POTD: Modified Colt Model 1860 Army ‘Belly Gun’ Revolver
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Continuing the trend of modified and customized Colt handguns, here we have a Colt Model 1860 with its barrel shortened as far as possible. Folks would do this in order to make proper “carry guns” in the late 1800s or stereotypically in the old west. These modified styles of revolvers were often referred to as bulldogs, but would also carry the moniker of a belly gun. The particular example of belly gun would only be good for its six shots since reloading in a fight would be all for not. No matter, this gun was all about finishing a fight before it started.
Produced in 1863 and at some point altered to increase ease of carry and concealment with the loading lever deleted, the barrel reduced to it’s current length, the muzzle re-crowned, and the grips and back strap altered to a bird’s-head profile. Brass bead and hammer notch sights with “BARNEY” hand-stamped atop the barrel, “COLTS/ PATENT” on the left side of the frame, Texas Navy cylinder scene, and brass front strap. Some small inspection marks with matching numbers on the barrel, frame, cylinder, and front strap. Smooth grips. This sort of modification also carries the nickname “Avenging Angel,” having to do with some Mormons using this sort of revolver for religious inspired executions.
Lot 1226: Colt Model 1860 Army ‘Belly Gun’ Percussion Revolver. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved December 16, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/65/1226/colt-model-1860-army-belly-gun-percussion-revolver.