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Old March 4, 2013, 06:06 PM   #1
LeadZinger
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Join Date: December 9, 2011
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1860 Army Fluted Cylinder

The real reason I signed in today was to ask a couple of questions regarding the Fluted Cylinder model of the 1860 Army Colt.

At an estate sale in Atlanta last week I got to handle an original of this model for the first time. The Estate Agent really had a sales patter, which went beyond my own knowledge that Colt dropped manufacturing of this cylinder early on in favor of the rebated type.

First question is how many actually were produced? I've heard/read anywhere between 2500 and 4500.

The second question is based on the Estate Agent's story that Sam Colt personally smuggled 1500 of these guns south just as the War started. And that Confederate forces were the only ones to use them during the War. Is any of this true. Does anyone have reliable source information about these stories?

Since I have a Uberti reproduction of the Fluted Cylinder Army Colt thought it would be nice to know more about it.
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Old March 4, 2013, 06:35 PM   #2
James K
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The Model 1860 fluted cylinder was rebated.

The salesman was right that Colt dropped the fluted cylinder early on, before about #8000. But not all that range was fluted. The reasons given for the fluting vary.

One is that a customer had a cylinder burst and wrote Colt that he felt a fluted cylinder would be stronger (?), so Colt tried it. But since the big complaint against the earlier .44's was the weight, and there are fluted cylinders on experimental Dragoons as well as the early 1860's, it seems more likely that the fluting was simply part of Colt's effort to further lighten the revolver. But after experiencing failures with the fluted cylinders, Colt went to the round cylinder for the rest of production.

Fluted cylinder 1860's (original) can bring big bucks, nice ones going well into the $20k range or more; ones with the Navy grip frame will bring more. Caution is advised as fluteds are a fertile field for fakery (don't you love that phrase?).

Jim
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Old March 4, 2013, 06:45 PM   #3
pohill
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Join Date: December 27, 2005
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According to Flaydermans, Colt produced approx. 4000 1860s with fluted cylinders. Values (according to this edition of Flaydermans which is a few years old ) run between $2500 - $11,000.
As far as the Sam Colt story (smuggling fluted 1860s to the South) - we'll probably never know for sure.
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Old March 7, 2013, 05:04 PM   #4
Bob Wright
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The fluted cyinder guns were some of the original contract guns sold to, I believe, Alabama prior to the beginning of hostilities. Some of the first guns sold were to Confederate state militias, these having the fluted cylinders.

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