Colt Model 1860 Fluted Army Revolver with Factory Letter


Colt Model 1860 Fluted Army Revolver with Factory Letter – This fluted Colt Army was produced in 1861, the second year of production, as indicated by its serial number(s) – 5213; all of the numbers, to include the wedge, match on this revolver. The early production revolvers had the cylinder serial number stamped into one of the flutes, later production guns had the serial number moved to the rear of the cylinder, like this example which has the matching number stamped on the wedges between the nipples, on the rear face of the cylinder.  Fluted, Colt Army revolvers are numbered in the #3 to #8000 range, with research indicating that only about 4,000 fluted, Army revolvers were produced. One of the cylinder flutes retains the stamping: PATENTED SEPT. 10th 1850.  The revolver retains the fluted cylinder of the earliest production guns but has the more standard 8” barrel. The gun is accompanied by a Colt Factory letter, that indicates this revolver was shipped, from the Colt Factory, on July 9, 1861, just two weeks prior to the Battle of 1st Manassas, to J.C. Grubb & Company, in Philadelphia; the revolver was one of five shipped, by Colt, to the Grubb Company, on that date. Although Grubb was a Philadelphia retailer, many comparable, northern based arms dealers were still shipping arms to southern buyers (or their “representatives”) during the early days of the war; in fact, the initial buyers of the New Model Army revolver were not the US Ordnance Department; indeed, various southern states began seeking arms, anticipating that the election of Abraham Lincoln was certain to lead to war. During the several month period between Lincoln’s election and the firing on Fort Sumter, approximately 2,200 New Model Army revolvers were shipped to southern states or southern arms dealers. This .44 cal. revolver is  lightly stamped, on the top of the barrel, in a single line: ADDRESS SAM’L COLT HARTFORD CT. The frame is in the four-screw configuration, with notched recoil shields and slotted grip strap, to accept a detachable shoulder stock. The bore is clean, retaining significant rifling. Traces of the original, blued finish remain, with the overall iron elements featuring a pleasing, dark-plum patina. The varnished, walnut grips are in excellent condition. The brass trigger guard and butt strap show a nice, mustard colored patina. The revolver exhibits tight, functional firing mechanics. This is a strong example of a less commonly encountered, Civil War period, Colt product. Of note, Col. Elmer Ellsworth, considered the first Union officer killed in the war, carried a Colt M1860 Fluted Army revolver, that was inscribed to him; it is currently in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

Grubb, J. C. & Co.

Name Street Town State From To
Grubb, J. C. & Co.   Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1839 1847
Grubb, J. C. & Co. 76 Market Street Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1847 1855
Grubb, J. C. & Co.   Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1855 1861
Grubb, J. C. & Co. 236 Market Street Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1861  
Grubb, J. C. & Co.   Philadelphia Pennsylvania   1887


Hardware merchant, wholesale and retail included making, as well as importing of guns and pistols in 1861. Partnership win John McLaughlin and Samuel Winchester in 1867 which already ended in 1868.

In 1868 and 1869 thy announced itself as Gun & Pistol Makers.
In 1870 as Guns, Firearms & Guns Materials.
From 1872 to 1879 again Gun & Pistol Makers.
In 1880 the focus of activities shifted to Sporting Goods and Guns & Pistols dropped entirely in 1887.

From 1839 – 1860 the company was located at 76, High Street (later Market Street). In 1861 they moved to 236 Market Street and in 1870 to 712 Market Street.

.41 o r.42 caliber percussion, single shot pistol in derringer style, lock marked J.C. Grubb. A view hundreds were manufactured between 1860 and 1870.