Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Russ Jackson, Jan 8, 2013.
clean yes, disassemble I don't know. I think more guns are destroyed by neglect rather that attention. Just don't Bubba it up LOL use the right tool and solvents
Recently had the honor to meet a civil war veteran, an 1860 army taken off a dead yankee. The owner is leaving it as is, not even oiling it though its kept inside.
Good patina; No. Don't "clean" it, if you mean removing the natural patina over the good finish that is still intact. Showing it's age is fine if it was cared for, not abused or exposed to accelerated wear (weather, chemicals, etc).
Bad patina; You can "clean" any mud or debris or rust. If it's rust or really bad corrosion then it's value is already low. No one pays to see 150 year old rust.
IMO, any "patina" that effects the operation of the gun (that would otherwise function) should be removed to allow the gun to operate safely.
Don't remove the screws. Generally you don't want to "give it a good scrub".
Value is based on how close to orginal condition, how much wear since then, how well it has aged.
ETA; my experience is not with colts, but other antiques (musical instruments, swords, etc), but they all seem to follow similar principles.
But I really do understand why some would not touch an original. It's your choice.
Id clean it
Strip it make sure its in good working order. Clean it good. then shoot it. So instead of it now being an old decoration for a glass case. It is antique working shooter. Same time better start trying to find some OE parts or replacements.
FWIW, I fully agree with Pohill's (#7) cleaning of that gun. I think it would have been a shame to leave it like it was to preserve the original dirt and cobwebs.
I'd definitely clean and fix up an 1860 .44 and shoot it, unless it had historical or family value. They are a sturdy gun. I saw one in a shop that was completely original except for the cylinder - it had a 2nd Generation cylinder. Pietta or Uberti parts should fit the internals.
Can you post a pic of the 1860?
The nipples on the gun are a lot larger than any of my other guns which I didn't notice until after I loaded it so I forced some #11's on and shot it. I am not even going to try taking the original nipples out so I am going to try re-sizing the #11's to fit.
Here are a couple Pics. I don't think the grips, and three of the four screws have ever been removed.
I wont shoot it and I have not tried to take the nipples out. I took it to Cabellas and they offered me quite a bit for it so I know its a nice example. I think I am going to send it to http://www.johnakopec.com/ and have him look at it.
Beautiful old Pistol! I'd love to own one like that! I've always loved the look of the 1860. What's the story on it?
I got it from the descendants of the original soldier. They sold it because they wanted to have a party for their 16 year old daughter.
If you were going to shoot it, I would recommend complete disassembly and cleaning.
Since you are not planning to shoot it, don't do anything other than handling it with care, wiping off handprints before returning it to storage, and making sure it is stored where humidity will not be an issue.
I am a shooter, not a collector. But this gun is a treasure to be admired and preserved, fondled often to absorb its memories.
I noticed that this 1860 Colt also has a brass grip frame that could have some verdigris. If it does, shouldn't it be removed?
Some folks are still shooting original guns and since it's not a mint specimen, then it can be carefully taken apart without devaluing it.
Even an appraiser or a future buyer might want to inspect the internals to see if the parts are original. If it's ever taken apart once then take some photos.
It probably doesn't really matter if it's ever taken apart or not, but doing so does provide knowledge about the actual condition of the whole gun.
Link to the ~$1,000,000 Walker Julia auction photos showing verdigris:
(This was not the $900,000 Walker. This was the $400,000-$500,000 Walker)
Also, do not store the gun in its holster. The leather attracts moisture and will cause rust to form on the steel and verdigris (pronounced ver-di-gree) to form on the brass. Verdigris is the equivalent of rust for copper and copper-based alloys and is toxic.
You have a beautiful gun there and it should be taken care of so that it can stay that way.
Unreal! What a bunch of morons. But lucky you!
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