"COLT MODEL 1860 FLUTED ARMY PERCUSSION REVOLVER. SN 236. Cal. 44. Usual configuration with 8" rnd bbl, German silver front sight, no bbl marking, no frame marking and no cylinder markings except for the serial number in one of the flutes. It has a brass trigger guard that was never silver plated and a blued steel back strap with 1-pc walnut grip. Back strap channel of grip is inscribed in period script in ink "Major Thornton" and the serial number. It has a 4-screw frame cut for shoulder stock with flathead hammer screw and extended stock screws. This revolver, with its lack of markings, was undoubtedly one shipped directly to Maj. Thornton for a test of some sort. These early 1860 Army revolvers were shipped south in large quantities up until the outbreak of the Civil War and are usually considered as Confederate used arms. This one, however, undoubtedly had a different purpose with its hurried shipment to Maj. Thornton, probably in an attempt by Colt to influence him to recommend purchase of this model for the Army. Maj. William Anderson Thornton, an 1825 graduate of West Point served through the Black Hawk wars and several operations in the southeast United States including the second Seminole War, all in the artillery. In 1838 he transferred to the Ordnance Corps where he served the remainder of his career, passing away in 1866, still on active duty as a colonel with brevette rank of Brigadier General. Maj. Thornton was one of the premier inspectors at Colt, primarily for early percussion revolvers. Accompanied by a copy of a single page article from an unknown publication titled "Major Thornton Goes West" by James S. Hutchins which briefly details Maj. Thornton's career. CONDITION: About fine, all matching including wedge. Bbl retains traces of orig blue; in sheltered areas, stronger around front sight. Cylinder retains flaked blue in flutes with fine pitting around front edge. All six cylinder pins are present. Frame retains strong, bright case colors on sides, turned dark on recoil shields and the hammer retains dark case colors. Trigger guard is a medium clean mustard patina with sharp edges. Back strap retains 60-70% orig blue, strong at top and on butt strap, thin in the middle. Grip has a few chips on edges and retains a hand worn patina with bruising around top sides from a shoulder stock yoke. Mechanics are crisp, bright shiny bore with a few scattered spots of fine pitting. 4-31876 JR278 (7,000-10,000)"
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