Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3079: Colt 1860 Army Revolver 44 percussion

Auction Date: September 15, 2013

Extremely Rare Initial Production Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver Serial Number 35 with Navy Size Grip

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $14,000 - $20,000

Extremely Rare Initial Production Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver Serial Number 35 with Navy Size Grip

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1860 Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 44 percussion
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 4025
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 40
Class: Antique

Rare variation of the first production M1860 Army Revolver, serial number 35. This extremely rare revolver has M1851 Navy size grips, three-screw frame with no capping groove and no shoulder stock cuts, silver-plated brass trigger guard and back strap, 7 1/2-inch barrel and round rebated cylinder. In THE BOOK OF COLT FIREARMS, author R.L. Wilson states, "Several rare variations exist within the Army series, and these are: 1. Approximately 55 of the first 100 revolvers have round rebated cylinders, three screw frames NOT cut for shoulder stocks, Hartford barrel addresses, silver plated brass back straps and trigger guards, 7 1/2" barrels and Navy size grips." He further notes that "The first 100 revolvers do not have capping channels in the recoil shield cutouts." An identical revolver (serial number 5) is pictured on page 158 of THE BOOK OF COLT FIREARMS. The barrel, cylinder, frame, hammer and loading lever have the standard Colt blue and case-hardened finish. The cylinder is roll-engraved with the Texas Navy battle scene and "COLT'S PATENT NO." markings. "COLTS/PATENT" is roll-stamped on the left side of the frame. The left side of the trigger guard is stamped with a small "G" Colt inspection mark and the left side of the trigger guard bow is stamped with a small "B". The Colt address has been neatly removed from the top of the barrel. The serial number "35" is stamped on the barrel, frame, trigger guard, back strap, cylinder and, unusually, the top of the loading lever. All of the visible serial numbers match.

Rating Definition:

Fine. The barrel and cylinder have a gray-brown age patina. Metal surfaces are generally smooth with some scattered spots of age darkening. The barrel shows signs of very old cleaning. Nearly all of the cylinder scene is visible. Three of the cylinder safety pins are intact. The frame and hammer have about 40% of the casehardened finish remaining; the remainder has faded to a silver gray patina. There is minor flash pitting on the left side of the hammer. The brass trigger guard and back strap have a dark age patina with about 40% of the silver plated finish visible in protected areas. The serial numbers, frame and cylinder markings are all clear. The grip is in fine condition with moderate handling wear with about 60% of the original high gloss varnish finish. This is a fine example of a very early production and extremely rare Colt M1860 Army variation. This revolver would be an important addition to any fine percussion Colt collection.

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