CONFEDERATE CAPTURED AND COLLECTED, CLEANED AND REPAIRED, COLT ARMY REVOLVER

$4,500.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 286-1286

This Colt Army Revolver rates near very good for condition with little finish remaining, but generally smooth metal and good markings on the barrel, cylinder and frame, significant remnants of the cylinder scene, matching serial numbers, and grips that show wear, but fit the frame well, have good color, a faint US inspector cartouche on the lower right and, most notably, a good “Z” stamp on the upper right that is the final inspection stamp of a Confederate Ordnance officer working in the CS cleaning and repair system preparing arms that had been captured and collected for reissue.

The basic text on these arms is Steven Knott’s 2019 study, which cataloged different arms passing through the system and the work done on them, along with several inspector’s stamps, including this “Z.” (At that time the mark was associated with Capt. Louis Zimmer, who supervised C&R operations in Richmond from late 1864 to 1865, but subsequent cataloging of marks indicates they do not necessarily reflect an inspector’s initials.) Knott estimated as many as 200,000 weapons captured or collected by CS ordnance teams or civilians during the war, along with another 50,000 turned in by CS forces, may have passed through the system, mostly from eastern battlefields that fell under Confederate control. The majority known are long arms, but carbines and pistols went through the system as well.

The Colt M1860 .44 caliber army revolver is the quintessential Civil War cavalry pistol, rivalled in numbers only by the Remington and Starr, and those mostly later in the war after the U.S. Ordnance Department became disenchanted with Colt’s pricing. This revolver is serial number 79332, and comes with a 1989 Colt factory letter detailing its shipment among 1,000 revolvers to the New York Arsenal on December 6, 1862, making liable for use in most of the large battles, cavalry engagements and campaigns.

The barrel and cylinder show as gray mixed with brown spots. The loading lever shows some hints of faint blue. The rear of the rebated cylinder and back of the recoil shield show a darker gray. The backstrap is a mix of gray and brown. The front sight is in place. The barrel address is crisp. The Colt’s patent stamp, serial number and date on the cylinder are very good. The naval battle cylinder scene is worn in places, but significant portions are visible and legible. The nipples are present and are not battered. The “Colt’s / Patent” stamp on the left frame is very good. The frame shows some faint traces of blue in a strong light. The metal shows various small factory subinspection and assembly marks, but the cylinder also shows dings and the grips show wear, with rounding to edges, small chip at the right toe, and some dings on the bottom, but good color, traces of inspector’s cartouche on the right, and the “Z” is very good, indicating the pistol saw significant use before falling into Confederate hands or at least before being turned in to the ordnance system. Mechanics functional. Bore a bit dusty, visible rifling.

The Colt Army was popular both North and South, with southern states and militia forces being prominent prewar purchasers and Colt being caught in the embarrassing position of being in the process of shipping more of them south when the actual fighting began. It is not surprising there was real effort made by Confederate ordnance to keep them functioning and in the field. This would make a nice addition to a Confederate cavalry display.  [sr][ph:L]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire!

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