The Colt Army Model 1860 is a muzzle-loaded cap and ball .44-caliber revolver. It was used during the American Civil War and was made by Colt’s Manufacturing Company. It was used as a side arm by cavalry, infantry, artillery troops, and naval forces. It was one of the most popular handguns of its time, with over 200,000 units produced between 1860 and 1873. It utilized an 8 inch barrel and had an effective range of 50-75 yards.
While the Colt Army Model 1860 was a favorite in the Army, it was quite difficult to operate. Each of the six chambers had to be loaded from the front, or muzzle end. A precise amount of black powder was poured into the chamber, followed by a lead ball being placed at the opening of the chamber. The ball had to be firmly pressed in order to shoot correctly. Additionally, it was necessary to use a lubricant at the mouth of each chamber in order to prevent other chambers to be ignited during firing.
This revolver cost approximately $20 during the 19th century, which would be more than $400 in today’s money. That was quite expensive at the time, so the Army had to invest a large portion of its weapons budget to the Colt Army Model 1860.
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