View Full Version : Belgian Centaures 1860 Army

Willie Sutton
January 21, 2013, 10:38 AM
Got to love mis-described auction ads. Where else can you find a nice 1860 Centaures for less than the price of a Pietta? Totally different paradigm of replica.

Just scored a nice 1860 Belgian, any other owners?



Doc Hoy
January 21, 2013, 11:47 AM
...I own SN 952 and came by it in much the same way at a gun show about four years ago.

Bought two revolvers for 200.00. One was a .44 Colt with an 1851 pattern barrel and a steel frame. Not great condition. The other was SN 952. Also not in great condition.

Had it gone over to the tune of 260.00.

You bought a revolver to be proud of.

To get it for the price you paid, is a bonus.

January 21, 2013, 01:00 PM
Got two, both purchased at auction (different auctions) for less than $150 each.



January 21, 2013, 07:59 PM
I have two I bought a few years ago,great quality and very accurate

Doc Hoy
January 21, 2013, 08:15 PM
...That has established what is essentially a virtual shrine to these high quality revolvers.


They will be very interested in knowing the particulars of your revolver. They are seeking to catalogue every one which was ever made and your info could appreciably add to their knowledge base.

These revolvers may actually be a closer approximation of the original Colt 1860, than the Imperato marketed second and third gen Colts.

Old Dragoon
January 21, 2013, 08:45 PM
Thanks Willy you out bid me. LOL!
No hard feelings. Glad to know it went to someone here.
I was looking to make that one a friend of the one I got last month.
You got it for a fair price.

Mine is the Cavalry Model S/N F698 with the full fluted cylinder that sold on GB in DEC.

I'll keep looking for the one to pair with this one. Another Cavalry model would be the cat's whiskers, or Meouw or??

Willie Sutton
January 22, 2013, 01:51 AM
^^ Sorry Buddy.... I think it was fairly sold too.

I've been looking for one for a while too. There were two at auction, the one I bought and a fancier one with gold-filled markings. I'm happy with the basic one. Any ideas of nipple sizes? This one will need a full set.

Thanks as well. Doc. I've seen that site and it's what got me interested in these. It'll be interesting to see how it compares to my Second Gen 1860 Army as well as few others I have in the safe. Hopes are high.




January 22, 2013, 02:53 AM
Regarding nipples for the Centaures aka Centennial Armies: newly made Beryllium nipples for the Centaures are available.
Please, find the address of the dealer at the bottom of left navigation bar of www.1960nma.org
Long Johns Wolf

Willie Sutton
January 22, 2013, 09:03 AM
^^ Thank You!



January 22, 2013, 10:06 AM
Hey many thanks for this info, I had never heard of this company before, and will have to look for one of these .

It is kind of neat how this is just one more in a long line of Belgium copied firearms that was shipped over here to the US (as well as other places) as cheaper (more affordable) copies of the originals. By jiminy it would be something to figure out in the day of the old west how many guns were from Belgium??

Willie Sutton
January 22, 2013, 12:05 PM
^^^ LOADS of them, probably.



Old Dragoon
January 22, 2013, 12:23 PM
Yeah Willie, that fancy one was way out of my reach also and too darn nice to shoot. BTW the nipple sie is 6MM-.75 which makes sense as the screw i need to replace the Stock(4th) screw in mine are 6mm and are too loose in a 6mm-1.0 at my nearest Ace Hardware store....I am betting the the nipple size and the 4th screw are the same pitch.

Willie Sutton
February 3, 2013, 10:38 AM
Well, the first of four of these critters finally reached my door yesterday. This wil be my only "fix" for a few weeks, as the other three will arrive after I leave today for a 3 week business trip. Oh well...

In any event the thing is a beauty, and is definately "different" than the Italian copies. Case coloring is rich, the wood is excellent quality with beautiful grain, finish is excellent, contours on the loading lever area, etc., are slightly different and look more like the original, knurling on top of the hammer is quite a bit sharper, arbor length is correct, wedge pushed out with finger pressure and reseated with ease, etc. I'd say it meets exactly what I expected.

This particular example was obviously a shooter. The area where you load the caps has been marked a bit, the cylinder notches have just a bit of wear, overall condition shows it's been shot, and the entire thing is loaded with heavy grease (including the inside of the cylinders). The nipples are missing, leading me to think that it was deliberately used for dry-firing on a routine basis, possibly for a movie production or similar. When I get back I'll strip the grips, disassemble it, pull the grip frame off, degrease the entire thing, reassemble, and lubricate. Need to figure out what the nipple size is, I know that the Germans sell them mail order but Treso must have nipples that will fit. This will make a great shooter, and a decent example for a collector.

Three more to go! I'm glad this one is in the condition it is in... the new in box ones will never be shot. Sometimes things can be "too nice" to really enjoy.



Old Dragoon
February 3, 2013, 04:59 PM
The nipple size is 6mm x .75, but I do not know the length, they are for sale on the www.1960nma.org website, made by a member in Germany. Dixie has a few different ones from Ampco and the like, but without knowing the length it might be hard to get the right ones.

I looked these up before you beat me out on the bid. Glad you got her home though.

Willie Sutton
February 4, 2013, 09:21 PM
^^ Thanks. I'll score some of the ones available here, taking a guess by looking at my other 1860's, and if they do not work I can always send off to the Germans.

If I let this one go, I'll give rights of first refusal here first.



February 4, 2013, 10:20 PM
I've got one, gave it to a friend to have it engraved....I might not shoot it again once he's done, unless I'm standing on a foam rubber platform. Interesting tidbit about these guns, Samuel Colt licensed a Belgian company(s) to copy his guns in the mid 1800's and the license had no expiration date, some folks think these are the "real" 2nd Gen guns made by the FAUL consortium.

February 4, 2013, 11:35 PM
Keep me in mind Willie... still looking.. :D

Willie Sutton
February 5, 2013, 10:33 AM
some folks think these are the "real" 2nd Gen guns made by the FAUL consortium.

Some folks think Elvis works at 7-11 too. :cool:

No Colts were ever made using the license that Colt granted. To fluff it up 100 years later as "Authorized".... well.... it's good marketing. So good that some folks actually believe it...

It's a good copy. Very good, in fact. Not perfect: I can show you contours that are quite different than an original, but it's picking nits. They are excellent copies. Better by far than contemporary Italian ones. Better by a little than the modern copies available today.

Love to see your engraved one when it's done.



February 5, 2013, 10:55 AM
Willie, I post pic' of it for sure. Back to the licensing story, the other reality is that they only made brevette's of the 51', not the 60'...sales pitch ot not, it rolls off the tongue better than "Made in Italy and finished in the USA". BTW, Elvis works at Jiffy Lube.

February 5, 2013, 11:43 AM
I'm a fan of Belgian guns. I have a few originals and they've stood up well over a hundred or so years. As far as the 1860s - I had one briefly but never fired it. It seems that they all need work of some sorts right out of the box (no big deal). So, what actually makes them better than other copies? Is the steel harder? Are the screw and nipple threads metric or American?

Old Dragoon
February 5, 2013, 11:36 PM
Better steel and Metric threads. Go here for more infor.
www.1960nma.org. Enough reading to keep you busy for a while and some myths set to rest.

Old Dragoon
February 7, 2013, 05:27 PM
You get that Centaur on GB? I think it went for a fair price, maybe even cheap if it is what it was listed as.

February 7, 2013, 07:32 PM
Nope, it shot right past my price... I'm looking more for a shooter, that one's a bit too nice. It looked unfired, barely had the cylinder turned! I'm patient tho', I've got a couple of leads and figure I'll see what Willie turns up once he gets done looking over his stash.

Old Dragoon
February 7, 2013, 08:19 PM
Here's a couple shots of the one I bought in December.
Yep it is loaded and ready to go to the wall, but it is non fired as of today.
Was stored badly so has some pits on the exterior, but the chamber bores and the bbl bore is slcik as it was in 1962 when it was made. She's gonna be my shooter since the shabby storage for 50 years.

BTW the safety pins on the cylinder and the hammer safety slot work as they should.

1962 Centaur 1860 NMA 3rd Model Cavalry, 3 digit S/N with an F(fluted?) prefix.


Willie Sutton
February 7, 2013, 10:38 PM
^^ Thats's a beauty! I've always liked the fluted 1860's. Think those and the Pocket Police are the best looking of the Colts.

The one on GB sold for $480, which I would say is about right. $500 is more or less what a really nice one ought to cost... even a good shooter is worth over $400 these days.


(The box-o-Centaures is arriving in a few days, sadly I am on the road and will not see them for nigh a month...)

February 7, 2013, 11:44 PM
They've all got nice looking wood, just a touch of fiddleback grain to it...

The GB gun was nice, the seller said he had another so I emailed him. He answered and told me he'd let it go for $300.00 shipped. Man I couldn't hit reply fast enough, unfortunately I think the line screaming off the reel gave me away. :eek: He replied that one of his employees had taken a down payment on it... :( Oh well, it happens... :rolleyes:

Old Dragoon
February 8, 2013, 12:39 PM
Thanks guys, The 1860 Army doesn't fit my small hands well, but I'll make do. Yep I paid over $400.00 with shipping and all and I thought it was worth the money. Never be a safe queen, but I bought it to shoot. Will get her cleaned up and a bit more presentable, but she ain't bad the way she is. Everything tight and smooth. Had never been apart as far as I could tell.

February 8, 2013, 01:37 PM
The large/long grip frame is what I like most about the '60's. They fit my 2XL mitts, just like the Magna grips on S&W revolvers..

Smiling Bob
February 28, 2013, 10:25 AM
There's currently one on GunBroker:

It's not mine, just thought I would post the link for anybody wot might be interested in it.

Smiling Bob :D

February 28, 2013, 10:49 AM
^^^ AS IF, those of us who ARE BIDDING (read ME) needed the EXTRA ADVERTISEMENT!! :rolleyes:

February 28, 2013, 11:09 AM
I was planning a sniper attack but since you're already in there, it's all yours Deerslayer, good luck, that's a nice looking pistola! Serial # not listed on the 1960NMA website.

Bob, these guys have a nose for Centaure's... don't need much help. :D

I've sniffed out a few myself, aside from those on GB. :cool:

Willie Sutton
February 28, 2013, 12:20 PM
^ enjoy, I'll keep clear of the bidding too.

I'll be home in a week to sort out my own collection of four, and will be offering at least one and maybe two here, so stay tuned. Rather than sell on GB I'd rather just put an ad here for my pards...



February 28, 2013, 02:00 PM
Thanks for the gesture guys, but I believe this one will go beyond the limit I've told myself OVER AND OVER AND OVER that I will not go beyond! :D

February 28, 2013, 06:19 PM
Looking forward to what you have to sell Willie!

Doc Hoy
March 1, 2013, 10:48 AM
I know what you mean.

I just stopped setting limits. That way I don't have to beat myself up.

Willie Sutton
March 1, 2013, 03:16 PM
Deerslayer, just send me your limit in unmarked fives and I'll send you back something out of my collection that will suit you just perfectly... play poker with me and see how you do. ;)

In fact I 'spect you best order a set-o-nipples from the place in Germany pronto 'cause you're in for first dibs on the nipple-less one in my closet. No sense a waitin'... git to it and prove your worthy of the blessing.

Looks like the one listed is gonna go above the magic 5 number, which is about what I expect for a new-ish one. Interesting that they are worth = Second Gen Colts. Careful with the grading on the one on GB though... someone buggered up the wedge screw with the wrong sized screwdriver, so it's been played with....




March 1, 2013, 06:56 PM
:D Awesome post Willie. I got a good laugh from it. Yeah my number was 5 bills, it will be a frenzy at the end I'm sure.

March 1, 2013, 09:41 PM
That one on GB sure is pretty, but it's gonna be a little pricey for a shooter, and as Willie pointed out, not perfect enough for a safe queen. Nearly all of the screws show (what looks like) a little bit of tampering, and the cylinder slots are peened on both sides. :)

March 4, 2013, 01:54 PM

To a Centaure that the seller had agreed to sell to me but he backed out when he thought he could get more money on an auction. I hate renegers, skunks and backpedalers as much as I hate thieves!

March 4, 2013, 01:59 PM
I stuck to my guns on that other one. And it went for 505.00 :rolleyes:. Oh Well, then I think. I don't want anything I can't shoot. And does a Centaur REEEEEALLY shoot better than a Uberti? I think not. But hey I'm not a dyed in the wool collector of safe queens either.

March 4, 2013, 02:03 PM
To a Centaure that the seller had agreed to sell to me but he backed out when he thought he could get more money on an auction
That right there is Crappy Character, hopefully Karma will bite him in the butt, and he has a TERRIBLE transaction with the winning bidder. I WON"T bid on that one.

March 4, 2013, 02:07 PM
Yeah, I've sold things before, found out later I could have got much more elsewhere but a deal is a deal. If I say yes, I'll take that much by god that's what I'll do and I don't care how much money is involved. Right is right, my daddy always said. If you're word's no good then nothing about you is worth a damn...