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Discussion Starter #1
Thanks in advance for any input you could offer.
These belong to an older friend of mine who is not internet savvy and he asked me to research them for him. I've owned/collected all types of firearms, but these are just not in my wheelhouse.
I think both are a "transition model" with the Richards type 2 conversion. Both are Colt 1860 Army's with 8" barrels. If you know any good articles/links to info on these, please pass that along also. I have been reading online, but thought I'd post these here also to see if I could get any extra info from a collector. There is also so much info out there that it can get a little overwhelming, especially with the conversions, etc. I can take better pics of anything. Just let me know and I'll post some higher res images with better lighting.

Pistol #1: Serial # 1916 (appears to be a first year production gun from 1860 that was later converted)


















Pistol #2: Serial # 3560 (appears to be a second year production gun from 1861 that was later converted)















 

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Nice old Colts.
There's at least one prominent forum member here who collects quite a few conversions and is very knowledgeable about them. He will certainly be able to bring info to your attention whenever he sees this thread.

I only have two conversions - a cut down '51 Navy, and a .38 rimfire pocket. Don't know much about them myself.

My Navy:

 

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Both guns are what are called a First model Original Cartridge Richards. These were serial numbered from 1-to the upper 5000's or so. I have one 1st mod OC with an iron TG which is rare. The first gun pictured appears to have the correct markings in my brief looking-over. The second one has the 'Colts Patent' instead of the 2-line date, but I'm sure is correct. Both have the correct address. Both look to have the internal gate spring (which the book says changed over to external at approx. 2500, but again probably correct on the second gun) The numbers on the conversion ring and gate are assembly numbers and should match throughout (offhand don't remember where all they can be located). As you can see, both guns are missing the wedge screw and the second one the wedge itself and also the front TG screw has been replaced. I cant make out the serial number on the second guns cylinder. Second gun is also missing the ejector housing.

The world of Colt conversions can be confusing-I highly recommend the book 'A Study of Colt Conversions and other Percussion Revolvers' by Bruce McDowell.

Also: caliber38 might see this and will correct any info that I have wrong and left out. He has probably forgotten more about conversions than I'll ever know.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Chaffee. I read the link below and it was pretty informative explaining the history behind the conversions. I'll check out the book you recommended. I knew these pistols may be missing a screw or part here and there so your input helped.
I will look them over and post some higher res images of all the proofs.
Exclusive Web Extra: Colt?s Cartridge ConversionsAmerican Handgunner | American Handgunner

If anyone else want to chime in, I'd appreciate any info you could offer.
 

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one65r;
Chaffee's information, for the most part is correct.
GENERAL INFORMATION:

First models had the firing pin in the conversion plate. Second model incorporated a conversion plate as seen on the Richards-Mason model, where the firing pin is on the hammer.
8" barrel, .44 Colt center fire cartridge, serial numbers in the high percussion era approx 167,000 to 200614 and also starting with number 1 to approx 8700, excluding approx 5800 through 7900 for the Richards-Mason models. ( not counting any percussion guns returned to the factory by original owners those serial numbers could be anywhere in the percussion range)
Models of the 1st Richards, 2nd Richards and the Richards-Mason were all made during the same time period, approx 1873 to 1878.
Conversion rings should have 2 assembly numbers, one on the ring and one on the gate. I have 4 digit numbered and 6 digit numbered guns all having "Colt Patent" on the frame. ( Patent dates are rare )
All Army Conversions, whether converted or made as cartridge revolvers using left over percussion parts conform to their percussion brothers, serial numbers, location of serial numbers, inspection marks etc, with a few exceptions.
I hope this info is helpful, any specific questions, just ask or PM me................Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Anyone have any idea what the current market is like for these? I've tried looking up to see what they have sold for but there are so many variables that it's hard to find an accurate comparison.
 
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