This old Colt has seen a lot of action. Standard .44 Caliber with 8" barrel. Serial number is in the 28,500 range which places its production in early 1862 before being issued to the US Army. Like most early 1860's with 4 screw frames, this would have seen 3 years of service most likely in the hands of a Union Officer or Cavalry Trooper. The result is that 4 screws often show a great deal of wear..this one being no exception. When we found it, it was pretty down on its luck. Fortunately, while it still bears the scars and use of a long war, our gunsmith was able to get it back in perfect working order.
According to Springfield Research, this 60 Army is just 3 number above and 38 numbers below two other 60's issued or probably reissued to Company I of the 3rd Michigan Cavalry in 1864. This unit primarily fought in the Western Theatre in TN, AL, MS, and AR from 1861-1865 before being garrisoned in TX until early 1866. In addition to those, this 60 is also relatively close to a couple of other 60 Army's recorded as being issued to the 1st Maine Cavalry and 5th Ohio Cavalry, both in 1862. While we may never know exactly who this revolver was issued, its interesting to see where some of its brothers ended up. One thing you can be sure of given its wear and place in time, this revolver didn't end up in a crate sitting inside an arsenal. This one got issued and saw plenty use in the Civil War.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Good. Appearance-wise, the metal shows lots of nicks and dings from combat as well as some light oxidation from living out in the elements or inside a damp holster. Markings are pretty good overall, a few are a little worn, but all completely legible. Cylinder shows some dings and bruises. Like most holster-worn Civil War Colts, the cylinder has virtually no scene remaining towards the front but about 15-20% towards the back just forward of the rebate. In fact, you can still see the waves and light outlines of a couple of the ships from Colt's depiction of the Mexican American War Naval Engagement. The serial numbers are matching on all major components. Only exceptions are the wedge and arbor pin which are replacements. The only notable blemish on the gun is someone who obviously knew little about Colts tried to pry the barrel away from the frame...probably with a chisel or screwdriver. As a result, it appears they tried to cover over some of the blemishes by brazing the extreme edges of the barrel/frame junction with brass. A close inspection reveals the brass is very thin, completely superficial, and confined only to the very edges of the corners. It could be easily removed if desired. It in no way, shape, or form, disturbs the steel interface and locking pins between the frame and lower arm extending from the barrel. In fact, the barrel to frame fit is still tight as new with no cylinder wobble. Nice screws throughout. Walnut grips are solid with no chips, cracks, or repairs. However, they've been sanded and are slightly undersized in relation to the metal grip straps. No cartouches are visible. Mechanical condition is almost like new with positive indexing and a strong hammer. Our gunsmith has been through the action, cleaned it, and gotten everything back in tip-top working order. Bore is in good condition with good rifling and some light scattered pits. A good representative piece of Civil War history for a reasonable price!