Tranter45 said: I seem to recall them packing 1851 Navy's in early shows?
I recall seeing Little Joe reloading some kind of percussion revolver, either an 1851 or 1860 by swapping out the cylinder with another one that was already loaded. Apparently that was not an uncommon practice.
If you have a copy of R.L. Wilson's coffee table book The Peacemakers, there is a good photo of Ben, Little Joe and Hoss' guns and holsters on page 333. All negatives about Wilson's business dealings aside, the book is worth it just for the wonderful color photography and the section Arming The Fictional West has many of the guns of the silver screen and TV cowboy heroes. The book is available from some of the online book resellers for cheap.
By the way I drive though the area where the opening credits and other location shots were filmed for the early episodes on a regular basis. Most of the area is still working horse and cattle ranches.