Very rare British Proofed, factory engraved, four screw frame, cut for stock, Colt Model 1860 Army percussion revolver s/n 25975 manufactured circa 1862 at the Hartford factory in Connecticut in .44 calibre and shipped to Colt Patent Firearms London Agency, 14 Pall Mall, London, England, on 23 June, 1862 in a shipment of six guns.
The number “2” is stamped under, or above the serial numbers on the barrel, frame, trigger-guard and butt. According to author Charles W. Pate on page 281 of “The Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver” he states that use of the “2” marking for engraved pistols appears to have been short lived and an “E” marking was used starting sometime in late 1862.
The frame, barrel, wedge and grip-straps are all intricately engraved in the Gustave Young deluxe coverage of intertwined foliate style in what has been described as unusual arabesque patterns against a granular punch dot back-ground. Both sides of the hammer are engraved with the characteristic wolf’s head motif. There is a large dogs head beautifully engraved above the wedge screw on the left side of the barrel. The barrel and cylinder are blued with the loading lever, frame and hammer case-hardened. The engraved iron back-strap is blued and the engraved brass trigger-guard is silver-plated. The fancy, deluxe one-piece piano varnished grips, are of select burl walnut.
It has the four-screw frame, cut for shoulder stock attachment. The eight-inch round barrel has the address ‘-ADDRESS COL. SAM’L COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA-’, and is fitted with the creeping style loading lever. The left side of the frame is stamped COLTS/PATENT, on two lines, with a number “4” stamped on the left rear shoulder of the brass trigger-guard strap. The six-shot rebated round cylinder, numbered to the gun has the roll scene that depicts the battle between the Texas Navy and the Mexico Navy.
The 1860 Army, was the most used and popular revolver in the American Civil War and this wartime export civilian example, is in very good condition with strong traces of original blue and case colours, especially in protected areas. It has all matching numbers, including the wedge. Also the six pins on the rear of the cylinder are all intact. The bore is bright 8/10 with some minute areas of pitting. It needs a cleaning rod put through it. Everything is in good working order and the action is tight.
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.
Philip Boulton of Southampton, England has collated and recorded a survival rate of less than 5% 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.