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Old February 1, 2015, 09:24 PM   #1
Join Date: January 10, 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Posts: 74
From zero to two 1860s in a single evening (Damn online auctions!)

A couple of weeks ago I started learning about Cap and Ball (C&B). I was at a my LGS looking at a single fire Kentucky percussion pistol, when the guy brought out a Colt Dragoon. I swear, I had no idea there was such a thing as a black powder revolver. I was amazed -- and hooked.

I started reading everything I could find on the web about them. I watched YouTube videos and asked around at work (that was a dry hole of information). I started visiting the local pawn shops and decided I wanted a Colt 1860 Army replica.

Today, I logged onto a popular online gun auction site to see what was available. I found that the guns were cheaper than my local pawn shops, and the selection was quite a bit better. The next thing I knew -- I had won an auction. The gun was about what I was looking for and the price was 30% cheaper than my local shops. One new gun in the mail would have been enough for any normal person, but then I saw the Army I was destined to own. Except for the "Colt" name, it had everything I wanted. Before I knew it, that auction was won as well. Yes, I should have skipped the first one and waited for the second -- but hey, I'm only human.
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Old February 1, 2015, 10:02 PM   #2
Bishop Creek
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Join Date: March 20, 2011
Posts: 318
Yeah, black powder percussion revolvers were very popular during the Civil War and the Old West. Wild Bill, Wyatt Earp, they all carried them.
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Old February 1, 2015, 11:22 PM   #3
44 Dave
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Join Date: February 24, 2013
Posts: 199
Congratulations, Make sure you post pictures when you get them.
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Old February 1, 2015, 11:28 PM   #4
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Join Date: January 10, 2011
Location: Leesville SC
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Nice, and yes pics are necessary. Just a tip, check out Cabelas website, I have found that when they have a sale you can get brand new Piettas and Uberti Reproduction cap and ball revolvers cheaper than some online auction prices. Beware though Cabelas is the drug dealer and we are the addicts haha
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Old February 1, 2015, 11:29 PM   #5
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Oh and welcome to the best blackpowder discussion group on the internet. Happy to have ya!
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Old February 2, 2015, 11:43 AM   #6
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Join Date: October 20, 2012
Posts: 1,317
Yes! We are here to help you! I am sure you will love your Colt Armys, I have a '51 Navy and it is so fun, I am actually in the process of cleaning it up as it's been sitting in storage covered in WD-40.
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Old February 2, 2015, 12:07 PM   #7
swedish champion
Join Date: January 28, 2015
Posts: 15
two 1860's

Yes! What Deerslayer says is true...these pistols are addictive. The worst part is, they are best (as you found out) in pairs! Ha ha. I bought an 1858 pietta as an impulse-buy about four years ago. I didn't know what to expect, hang fire, overload, chain fires...once I got the feel for these machines, I shoot my black powder pistols MORE than my cartridge guns. I will say, the revolving black powder pistol is what finally put me behind a reloading bench. Love tracing my hobbies back to their originating points. I feel going back to the start of an idea helps me learn a bit more about the modern equivalent. The 1860 is probably one of the most beautiful handguns to behold. She has a great shape.
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Old February 2, 2015, 10:47 PM   #8
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,674
They are a lot of fun.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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Old February 3, 2015, 02:52 PM   #9
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Join Date: August 6, 2014
Location: Frozen North
Posts: 211
Welcome to the dark side. Resistance is futile. You will be assimulated. I think you need a 1858 Remmy now, *snickers*
Cry HAVOC! and let loose the chihuahuas of war.

My wife told me that I can't have too many guns, I agreed and told her I can never have too many guns...and then the trouble began
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Old February 4, 2015, 09:55 PM   #10
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Join Date: January 7, 2012
Location: Auburn, AL.
Posts: 1,684
Two is a good start. When you get one for every day of the week..... then you are really in the groove. Then you can start on the 1851's, the '47's, the 62's, the........
Colt 1860. It just feels right.
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Old February 5, 2015, 09:26 PM   #11
Gaucho Gringo
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Join Date: May 17, 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 283
They are addicting. Started out with one and now have 11. All the way from big(Colt Walker .44 clone) to tiny(NAA .22 mag BP) and everywhere in between. My signature will not let me list all the guns I own.
357 Taurus Gaucho, 22 Heritage RR, 2-Pietta 1858 44 NMA Remingtons, Pietta, Euroarms & ASM 36 1851 Navies, 31 Uberti 1849, 12 ga H&R Topper, 16 Ga Western Field, 43 Spanish Remington Rolling Block, 44 ASM Colt Walker, High Point C9 9mm, Winchester 1906 22, Rossi 62 22 rifle, Uberti 1860, H&A & IJ 32 S&W BreakTop, 36 Euroarms 1858, 32 H&R 06, 22mag NAA SS BP revolver, .44 Rodgers & Spencer, IJ 38 S&W BreakTop, IJ 22 Sealed 8
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Old February 6, 2015, 07:40 AM   #12
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Join Date: September 7, 2012
Location: Copperas Cove, TX
Posts: 325
oh yeah brother, they are addictive. Started out a couple years ago with one, and now i have around 30, lol! And yes, Cabelas will take your money! They have frequent sales that are just too good to pass up. I just quit my job ( i was already retired), so i have time to actually go and shoot em now, lol! Seriously, i have quite a few that have either never or have only been fired once or twice. I need to fix that pronto, lol!
"I'm your huckleberry, it's just my game"
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Old February 8, 2015, 05:19 PM   #13
Join Date: February 7, 2012
Location: Independence Ky
Posts: 17
You sound like me four years ago. Addiction. Cabelas is your pusher. I started with a Uberti 1858 Remington. 45Colt engraved with 1-1 ARB Gunfighter's insignia my son got me from his unit in Iraq. Now I have 10 Pietta's and Uberti's and am a member of National Muzzle Loading Rifle Ass'n. Have fun!!
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Old February 8, 2015, 07:19 PM   #14
Join Date: January 10, 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Posts: 74
Ya'll are right. I'm looking for a Colt Walker now.
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Old February 11, 2015, 11:51 PM   #15
Join Date: January 10, 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Posts: 74
Comparison between Armi San Marcos and Lyman 1860 Army black powder revolver

Thanks to my inability to disengage from an online auction after a single win, I just took ownership of two Colt 1860 Army replicas—an Armi San Marcos and a Lyman. From reading the forums I had expected the markings to differ, but I was surprised to find the two guns were not the same size, that they wouldn't have the same safety characteristics, and that they would not operate precisely the same—similar, but not the same. I would like to hear from you how a Uberti would compare. Wish I had a Colt to compare these two against.


The Lyman is (what I understand to be) a military model, with four screws in the left side of a color case hardened steel frame. There is a mount point screw in the grip and an indentation in the bottom of the grip for a shoulder stock mount. It has safety pins between the nipples.

On the cylinder, engraved horizontally, is:
PATENTED SEPT. 10th 1860.

On the left side of the barrel it says: MODEL 1860 ARMY .44 CAL

On the top of the barrel it says: LYMAN LITTLEFIELD CONN

On the right side of the barrel it says: FOR BLACK POWDER ONLY MADE IN ITALY

I assume all this writing on the barrel is what I've seen referred to as the “The Pietta Billboards” or “Pietta Grafitti.”

On the bottom flat just in front of the frame is a large letter R superimposed over a circle with what appears to be a 5 and possibly a 0 inside.


The Armi San Marcos is (again, what I understand to be) a civilian model with only three screws in the left side of a brass frame. This gun has no shoulder stock mount point. It has no safety pins between nipples.

On the front edge of the cylinder band above the naval engraving it says: ENGAGED 19 MAY 1743.

Written horizontally across the cylinder band it says: PATENT NO.

On the bottom of the barrel it says: ASM BLACK POWDER ONLY CAL 44 MADE IN ITALY


Size differences:
  • The Lyman is a bit taller (top of barrel to bottom of grip) than the ASM.
  • The Lyman is a bit shorter (muzzle to butt of grip) than the ASM.
  • The ASM's barrel is about half an inch longer than the Lyman's.
  • The Lyman's grip is about half an inch longer than the ASM's. This allows all my fingers to comfortably hold the grip. On the ASM my little finger is partially below the bottom of the grip (I'm a 5' 11' male with average hand size.)
  • The Lyman trigger guard is about an eighth of an inch further away from the grip. This allows me to grip the gun without the back of my middle finger touching the rear of the trigger guard, which is what happens with the ASM.
  • The Lyman weighs only 2 pounds 10.2 oz, whereas the ASM weighs a whopping 2 pounds 11.1 oz. Just proves that barrels are heavier than grips.

Hammer operation:
  • Notice in the picture which shows both hammers at half cock (guns pointing down), that the hammers are not in exactly the same position.
  • In the picture of the grips back to back (guns pointing away from each other) the ASM hammer sits snuggly against the back of the cylinder, whereas the Lyman sits a bit higher than the cylinder.

Subjective assessment:
  • The ASM is a more attractive gun, with its longer barrel, its brass frame, its three flush screws in the left of the frame, its subtle lettering beneath the barrel, and its nicely seated hammer.
  • The Lyman is a more comfortable gun to hold.
  • Since I haven't shot them yet, I cannot comment on their accuracy or how they shoot.
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Old February 12, 2015, 05:25 AM   #16
45 Dragoon
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Join Date: June 14, 2013
Posts: 236
Big-Blue, the ASM looks like it has a Navy type grip. This also shows you how different the manufs. can/could be concerning the same model revolver. As far as the position of the hammer, it's another difference from manu. to manu. as well as hammer/ sear engagement. The Uberti offerings are pretty much correct to orig. size/shape and are a very good starting point for what can be a very nice / dependable revolver. Same with the Pietta, both have their particular probs. but for the most part are good products.

Just noticed we are in the same "neck of the woods", I'm in Marietta.

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Old February 12, 2015, 10:53 AM   #17
Join Date: January 20, 2013
Location: Mineral Virginia
Posts: 65
Big Blue, Thanks for an informative description including photos. I now know for sure my yard sale find is an ASM.. Thanks again
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Old February 23, 2015, 09:29 PM   #18
Join Date: January 10, 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Posts: 74
BTW. I read up on the various manufacturers and I believe my Lyman was made by Armi San Paolo (ASP) which was later purchased by Euroarms.

I'd add that little tidbit to my review above, but the EDIT button is no longer visible.

Oh, and it appears I misspelled the name of ASM. It should have been spelled Armi San Marco.
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