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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am researching a model 1860 that I am considering buying and I have posted photos for the experts on here to take a look at. I guess what I am seeking to know is this pistol legitimate as far as anyone can tell by pictures? Any guess on value? I am an avid shooter and an avid antique collector but not an avid antique gun collector. This would be a display piece that I would have long term.Thanks for any help or advice/questions to ask the seller.
 

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Looks like a mis-matched barrel - or is the serial number defaced?

Someone's definitely been in it, given the buggered screw slots from the wrong screwdriver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought the same thing. Would it be unusual to have a barrel replaced over time if it was used for its intended purpose? Does that diminish the value greatly?
 

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It diminishes value significantly.

These weapons weren't used like those in Cowboy Action games - those are shot hundreds to thousands of times.

Service revolvers aren't - neither were most of the SAAs used in the Old West - so the only way they'd get a different barrel was if they were battle-damaged (doubtful, given the rest of its condition), or a parts mix-up during a gang cleaning, with everything laid out on a communal groundsheet (again - doubtful) - 'or' by someone building a good one from available parts.

That's what I believe this to be.

Believe it or not, back when Hector was a pup, no one really cared about matching numbers and everything - they merely wanted an example - so examples were made up to feed that market.

This one seems to have a purposely obliterated/obscured serial number on a key component that has 'just enough' peening to act as an excuse.

There are lots of these Colts - unmolested - out there - keep looking for the 'right' one for you to keep and display.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate the advice. My wallet will be staying in my pocket on this one. When I come across the next I'll be back with more questions. Happy Thanksgiving!
 

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And to you...

If you're patient, wait for Charlie Pate to publish his book on the 1860 Army Colt, and read it a couple of times - you'll be much more prepared to deal with the vagaries of collecting them.

Another thing - since you're a shooter, in order to scratch the itch for an 1860 Army, buy yourself a Second Generation Colt - you can shoot it 'and' display it.

They look like the original when new - without the buggered screw slots and dings, so you'll have a decent model to go by when you finally find an original.
 

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A lot depends on how much.

That would be an ok display piece mismatched barrel and all as long as it was priced accordingly. It looks all period correct and has what appears to be some nice Walnut.

These pistols were rode hard and put away wet for a long time and it's not really uncommon to see one that's mismatched although it's usually the cylinder or wedge.
 

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Could be the result of a Civil War campfire cleaning session. The guys then weren't bothered about 21st Century resale values, they just cleaned them and reassembled them.
 

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The defaced number on the barrel is what gives pause - a simple mix-up, and no one would have tried to make the numbers look like they're all-matching - especially back then - because no one cared.

it was when folks started caring that these things started being created.
 

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As the others noted, the barrel is a mis-match, and it didn't happen at Colt. Looks like the barrel assembly has been wire brushed pretty hard.
 

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All good advice here, but it does come down to your stated desire for it to be a display. If locked away in a shadow box and inexpensive enough, it would work well for that purpose. But for the occasional handling and showing off...you'll ultimately be happier in the long run to find a better, though more expensive, example with matching numbers, a bit more finish and perhaps some of the cylinder engraving intact (the Model 1860's have a nice engraved scene). And you would have some investment potential there.
I agree with dogface6 in that the barrel numbers are perhaps somewhat suspiciously obscured. Not that it certainly couldn't be a hard used "campfire" M1860, as a "cheater" may have worked a bit more on that last digit. But there will always be that question.

Re value. I'll just note I found an all matching (though early unmarked wedge) in a bit better finish with visible engraving for less than $800. Use that info as you will. Best of luck to you.
 

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looks like 58148 and 50395. Without seeing the pistol in person its very tough to determine why the numbers are so worn. No telling if the pistol was heavily rusted or has some other issue. I would take it over a new 1860 or 2nd gen. That pistol has a lot of history and even though its assembled with a different barrel it looks real. Its probably worth $1000 if it is all function able. It looks like it was pitted and they scrubbed it clean.
 
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