View Full Version : The new (old) 1860, plus cartouche mystery

January 22, 2011, 12:49 AM
The pistol was given to me quite unexpectedly by a friend I know from the group I do gunfights with Saturday afternoons. He knew I was looking for an "old west" gun and he happened to own one that he knew I could take better care of. He shows up one day with this. Nice gesture! But he was sure right. It has some pretty bad rust/pitting in the cylinder chambers and the bore. I don't think it got cleaned much after shooting (maybe a squirt of 409?). But its in good hands now; at least I am trying. I am new to the black powder world so I have been doing a lot of reading here in this part of the forums, its good to have. I do think despite its flaws that it is a darned good looking firearm. The bluing isn't so blue (gunmetal gray!) and the walnut grips are dinged: but the action and timing are perfect. I just like holding it.

BTW it is an ASM "Hartford, CT Model USA" 1860 Army.

I also included a picture of the cartouche on the grip. I have looked high and low for who/what it is. To me it looks like "ALJ" but there was no inspector with those initials. Anyone have a clue?

January 22, 2011, 01:21 AM
I believe the cartouche replicates the inspectors cartouche on the originals accepted by the military. I can't at the moment recall the inspectors name. I do recall that ASM used the cartouche as a marketing gesture at the time they were introduced.

OK! After doing a little research on the style of script used in the cartouches it appears to me to be HSL for Homer S Lathe. Of course I could be wrong.

January 22, 2011, 08:19 AM

Reproduction of the original inspectors cartouche.

January 22, 2011, 09:18 AM
I can not quite make it out, but if you care to try, here is a link to the inspection process with a list of the inspectors initials at the end...