Question on Colt Army Serial Number

Texas Johnny

Corporal
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Location
Texas
Pardon my ignorance, but I am trying to determine the meaning of a second line below the serial number of a Colt M1860 Army revolver. This particular Colt has a serial number of 49136, but on a line just below the serial number is the number 2, see photo. All the serial numbers match, but all have the number 2 stamped just below. Can someone tell me what the number 2 indicates? Thanks for the help.

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Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
"Gun Show Wisdom" is that this shows this is the second of set of 2 revolvers made as a set for some reason.
But no one has ever found any proof that this is true.
I think, like most "gun show wisdom," this is a story that seems to make sense, but can't be taken as true.
A good question for you is what other marks are on that gun - does it have the single letter inspector's marks on the metal, does it have the military cartouches on the wood?
 

Texas Johnny

Corporal
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Location
Texas
"Gun Show Wisdom" is that this shows this is the second of set of 2 revolvers made as a set for some reason.
But no one has ever found any proof that this is true.
I think, like most "gun show wisdom," this is a story that seems to make sense, but can't be taken as true.
A good question for you is what other marks are on that gun - does it have the single letter inspector's marks on the metal, does it have the military cartouches on the wood?
Thanks for your input Jeff in Ohio! The revolver is well worn, so I can't find any cartouches on it. Besides the serial number and the "2" with one exception, I can't find any other markings on the metal except for standard stamps of "ADDRESS COL. SAM COLT NEW YORK U.S. AMERICA" on the barrel, the left frame has "COLTS/PATENT" and on the left trigger guard frame "44 COLT" in the brass. The only other stamping I can find is a "6" on the brass left upper trigger guard, see photo. I am not sure of the purpose of the "6" Thanks again Jeff!

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Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
The 44 CAL stamp shows that this was a commercially sold gun, not accepted on Army contract, and so there should not be cartouches on the wood (cartouches show acceptance by the Army). But lots of commercially sold Colt revolvers were bought for use by military users.
 

rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Location
PA, but still a Hoosier
Jeff is correct.
I have 2 cased sets {2 revolvers in case} of Colts' {Navy and Army} and the revolvers (4 guns) are stamped with "1" and "2" as yours shows.
I'm just curious. Does each gun in a set have the same serial number, with the extra 1 & 2, or do they each have separate serial numbers? If the latter, are the serial numbers consecutive? I've never handled a cased set, and never gave it any thought until now.
 

Texas Johnny

Corporal
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Location
Texas
The 44 CAL stamp shows that this was a commercially sold gun, not accepted on Army contract, and so there should not be cartouches on the wood (cartouches show acceptance by the Army). But lots of commercially sold Colt revolvers were bought for use by military users.
Thanks! I had heard that was the case with the .44CAL stamp, but I wasn't sure. Also, I just found an article by Charles Pate (springfieldarsenal.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/rampant-colt-spring-2010-page-28-35.pdf) which indicates that a single number (on mine it is a 6) or a letter on the left trigger guard is also an indication of a civilian model. With all this it seems quite clear that mine was not sold to the U.S. Ordnance Department. Although since it has a rather early manufactured date (1861) it certainly is not beyond the realm of possibility that it could have seen military service, either Union or Confederate.
 

bayonet

Corporal
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
The 44 CAL stamp shows that this was a commercially sold gun, not accepted on Army contract, and so there should not be cartouches on the wood (cartouches show acceptance by the Army). But lots of commercially sold Colt revolvers were bought for use by military users.
Interesting. Would that also include the other Colts say the Model 1851 in 31CAL or 36CAL? I have a Hartford marked 1851 with no # CAL marking but no cartouche either.
 

bayonet

Corporal
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Interesting. Would that also include the other Colts say the Model 1851 in 31CAL or 36CAL? I have a Hartford marked 1851 with no # CAL marking but no cartouche either.
my bad I believe it was the M1849 in .31 not the M1851
 

kenysd

Private
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
My Colt 1862 Colt Navy streamlined percussion has the 2 beneath all the serial numbers. This was a civilian gun.
 
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