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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A good friend of mine inherited an 1860 ORIGINAL COLT. I'm jealous!
Serial number is 50,984.
Best I could find is 1862.
Does anyone know the month or any other info to help us out.
I have an 1864 Starr Arms, and an 1858 Remington. Starr is 2-1864 Remington is is 7-1864. Both have inspectors cartouches.
So far no info on this Colt.
Did it have inspectors stamps also, on the handgrip?
Thanks for your help.
Terry


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Manufactured in 1862.
#50995 a 1860 Army, was issued to Co. D,1st Vermont Vol. Cav. in Feb, 1865.
#51078 went to 2nd West Va. Vol Cav 1863.
Wow! Thanks for that info! We found a cartouche.
I told him to go outside, sunlite, bingo!


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow! Thanks for that info! We found a cartouche.
I told him to go outside, sunlite, bingo!


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Why do the Civil Guns have all the Lil peck marks on the butt?

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2horses said:
Why do the Civil Guns have all the Lil peck marks on the butt?
The 1860 Army was used in great numbers long time past the Civil War. Before 1870, westward movement in the United States was largely across the plains with little or no settlement occurring. After the American Civil War the plains were extensively settled. Ranchers/farmers moved out on the plains, and needed to fence their land in against encroaching farmers and other ranchers. The railroads throughout the growing West needed to keep livestock off their tracks, and farmers needed to keep stray cattle from trampling their crops.[SUP][12][/SUP] Traditional fence materials used in the Eastern U.S., like wood and stone, were expensive to use in the large open spaces of the plains, and hedging was not reliable in the rocky, clay-based and rain-starved dusty soils. A cost-effective alternative was barbed wire. Three or four staples to hammer and loosen per post.

Peck/pock marks on any early Colt (1860 to 1930) is likely from hammering in barbed wire staples...

Outstanding Colt btw :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The 1860 Army was used in great numbers long time past the Civil War. Before 1870, westward movement in the United States was largely across the plains with little or no settlement occurring. After the American Civil War the plains were extensively settled. Ranchers/farmers moved out on the plains, and needed to fence their land in against encroaching farmers and other ranchers. The railroads throughout the growing West needed to keep livestock off their tracks, and farmers needed to keep stray cattle from trampling their crops.[SUP][12][/SUP] Traditional fence materials used in the Eastern U.S., like wood and stone, were expensive to use in the large open spaces of the plains, and hedging was not reliable in the rocky, clay-based and rain-starved dusty soils. A cost-effective alternative was barbed wire. Three or four staples to hammer and loosen per post.

Peck/pock marks on any early Colt (1860 to 1930) is likely from hammering in barbed wire staples...
Interesting! Makes sense! They guns have seen a lot in their time period.
Thanks very much!

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Very nice and I bet lots of history.
It hung on my friends well with a Saber also, when I was in grade school. I'm 58 now.
His mom bought the Saber and pistol at a rummage sale!
I've never forgot that gun, started inquiring about it, found out he got it.
Then my research has begun.

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The 1860 Army was used in great numbers long time past the Civil War. Before 1870, westward movement in the United States was largely across the plains with little or no settlement occurring. After the American Civil War the plains were extensively settled. Ranchers/farmers moved out on the plains, and needed to fence their land in against encroaching farmers and other ranchers. The railroads throughout the growing West needed to keep livestock off their tracks, and farmers needed to keep stray cattle from trampling their crops.[SUP][12][/SUP] Traditional fence materials used in the Eastern U.S., like wood and stone, were expensive to use in the large open spaces of the plains, and hedging was not reliable in the rocky, clay-based and rain-starved dusty soils. A cost-effective alternative was barbed wire. Three or four staples to hammer and loosen per post.

Peck/pock marks on any early Colt (1860 to 1930) is likely from hammering in barbed wire staples...

Outstanding Colt btw :)

I am quite certain that is an old wives tale. There were special fencing tools for that purpose not pistols. If one were to hammer any serious amount of staples with the butt of a pistol it would quickly be destroyed. Fence posts were hard wood and it would take a serious strike to drive in a staple. The grip frame of a pistol not hardened like the face of a hammer plus it is held on with soft screws. You can count the number of strikes this pistol took. I agree with the rest of the post and the guns saw hard use and occasional use as a hammer. Sometimes you see a carved hole on each side of the butt where a makeshift lanyard was strung. I have had a couple like that over the years. This butt almost looks like it was used to tap in a slotted screw.
 

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Mikebiker said:
I am quite certain that is an old wives tale. There were special fencing tools for that purpose not pistols.......
I see you're from Maryland. I guess that explains your comment. Common knowledge for ranch families here. Seen more than one Colt grip and butt strap that a fencing staple fits into perfectly. Staples are soft steel...early split rail fence posts were generally very soft wood or just green wood cut from lodge pole pine, aspen or anything skinny enough to haul to your fence line in bulk. So yes you can see every strike on the butt of a pistol used for that job. And done enough the grip's butt and frame will be beat up pretty badly.

Horses and wire...neither were good for early lever guns or pistols.

FWIW, In 1905, Hubert L. Wright invented what is known today as the "Hammerhead Plier," which kicked off the invention of the Modern-Day Fence plier. Wright was connected to the Utica Drop Forge & Tool company in Utica, NY, Which is where our current UTICA Plier gets its name from. Below is the actual patent drawing submitted to the U.S. Patent Office back over 100 years ago.



A copy of that early version of a fencing tool with a spike added....both versions still get used on a regular basis if you have wire on the property.



A latter design for a "Plammer" (plier/hammer) if anyone is interested. Bigger, easier to use hammer, but not as tidy to carry on a horse.


Anyone wanting to match their disfigured Colt up to a fence staple I have hundreds in the barn I can loan ya :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Here's my 1863 Starr Arms(born 2-1864) and my 1858 (1863) Remington Army together. (Born 7-1864)
Next pic is the Starr's butt.
I saw one gun that had the 2 slots on the center. Now I know it was for a lanyard ring.
Thanks for that info.


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Ha, ha, I just remember the other common explanation of, "tacking up wanted posters" :bang_wall:

Never swallowed that one as I always figured there were more fence posts than bad guys :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ha, ha, I just remember the other common explanation of, "tacking up wanted posters" :bang_wall:

Never swallowed that one as I always figured there were more fence posts than bad guys :cool:
That's a GOOD ONE too!

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Yep, as a young buckeroo, I carried a fencing tool on my horse to fix the farm fence. When we bought our farm, I introduced my wife to mine. It was nothing special just like your second photo. We keep it hung up in the barn so we can use it, even though we do not have any barbed wire. Oh, we do have some staples that we can lend people too, but I suggest you do not use your SAA to hammer them in though.
 

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Here's my 1863 Starr Arms, and my 1858 Remington Army together.



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Two very nice historical pieces!

The Rem is commonly, though inaccurately, referred to as the Model 1858 due to the patent markings on its cylinder, "PATENTED SEPT. 14, 1858/E. REMINGTON & SONS, ILION, NEW YORK, U.S.A./NEW MODEL."; although production did not start until 1861 and went to 1865.

It's like calling the Model 1873 Colt SAA a Model 1871, 1872, or 1875.

Similar to the 1862 Colt Pocket Navy. It's only recently been discovered that it wasn't produced until 1864.

The marks on the butts of old guns are always blamed on wanted posters (thx to the B westerns) or fence fasteners. Actually it was any target that presented itself as needing to be driven in. Each gun so marked usually only had one single target with multiple hits, then not used again as a hammer once realization overcame stupidity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Manufactured in 1862.
#50995 a 1860 Army, was issued to Co. D,1st Vermont Vol. Cav. in Feb, 1865.
#51078 went to 2nd West Va. Vol Cav 1863.
Hi Rick, if you don't mind, how did you find this information?
That is so COOL to know!
Thanks for sharing, wish it was my gun!!! Lol!

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Something worth noting...

Colt didn't ship in serial number order - they shipped full crates to meet the demand, and they didn't ship to units - they shipped to the Quartermaster Department, who then took care of actual issuance.

The name on any Colt letter is that of the Officer signing for the shipment - 'not' the one it was issued to, nor responsible for any further action beyond that of acknowledging receipt of 'X' number of weapons on a given date and to a particular location.

No real historical value there, beyond knowing that the piece in question is an issued item.

The Quartermaster Department didn't issue in serial number order, either - they issued to the need of the gaining unit, and not in block - if crates were partially full, then weapons could be grabbed and stacked to meet the number needed from any open crate.

After the initial issue, weapons were often mixed, and battlefield salvage gathered them up for reissue - the Confederates rearmed themselves early in the Civil War, thanks to dropped and discarded weaponry, but that avenue of supply soon closed as the Federals learned their deadly trade.

Point is - information contained in the books of 'Springfield Research Service' is only accurate to the first issuance - after that, it's anyone's guess where the piece ended up after hard campaigning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Something worth noting...

Colt didn't ship in serial number order - they shipped full crates to meet the demand.

The Quartermaster Department didn't issue in serial number order, either - they issued to the need of the gaining unit, and not in block - if crates were partially full, then weapons could be grabbed and stacked to meet the number needed from any open crate.

After the initial issue, weapons were often mixed, and battlefield salvage gathered them up for reissue - the Confederates rearmed themselves early in the Civil War, thanks to dropped and discarded weaponry, but that avenue of supply soon closed as the Federals learned their deadly trade.

Point is - information contained in the books of 'Springfield Research Service' is only accurate to the first issuance - after that, it's anyone's guess where the piece ended up after hard campaigning.
Thank you! That makes a lot of sense!
I'll pass this on.

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I have a Colt 1860 that was manufactured in early 1863 with serial number 88355. I obtained this revolver from the Cobb Family in South Carolina. According to their "verbal history", it was brought home by a GGGrandfather during the war. Mr. Cobb came home on leave in late 1863 to get a new horse and he died shortly after from "consumption" while at home. He was a Sergeant in the First South Carolina Cavalry, Company A. Appearently, he had "requisitioned" the revolver from a Union Soldier that did not need it anymore.

Would it be possible to know what Union Regiment/Company that it was originally issued to? Here is a picture of the revolver.

C44C3556.jpg
 

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88355 is not listed in any of my 4 volumes of the Springfield research books. There are only a couple of guns in the 88000 range.
 
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