Colt Model 1894 U.S. Army
"U.S. Army Model 1894" and "RAC"
1895 S/N 67788

It all started in 1892 with the New Model Army and the New Model Navy. The model 1892 was the first in a series of revolvers. These variations are the Model 1892, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1901, and 1903.  The Model 1894 had internal improvements on the hammer and trigger, the Model 1895 and 1896 only had changes to the barrel markings, the lanyard loop was added on the Model 1901, and on the Model 1903 the barrel diameter and grips were modified.

The Model 1894 was the primary revolver used in the Spanish-American war (1898-1902). By the middle of 1897 all U.S. troops were issued this model revolver. This was the first revolver to use the smokeless powder cartridge. The butt is marked "U.S. Army Model 1894".

Total Army contract production of the Model 1894 was 18,000 revolvers. The serial number ranges for the 3rd and 4th contracts are 60,000 to 68,000 and for the 5th and 6th contracts 100,000 to 110,000.

Collector Note: The Model 1892 being the first one made is virtually never found without some type of modification as revolvers were brought in for rebuild to the latest specifications.

Left profile

Right profile
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Model and S/N

RAC, S/N, and P
markings on cylinder
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R.A.C. U.S.
Inspectors mark

Bottom barrel
S/N and RAC mark

S/N on crane

S/N on crane recess

Inspectors cartouche

Hand checkered

S/N on hand checkered
cylinder latch
From the T. Moore collection
  • Serial numbers should match on barrel, butt, cylinder, crane, crane recess, and cylinder latch.

  • Bore diameter on the Model 1892 through Model 1901 was .360 inch.

  • R.A.C. = Rinaldo A. Carr who was a civilian employee of the War Department and was the sub-inspector on the revolvers.. Located on Cylinder, Grips, left frame, and bottom of barrel.

  • Special thanks to Johnny Peppers and Bob Best for their correspondence on this topic.

  • Reference Bob Best "The Army Contract Models" Fall, 2001. The Rampant Colt, Fall 2001

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