Model: 1860 Army Revolver
Serial Number: 14072
Year of Manufacture: October 1861
Caliber: .44 Caliber Cap and Ball
Action Type: Single Action Percussion Revolver
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AM?R??CA”. The left rear of the barrel is marked with the “H” inspection stamp of Joseph Hannis. The left side of the frame is marked “COLTS / PATENT”. The underside of the barrel, frame and trigger guard are marked ‘14072” and the underside of the backstrap is marked very faintly with “14072”. The top of the barrel wedge is marked “4072”.The circumference of the cylinder in the rebated area between two of the nipples, the right rear of the barrel and the top of the backstrap just below the hammer are marked with the “T” inspection mark of John Taylor. The non-rebated area is marked with an “H” inspection stamp and there is another “H” stamped just behind the trigger guard. There is a rectangular cartouche near the bottom of the left grip, but we can’t make out the markings. The rear flat on the lower join area of the barrel is marked “C” and “I”. The rear face of the barrel next to the cylinder pin hole is marked “2”. The circumference of the cylinder is marked “COLTS PATENT NO 14072 / PAT SEPT10TH 1850”.
Barrel Length: The round barrel is 8” in length.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a German silver blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” notch in the front edge of the hammer.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are one piece smooth walnut that shows oil staining, which is heaviest at the frame. The left side of the grip has a tiny chip at the bottom front corner, a compression mark and three dings on its bottom surface, an abrasion at its bottom edge and a few deep dings and a few lighter marks. The right side of the grip shows a few light dings with a tiny sliver missing from its lower rear edge. The grips rate in about Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: The barrel and cylinder appear to have been blued with case colored frame, hammer and lever, and a brass trigger guard.
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is dark and the rifling is sharp. There is moderate erosion the length of the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 5% of its metal finish, all on its brass trigger guard. The steel surfaces all show surface loss with a plum colored patina. There is heavy pitting in the front half of the barrel and lever with light pitting in the cylinder and spots of solid erosion scattered over the frame and backstrap. There are several deep scratches on the right side of the barrel in front of the barrel wedge and several tool marks around the wedge on the right side and a few small dings in the rear half of the barrel. The trigger guard shows a few small dings on its right side along the bottom of the frame, on its underside by its forward mounting screw and below the trigger, and near the bottom of the front strap. Three of the screw heads are disfigured and the screw at the front of the trigger guard may be unserviceable. The markings on the top of the barrel and the bottom of the backstrap are partially obscured by wear and the battle scene on the cylinder is not visible at all, but the rest of the markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is a very small amount of play in the cylinder lock-up and the single action trigger is crisp. We did not fire this handgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This revolver comes with a letter from Colt’s Manufacturing Company stating that this revolver was one of 300 shipped to Lt. G. D. Ramsay, Commanding Officer at the Washington Arsenal, on October 24, 1861. The letter is in Excellent condition.
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 1861 and was one of 300 shipped on that date to the Washington D.C. Arsenal. it has all matching serial numbers and inspection marks in all of the appropriate places, but we can’t make out the cartouche on the left side of the grip, the battle scene on the cylinder is completely worn off and the lettering on the top of the barrel is shallow, with a few letters missing. This revolver is in about Good overall condition with about 5% of its finish remaining, all on the brass trigger guard. The barrel and loading lever both show heavy pitting, with light pitting on the cylinder and solid erosion on the frame and backstrap. There are several ding, scratches and tool marks in the barrel and few small dings in the trigger guard. The grip is one piece smooth walnut and shows a tiny chip missing from its left bottom front corner and a tiny sliver missing from the bottom edge next to the bottom surface of the backstrap. There also are several dings and compression marks in the grip. The bore is dark with sharp rifling but moderate erosion the length of the bore. on the right side. For a revolver that survived the Civil War over 150 years ago, this revolver is in remarkable mechanical condition. The cylinder lockup sows only a very small amount of play and the trigger is still crisp. This revolver comes with a letter from Colt stating that it was made in 1861 and one of 300 shipped to the Washington DC Arsenal on October 24. This revolver represents an important piece of history, and it is not often that we see an original 1860 Army Model. This rare pistol is sure to catch the eyes of the Colt and U.S. small arms collectors.