Colt 1860 Army - 4 Screw
The Colt 1860 Army was the most common cavalry pistol used in the war. It resulted from requests to reduce the weight of the Colt Dragoon. Starting production in 1860 it became the standard pistol for the US Army. As first produced it had an additional screw on each side of the frame which would help when the shoulder stock was attached. Eventually it was discovered that the 4th screw could be omitted and it was. With the mobilization at the beginning of the war, the military sometimes purchased weapons on the open market. The Military entered into contracts with Colt for 1860 Armies, yet ordinance officers looked of open market opportunities to purchase weapons. In February Captain Silas Crispin was contacted with a proposal to sell 1000 Colt 1860 Armies with shoulder stocks. Capt. Crispin was authorized to purchase them. They were delivered on March 1,1862. Since these pistols were purchased on the open market, they did not pass through the Government inspection process. They do have some unique characteristics that enable them to be identified. Refer to page 318 in "The Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver" by Charles W. Pate. They include - serial number range 15,000 - 23,000; No capping groove in frame; stamped "O" above or below the serial number on barrel, frame, triggerguard and backstrap; "44 Cal" stamped on left rear triggerguard and no military inspectors marks.