View Full Version : "1960 New Model Army" Centennial Colt
March 1, 2007, 12:13 PM
I recently purchased this weapon at an Antique Store, the quality is exceptional and the fully fluted cylinder caught my eye. It is unfired and beautifully made Belgium replica. I paid a couple hundred dollars for it and then noticed that what I orginally thought read "1860 model" was actually "1960 model". It also has 2-digit serial number preceded by the letter f: fXX.
I have found very little about these guns and wonder if its value is higher than the run-of-the-mill reproduction.
March 3, 2007, 05:26 PM
Does it say made in Belgium? I don't know of any modern Belgium reproduction firearms. But then again there's a lot I don't know.
March 5, 2007, 01:19 PM
Yes, it reads Made in Belgium on the bottom of the grip.
March 7, 2007, 09:55 PM
You seem to know as much as anyone. I had typed several paragraphs on Belgium and FN, however I just edited it out. It didn't add any information and just confused the issue. I can't find anything in my references on Modern reproduction Colt copies so I hope someone else can help. I'm stumped.
April 4, 2007, 12:11 AM
I have one of these too, any help would be appreciated.
April 4, 2007, 08:48 PM
Those were made in Belgium for Centennial Arms Corp., 3318 West Devon Ave., Chicago, IL around 1961. There is a short mention in the section on Centennial Arms in the 1962 Gun Digest, but nothing you don't know if you have one. The squib in the back says they use .451 round balls, and cost $89.95 for the standard, $99.50 for the "civilian" model with silver plated front and back straps, and $144.50 for the fluted model.
FWIW, I once saw one of those fluted ones faked up as an original fluted Army for sale in a gun store. I enlightened the dealer as to what it really was. He was ticked as he had a sale all lined up with a price tag in the several thousands. After a little thought, he was grateful, deciding it probably would not have been a great idea to unload a fake gun on a State Police major.
April 30, 2007, 07:47 AM
FWIW: These "replicas" were made in Belgium between 1960 and the 1970s, sold as "Centaur", see centaur symbol on left side of the frame were you would find the patents on a Colt pistol.
The story goes that they are actually manufactured under a Colt license obtained during the 19th century. If that can be confirmed they would be no replicas but should be termed re-issue pistols.
Specs are as close as you can get to an original Colt 1860 army, with slick actions, unless you are having one of the late production runs from the 1970s when quality was kind of varying to put it mildly.
The Centaurs were mostly made of carbon steel with 8" barrel, rebated cylinder without engraving, 3 screw frame cut for shoulder stock. I have seen fully blued ones but also a few with case colored frames/loading levers. You could purchase them with a second cylinder sporting a unique Centaur naval engraving. Few were made with a fully fluted cylinder and/or with 5" barrel, so called Marshall models. Fewer were made from stainless steel. Grips were (European?) dark (walnut?) wood of the correct one-piece kind, either varnished or oiled.
Factory engraved models with and without cold inlays could be had.
The centaurs are thought after collector pistols in Europe.
May 2, 2007, 07:22 AM
Here is some additional info regarding the Centaur story and the story of the Colt Army M 1860 of licensed Belgian (Colt brevete) production.
Sam Colt came to Belgium in 1853 to negotiate licensing deals with local manufacturers/gun smiths. in April 1853 a licensing agreement could be reached with "Union d'Armes de Liège". This was a group of 7 Belgian gun manufacturers/gun smiths, namely Ancion & Co., Collette, Darrdoy, Drissur & Co., Hanquet, Petry and the Pirlot brothers. To symbolize their alliance with Colt their selected the sign of a centaur with a rifle, kind of close to the Colt sign. This centaur was placed as a trademark on the frame of their Colt Army license pistol.
Since 1853 Unie d'Armes manufactured various models of Colt C&B revolvers under that license. 1960 they re-started producing the Colt Army 1860 using the old blueprints and the old machinery. Instead of the original Colt barrel marking - ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW YORK US AMERICA - the Centaur barrels sport the marking - 1960 NEW MODEL ARMY CENTENNIAL TRADE MARK. This was to document the re-start of production of the Colt Army 1860. As mentioned somewhere else various barrel lengths, steels, cylinder configurations of the 1860 Army were made.
The Centaur is obviously closer the the original as 2nd or 3rd generation Colts. They are identical to the original except for the modern steel used. It is estimated that up to some 60,000 model 1960 were made. Manufacturing was discontiued in the 1970s but the company stayed in business as a gun dealer. It is not known, however, if they are still around today.
Union d' Armes/Centaur is said to having been the only Colt licensed manufacturer of Colt spareparts in the World.
May 3, 2007, 03:45 PM
Bootsie, thanks for sharing your knowledge, I knew about Colts connection to Belgium, but I had no clue about the Centaurs. Thanks again, RJay
May 8, 2007, 07:08 AM
So, by European standards I have a fairly rare early reissue. Fully fluted, 2-digit serial number, case colored frame, hammer, and loading lever. THANKS!!
October 23, 2007, 10:03 PM
Everyone who answered this thread. My first 1860 Army percussion revolver was a Centennial arms revolver. I never thought of it as an actual Colt as it was made in Belgium. I always thought of it as a replica even though I was aware of the 19th Century ties to Colt Patent Firearms Co. I bought it in the early to mid 60's. It's gone, now, in some fantastic trade I made for something else.
It must have been late 1998 I was at a gun show in Green Bay Wisconsin (one was held there on New Years eve).
A fellow was carrying around a beat up Centennial asking people if they new what it was and what it was worth. I bought it from him for $75. Guess I bought it because I hadn't seen one years. This gun still functions and I still am able to shoot it. There is some information on the Centennial Arms 1960 at http://rprca.tripod.com/.
November 15, 2007, 03:32 AM
Congrats on your acquisition. Those Belgian Colts/Centaures are getting be be rare finds, particularly in good condition. Many were purchased during the 1970s in the US by the prop masters for cowboy movies. Send you PM on this subject.
February 20, 2008, 11:54 AM
The 1860 ARMY was a four screw, my Belgium 1960 NEW ARMY is a three screw.
My sear spring is busted, can i use the sear & bolt spring out of the 1860 to replace it?
March 4, 2008, 12:33 PM
Maxguns and the campfire: like the Colt 1860 Army these Belgian Colts aka Centaures aka Centennial Armies were made in a quite a number of variations. Actually in more variations than the 1st gen. Colt. These variations incl. 3 and 4-screw frames. For further details visit the Centaure website www.1960NMA.org.
I would like to include the specific data of your Centaure pistol in the survey of that website to learn more about this rare revolver. If you are agreeable please, download the questionaire from the website, complete it and mail it back to me. Thanks
I might also be able to point you to a gunsmith knowledgable in repairing the Centaure. Send me a PM.
Bootsie aka Long Johns Wolf
June 25, 2008, 02:13 PM
I bought a Centennial Arms 1860-1960 pistol new in 1966. The price was $90, a lot of money in those days. It is a faithful copy of the 1860 Colts and I believe parts were interchangeable.
Yes, it was made in Belgium, before the days when they started making them in Italy.
November 20, 2008, 11:43 AM
Check out www.1960nma.org to get all of your answers to myths and truths about the Belgian Colt or Centaure 1960NMA distributed here by Centennial Arms.
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