Antique COLT Model 1860 Army RICHARDS-MASON Conversion .44 Cal. CF Revolver
RARE & Highly Sought 1 of 2,100 Conversion Colts
Here we present an antique Colt Model 1860 Army Richards-Mason Conversion Revolver, manufactured in Hartford, Connecticut. The Richards-Mason Conversion was an attempt at designing a suitable cartridge revolver after the Smith & Wesson held Rollin White Patent expired in 1869, ending the stranglehold that S&W had on the idea of the bored-through cylinder.
Colt’s revolvers to this point had been black powder percussion pistols. However, the U.S. Army wanted a revolver that held metallic cartridges, which Colt could not produce because the Rollin White patent was still held by rival Smith & Wesson. Colt’s only solution would be to bore through the rear of their cylinders and devise a new method of ignition and case extraction.
Colt employees Charles Richards and William Mason were responsible for the success in being able to convert many of the Civil War surplus 1860 Army Revolvers that Colt still had in inventory. Those converted revolvers are now identified as the “Richards-Mason Conversion”. There were approximately 2100 Richard-Mason Model 1860 Army Conversions made from 1877 to 1878. They would go on to design the iconic Colt Single Action Army and win the 1872 U.S. Trials. You can see a bit of the SAA in the Richards-Mason Converted 1860 Army.
The overall condition is good. Modestly refinished. The bore is dim with thin rifling. The action is functional with strong mainspring tension, the cylinder does not index quite right but does lock up. Legible markings throughout. Numbers match.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 4-5/8 inches
Caliber: .44 Colt CF
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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