- Range of serial numbers: 1 – 200,800
- Date of manufacture: 1860 to 1873
- Total production: Approx. 200,800
- Length of barrel: 7½ & 8 inches
- Caliber: .44
- Address: ‘-ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA-’
also ‘-ADDRESS SAML COLT HARTFORD CT.-’ or RARE ‘-ADDRESS COL. COLT LONDON-’
- Weight: 2 pounds 10 ounces.
Colt Model 1860 Army Percussion Revolver
A total of approximately 200,800 Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver were manufactured at the Hartford factory from circa 1860 through to circa 1873. They were serial numbered in their own range from 1 through to about 200800.
This model in .44 caliber superseded the much heavier Dragoon model and was the most used and popular revolver in the American Civil War.
On early models the barrel address was ‘-ADDRESS SAM’ COLT HARTFORD CT.-‘. This address changed later to ‘-ADDRESS COL. SAM’ COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA-‘. The left side of the frame was stamped COLTS/PATENT and “44 cal” stamped on the left rear shoulder of the trigger-guard strap.
Most 1860 Armies are found with the six shot rebated round cylinder with the roll scene that depicts the battle between the Texas Navy and the Mexico Navy. The four screw type frame with the recoil shield cut for shoulder-stock attachment changed to a three screw frame cut for shoulder-stock attachment or not as the case may be somewhere in the 50000 serial range. All models were fitted with the creeping style loading lever. At first the round barrels were 7 ½ inches in length and later this was increased to eight inches to help accuracy.
The barrel, cylinder and back-strap were blued and the frame, hammer and loading lever were case-colored. The one-piece walnut grips were varnished with the trigger-guard silver-plated on civilian guns and the grips on military contract guns were oil finished and the brass trigger-guard left bear.
Military contract guns have inspector cartouches on the grips and stampings in the form of a single or double letter on some of the metal parts. The better finished civilian guns tend to have the three-screw frame without the recoil cut-out.
The main variation was the early full fluted cylinder Army which appears in a serial range from serial number 3 to about 8000. Approximately 4,000 Fluted Armies can be found with either barrel address and with 7 ½ inch or 8 inch barrel. A few of the very early models can be found with the Navy size grip and are considered rare.
The second and third style (most common) attachable shoulder stocks were made for the Colt 1860 Army, a rare variation being the stock having the canteen insert.
In the higher serial range above 158000 some Colt 1860 Armies were shipped to London from the Hartford factory. These are found with British proof-marks (not always) and with the New York address or the very rare and desirable address of ‘ADDRESS COL. COLT LONDON’. These usually have blued steel back-straps and blued steel trigger-guards.
Philip Boulton of Southampton, England has collated and recorded a survival rate of only 2.16% of the original production of 200,800 revolvers. For in-depth reference on Colt Model 1860 Army percussion revolvers see ‘The Book of Colt Firearms- 3rd Edition’ by R.L. Wilson. For values, check out ‘Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms… and their values’ by Norm Flayderman.
More Colt New Model Army & Navy Percussion Revolvers
Through the Models of 1862 and 1865
The Colt Model 1861 Navy Revolver was a streamlined version of the Model 1851 Navy. It was manufactured from 1861 through to circa 1873 in a serial range from 1 through to approx. 38843.. It came in 36 caliber with a six shot cylinder and 7½ inch round barrel with a creeping style loading lever.
The Colt Model 1862 Police Percussion Revolver was manufactured from 1861 through to circa 1873 in their own serial range from serial number 1 through to approx. 47000. The Police was in 36 caliber with a five shot rebated and half fluted cylinder.