SOLD FOR: $3951
Model: 1860 Army
Serial Number: 117255
Year of Manufacture: 1863 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .44 Caliber Ball
Action Type: 6-Shot, Single Action, Cylinder Loaded Percussion Revolver
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “-ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA-“. The left of the frame is marked “COLTS / PATENT”. The full serial number or a portion of it is marked on the barrel, frame, trigger guard, backstrap, arbor, cylinder and hand-written in the backstrap inlet of the grip. There is no serial marking on the wedge. The outside of the cylinder has a roll-marked naval scene. There are martial inspection marks on the left and right of the barrel at the wedge-slot, the outside of the cylinder, behind the trigger guard, the top of the backstrap and the bottom-right of the grip. The left of the grip has “ABB” boxed cartouche, the right has “JT” boxed cartouche.
Barrel Length: 8”, Round
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a german silver blade, fixed to the barrel. There is a “V” notch rear sight in the hammer, visible when cocked.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is a one piece smooth walnut. The grip has scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches. Most are light with a few more notable mark. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grip is in Very Good-plus condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Blue, Case Color & Brass
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with deep rifling, sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There is some scattered light erosion and pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 6 out of 10.
Most antique firearms have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the use of black powder. When fired, black powder reacts corrosively. NRA Antique Firearm Conditions Standards are quite lenient for bores. In some cases the NRA standards disregarded the bore’s condition for collectors firearms.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains approximately 65% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There is some scattered finish wear with the worn areas showing discoloration from oxidation. There are some other scattered spots of minor surface oxidation, light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The case color is generally strong on the frame and hammer. There are tool marks on and around the wedge with some tool marks at screw heads. The action shows operational wear. The nipples are in good shape, the safety studs are worn, but present. The markings range from clear to worn, but legible. Overall, this revolver is in Fine-plus condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with minor play on each chamber. The barrel has no play to the frame. The trigger is crisp. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The Colt Model 1860 Army revolver was easily the most popular army revolver on both sides of the conflict during the American Civil War. Approximately 127,000 of these revolvers were purchased for use by Union forces and several of the Confederate states had obtained a few thousand before the start of the hostilities as well. The Model 1860 Army was the successor to the Third Model Dragoon and ranks third in total number produced of the various models of percussion Colt handguns.
This revolver was made in 1863 and it looks great despite its age. It has good clear markings including its martial inspection marks, the cartouches on the stock show a little wear, but are legible. With much of its original finish and strong mechanics, you’ll be hard pressed to find many original 1860s in this kind of condition. This revolver represents an important piece of history, and we only wish it could tell us its story. Please see our pictures and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud