, 2017
Location
Pe Ell, Washington
Hello Mr. Hyatt!

Thanks for posting your inquiry about this revolver. We last conversed via email on 5/16/20 about it. I have posted a similar inquiry on 3-4 different BP boards and on 5/19/20 I received a reply from a good acquaintance who is a good Internet sleuth:

"Jim,

Have you tried emailing hghrdnhck at [email protected] who offered to buy the 45-70 in The Firing Line Forum thread you posted?

Working off of your two found links above and the mutual poster hghrdnhck who said it was his grandfather (R. G. Wilson?) who made them for Firearms Specialties and that he had all the companies records, I googled his handle and found him on several hunting and non gun forums.

I was able to collect the following information about him from his profiles and posts but not his name:

Name - maybe Wilson???
Birthday - Oct 6, 1984
Cell Phone - (989) 323-7232
Location - Chesaning MI
Occupation - I work at Gander Mountain in Saginaw MI

Remember what you put on the internet NEVER dies!!!

Good Luck with your quest."


Upon receiving this information, I emailed the gentleman at the address above, but have not received a reply. I did not call the cell phone number. There is also some connection to Owosso MI, but I know nothing more about that.

I really kick myself for not buying it from October Country when I gave you the link to it because it had a two-piece grip, a blue steel trigger guard, the wrong side entry for the wedge, and the rammer is installed upside down (the screw enters from the right like the wedge: easily changed/reversed but I think it was done on purpose). I had no idea how rare this revolver was/is. This revolver was part of the Dr. Jim L. Davis (RPRCA) collection who purchased it in early 2009 and had many questions about it. I don't think the case and accoutrements are from Firearms Specialties as Dr. Davis liked cased sets (I have two purchased from OC in Dec-Jan: a Pietta 1862 J. H. Dance and Brothers .36 and an Armi San Marco 1860 Colt .44 with a shoulder stock).

That said, I am glad it is in good hands, sir!

These are the links I have found that, upon more investigation, may provide some answers. Dr. Davis is bprevolver on these links:

https://www.thefirearmsforum.com/threads/firearm-specialties-45-70-dragoon-1860-army.58078/
https://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=347963
I hope this is of some assistance. I sure would like to know the whereabouts any one of the other nine revolvers.

I am on a similar quest to locate the whereabouts of the 35 Pietta 1862 J. H. Dance and Brothers .36 revolvers with the Angleton TX barrel markings produced in 1996. I have found three of them so far, but that is another subject.

Keep us posted, sir!

Jim
 
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sourdough

Corporal
Joined
May 29, 2017
Location
Pe Ell, Washington
Looks like it has sat in that box for the last 50-60 years or reblued at some point.

It is not reblued. That is how it was produced handmade by R. G. Wilson for Firearms Specialties around 1964 so as not to confuse it with an original Colt 1860 Army revolver. As has been stated previously, it has a two-piece non-Colt grip, the TG is blued steel, the wedge and wedge screw enter from the right, the cylinder is not engraved, and the rammer is installed upside down as the pivot screw enters from the right. In addition it is marked Firearms Specialties Fulton MI on the left side of the frame using individual letter stamps I believe this was all purposely done so as not to confuse buyers who might think they are buying an original Colt, as opposed to many folks who try to fake modern revolvers to appear as originals from 150+ years ago.

To me, R. G. Wilson was a master gunsmith.

In addition, in the early 1960's there was an uproar among collectors of vintage Civil War era revolvers concerning the manufacture and production of Italian replicas. The NRA lobbied Congress around 1961 to allow BP C&B revolvers to be retained with shoulder stocks as they should not be classified a SBR's (short barreled rifles per the 1934 NFA). That is why all BP C&B revolvers and muzzleloaders today are exempt as "firearms" Federally and can be shipped via USPS except in "socialist" states. The strange part is that at the same time, the NRA would not allow advertising in the American Rifleman for Italian reproduction revolvers due to pressure from said collectors of original revolvers.

I am not making this up. Refer to Civil War Guns (William B. Edwards, 1962, PP 426-427).

Regards,

Jim
 

KHyatt

Corporal
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Thanks Jim for the additional info. I just thought it would be fun to share this with a wider audience. We should connect again soon via PM. (Glad you “allowed” me to buy this gun. ;-)
 
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