Colt 1860 Army 1st gen questions

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by ToothPick, Jun 13, 2019.

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  1. Jun 13, 2019 #1

    ToothPick

    ToothPick

    ToothPick

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    A buddy of mine sold me a 1863 vintage Colt 1860 army that has a couple modern replacement parts, but otherwise numbers matching. He wanted to buy a modern 9mm and I figured that even tho it wasn't complete, it was my best chance to own a original (mostly lol).

    The loading lever/latch, wedge screw and hammer screw are Italian parts. I think the rest of the gun is original.

    The gun functions fine but my plan for It is that it will be a wall hanger along with my original 1849 that is in comparable condition.

    I have a few questions.

    I know this is a little late to ask, LOL, but is it worth the $475 I paid?

    Is it worth replacing the Italian parts with vintage colt parts???? or should I just try to age the modern parts so it looks nicer and display it like that?

    THANKS IMG_0149.jpg IMG_0150.jpg IMG_0151.jpg

    The .31
    31.jpg
     
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  2. Jun 13, 2019 #2

    desi23

    desi23

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    Looks decent, considering that my shop sold a few examples in worse condition for more than you paid I think you did okay. Original parts can be hard to find and a bit pricey. I still have an 1860 that I have been slowly piecing back together (it's a shooter) with a couple modern parts on it. I think I would just display it as is, maybe keep an eye open for original parts but be prepared for high prices unless you get lucky.
     
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  3. Jun 13, 2019 #3

    nhmoose

    nhmoose

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    I sold ones in way worse shape in my shop for way more than you paid.

    You have, I believe, is a shooter or shootable original. Shame to wall hang it but I shoot every gun I own and my wall hangers are called relics for a reason.
     
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  4. Jun 15, 2019 #4

    charlescomly

    charlescomly

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    A while back I stopped by the Cabelas in Reno NV, the original 1860's they were selling on consignment were priced double what you paid, good score!
    Looks like that gun would benefit from some oil, looks a little rusty.
     
  5. Jun 15, 2019 #5

    Eterry

    Eterry

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    Great find... Any Colt made during ACW is a great addition to a collection, but a shootable one even more so.
    I'd oil it down and clean it up a touch, then head for the range. Then save the target as the backing for your shadow box.

    Any signs of a cartouche or military markings?
    Might see about a letter from Colt
     
  6. Jun 15, 2019 #6

    ToothPick

    ToothPick

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    Thanks guys.
    I have it apart now and will try to age the Italian parts. The rest of the metal parts will get a good oil soaking/ rub down.. The bore looks really good! For a 150 year old gun that was found in a basement rafters it could be in worse shape LOL...I'll post a pic when it's back together.
     
  7. Jun 15, 2019 #7

    condorsp

    condorsp

    condorsp

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    I didn't know Italian screws would fit a First Gen 1860.
     
  8. Jun 15, 2019 #8

    ToothPick

    ToothPick

    ToothPick

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    The head of the wedge screw is a little big and needs to get tuned down a hair. I'm pretty sure they are Itailian... They all look recently made
     
  9. Jun 15, 2019 #9

    Zonie

    Zonie

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    I'm sure the screws on an original Colt are not metric so, screws for the modern Italian made reproductions won't work.

    The other Italian parts would probably work because they were close copies of the originals. They might need some "fitting" though.
     
  10. Jun 15, 2019 #10

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

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  11. Jun 15, 2019 #11

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

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    I checked the screws on an original '49 that was in my hands briefly some time ago and found that 2 different diameter screws had the same pitch which was also identical to a metric screw though their diameters were not close to the metric screw. Unfortunatly I don't remember the pitch or diameter of the screws nor do I remember the metric screw that had the same pitch.
     
  12. Jun 15, 2019 #12

    ToothPick

    ToothPick

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    I asked my buddy and he Said he bought the screws from a gun show parts guy. Guess I was way off on Italian reproduction
     
  13. Jun 15, 2019 #13

    Coot

    Coot

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    It would be interesting to know what standard Colt used for threads on his early guns. In England, Whitworth and BSF were pretty well in place by the 1860s while in the US, what we now know as SAE got started in 1864. So what was used earlier?
     
  14. Jun 19, 2019 #14

    nhmoose

    nhmoose

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    Gee could the guy who put the Italy part on have tapped it to fit the metric part? I would have if it was all I could find.
     
  15. Jun 19, 2019 #15

    ToothPick

    ToothPick

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    I gave the 1860 a good rub down with wd40, left the brass and wood alone.
    I also aged the modern loading lever a bit. Pretty happy with the results.
    Scrubbed out the barrel and it looks like there is rifling left.

    IMG_0159.jpg
    Also bought this heavy duty nipple wrench and hope it does the trick. It should be here today.
    nip.jpg


    Here is a before and after oiling and aging loading lever, it was bone dry.
    44bb.jpg
    44cc.jpg

    Hopefully I will get out and shoot it in the next couple weeks
     
  16. Jun 19, 2019 #16

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

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    Great job aging that loading lever.
     
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  17. Jun 19, 2019 #17

    Zonie

    Zonie

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    If you have a vise and want to keep the cylinder from turning when you use that wrench DO NOT clamp the cylinder in it.

    Rather, get yourself a wooden dowel that just fits in the chambers. 3/8 for a .36 and 7/16 for a .44.
    Cut off 2, 3" long pieces and put them in opposite chamber mouths and clamp the dowels in the vise and your ready to go without damaging the cylinder.
     
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  18. Jun 19, 2019 #18

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    Before you try turning the nipples, put wrench on the nipples and tap lightly. The slight impact can jar the fouling and corrosion.
     
  19. Jun 19, 2019 #19

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    Once again I find that I am touting the praises of Harbor Freight.

    Some time ago I purchased this little impact tool that takes the hex drive bits.

    Earlier I had taken a 5mm hex socket from a clearance rack and cut the sides to fit revolver nipples. the flats of a revolver nipple are closer than a rifle (#11) nipple.

    I knew that I needed some help with some nipples that were installed in 1974 by the high torque nipple insertion tool. I found two short sections of dowel and put the dowels in a heavy vise to hold the cylinder. The cylinder, which had the nipples soaked in "Kroil" for a few days, was set on the dowels. A few sharp taps using the Harbor Freight impact tool set on the "R" setting was sufficient to loosen these nipples which had resisted all other attempts to loosen these nipples.
     
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  20. Jun 19, 2019 #20

    Zonie

    Zonie

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    This is a rather fancy version of the "manual impact driver".
    Impact drivers are for sale in the $9-$20 price range on the web or at your local Harbor Freight. If you go to HF, call first to see if they have any in stock. Sometimes they don't.
    I use a similar one for removing the Phillips head screws on motorcycle engine side cases. The screws are often made out of really soft steel and the Phillips slot will strip out if you try to remove them with a regular screw driver.
    Because you whack these with a hammer, the screw driver bit is forced into the slot by the blow and the mass of the driver causes the rotational energy to be transmitted to the screw (or nipple).
    MANUAL IMPACT DRIVER.jpg
     

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