Colt 1860 Maker Unknown.


Skinny 1950
December 26, 2012, 10:08 PM
I am wondering if anyone here has seen a gun like this and knows who made it?
There is only one complete serial number on the bottom of the barrel were it joins with the frame. The steel back-strap has the last three digits of the serial number stamped on it.
The frame has case colors but no markings at all.
There are no markings on the top of the barrel.
The cylinder has a naval battle scene with the words "ENGAGED 16 MAY 1843" and "PATENT N. "
This is a very well made gun that has a plum brown patina, the action is very tight and the cylinder locks up solid.
It has a fairly high serial number so there are probably a lot of these out there.
If anyone has any idea of who made this gun I would appreciate knowing.
Thanks very much.

If you enjoyed reading about "Colt 1860 Maker Unknown." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
December 26, 2012, 10:11 PM
Defarbed ASM?

Skinny 1950
December 26, 2012, 10:18 PM
The picture showing the serial number and the frame looks like the frame had been filed but it is still flush with the barrel which it wouldn't be if the serial number had been removed from the frame.
There are no Italian proof marks or date stamp and no evidence that they have been removed.

December 26, 2012, 10:55 PM
someone really skilled at defarbing can do it so well you'd never know it had been done. are there any markings under the barrel, beneath the rammer?

Skinny 1950
December 26, 2012, 11:32 PM
The only marking on the barrel is the serial number shown in the picture, there is nothing on the top of the barrel where the maker or importer marks usually are.
I have several ASM, Armi San Paolo, Uberti and Pietta repro's but this one is better made than any of them.

December 26, 2012, 11:37 PM
Have you disassembled it yet to look for any possible markings on the inside?

It's a neat looking gun in any event. The nipples look new...did you put replacements in? I wonder if you could get a clue from the thread size on the nipples?

Skinny 1950
December 27, 2012, 12:24 AM
I replaced the nipples with stainless steel ones that I bought for an original 1849 Pocket Colt but they didn't fit as well in the original cylinder as some from my Uberti 1851 Navy. The nipples that came with the gun were the wrong size and one of them blew out at the range.:what:

December 27, 2012, 12:46 AM
sometime the date code will be under the loading lever, or on the cylinder face, or on the grip frame, under the wooden grip, very subtle...

Old Dragoon
December 27, 2012, 12:44 PM
How far doe the 4th screw heads(Stock Guide Screws) stand from the frame. If they are .236 or so then it may be a Centennial(Centaur) from 1960-63 era. A say this because you mentioned "Built Better". Also, the early frames had no Centaur marking on them, but would have a S/N, but that looks to have been removed.
Info on the Belgian Colts can be found here:

December 27, 2012, 05:38 PM
Look down the barrel to see if the riflings are gain twist. Maybe the barrel is an original. It looks better finished/ploished than the frame. The serial no. looks hand stamped and uneven like an "oldie".

December 27, 2012, 07:19 PM
isn't that serial # too high for a 1960 new model army?I thought they ended around 18'000.Of course I could be wrong as three left feet.

December 27, 2012, 07:32 PM
almost forgot.Check out the hammer,looks exactly like an original colt not at all like a centaur

Skinny 1950
December 27, 2012, 09:17 PM
The picture with the serial number on the lower part of the barrel makes it look like the Ser.# was removed from the frame (rather crudely) but there is no trace of it and the fit between the barrel and the frame is perfectly flush, if the Ser.# was stamped on the frame and removed the frame would be lower by maybe 10-20 thousandths or more.
I will get the gun out and check the rifling as Hellgate suggested,number of grooves,direction of twist and if it is a gain twist or not.

Skinny 1950
December 27, 2012, 10:57 PM
The two alignment pins on an original 1860 are bigger than on the gun in question so the barrel won't fit. The cylinder fits from this gun to an original frame and works pretty good.
Here are a couple of pictures of the rifling ...the first is from an original the second is from this gun:

December 28, 2012, 12:35 AM
My compliments on the photos...that looks really cool!! Thanks for starting this thread...I'm learning too.

Skinny 1950
December 28, 2012, 01:50 AM
Thanks J-Bar..I was at one time a commercial photographer but long ago sold off my equipment...just in time as it turns out.:eek:
Trying to use a digital camera with no manual focus is a chore for me but it can be done.
The original Colt's bore looks like 150 miles of dirt road compared with the one that I am trying to identify, but they both have seven grooves and go in the same direction.

December 28, 2012, 09:47 AM
When I mused the 400 percent stting on my desk top I looked at the photo with the serial number. It appears that "J.H." appears on the section of frame visable at about 10 o'clock. It appears something was stippled out and re surfaced over at 1 to 2 oclock and at 7 to 8 oclock.

Play with magnifying the image and playing with its light settings if you can.

The thing at 1 to 2 oclock makes me think of a shield.


Skinny 1950
December 30, 2012, 03:08 AM
The mystery has not been solved but with the new nipples I will take it back to the range.

December 30, 2012, 04:37 AM
what I think K Bob is seeing is a Gardone proof house mark, mostly obliterated. about half way down on this site, on the left. still doesn't tell us much, other than that it was proofed for export.

December 30, 2012, 12:15 PM
To me, it looks like a mock up. The barrel & cylinder look to be of the same vintage but the frame looks newer. The curved cutout under the barrel near the rammer looks like a modern cut with sharp edges. On originals, the edge (under which you rotate the conical under) is rounded off to make more room.

If you enjoyed reading about "Colt 1860 Maker Unknown." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!