This fine old relic is serial number #34,489 which is closest in the issue range to #34,454 which was issued to Troop H of the 7th US Cavalry at Fort Hays, Kansas. During the winter of 1868 to 1869, Colonel George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh Cavalry participated in the Washita campaign against the Cheyennes in Indian Territory. In 1871, the regiment was reassigned to a new post north and west of Kansas. From there, Custer and his regiment eventually marched to the Little Big Horn and destruction.
This weapon has been “rode hard and put up wet” as evidenced by the heavy use and pitting overall as shown. It is still, however, quite mechanically functional and tight as you would expect a military issue Colt to be. Not much cylinder scene remains and the weapon appears to have been cleaned 20-40 years ago. It came from an old collection in Billings, Montana where it was advertised as a “Custer Gun,” but not enough documentation exists to be proof positive of that statement. If it is, it is grossly underpriced!