And here is another thought… What in the world makes everyone here think that this is a USPFA/USFA gun? No mention of either USPFA or USFA in the description and, to the best of my knowledge, USPFA/USFA never imported/manufactured/produced/released a firearm bearing the Colt name on the barrel address line (hopefully Gary Granger will join in here and either refute or confirm this). This is the second time one of these "Colt marked USFA" guns has come to our attention here. Best explanation I recall is that it might, repeat might, be a gun that was made up of parts sold by USFA to a third party after they abandoned their cap and ball series of firearms. The only indication that it might be from USFA being the quality of the CCH. All of the USPFA/USFA offerings were either Uberti or ASM guns that were imported in the white and then finished here. I have one of the USFA marked 1851 Richards Mason conversions with no Italian import markings. The quality of its fit and finish is far superior to the photographs of the 1860 Army model presented in the GunBroker ad listed above. The gun listed also does not seem to be up to the standards of the "2nd generation Colt Black Powder Series," nor that of the "3rd generation Colt Signature Series" revolvers (and I own examples of both). So what is it? To my mind is certainly isn't a USPFA/USFA gun and, as a collector of same, I wouldn't touch it with a stick!
My background is very similar to yours. Worked as a salvage diver off the coast of FL, joined the US Navy in '69. I used my VA Benefits to go to Gunsmith and National Tool & Die Ass. school, and then worked as a hard rook miner. Then went back to Va. to work for a very good friend of mine. Pay was not bad, just very spuratic.
I worked as a CW Sutler building CW firearms for the N-SSA and for Re enactors. Went to a historic site in Savannha, GA. where I built a gun carrage for an original 32# gun barrel. From there I found an opening in the Blacksmith shop at Colonial Williamsburg. (Loved the work, but the pay was not so good.) Then found out about an opening a Jamestown Settlement Park for a Blacksmith. I helped set up the Blacksmith program, and it is still in use to this day. (for all that I know)
In 1993 I moved back to FL. to take care of my Parents. Mom passed in 1994. I joined NCOW early in 1994, When Dad passed in 2004, I went back to building custom and customized CW firearms. I retired in 2011, and have been happy ever after. My best, Blair
For 7 years, back in the late 1980s and into the 1990s I was on the Speakers Board of the Arizona Historical Society, doing a lecture on "The Myth of the Gunfighter". I did that for free but it lead to a number of talks and lectures for small fees that supplemented my retirement income when I left the Sheriff's Department. I also did free lance writing on black powder cartridge guns in various gun magazines. The pay for that wasn't all that great but the big draw back was the inconsistent paydays. Most magazines pay on publication. One article I wrote was accepted for publication but didn't make it into print for 33 months.
My retirement checks payed the bills and the income from the lectures and articles just padded the checking account. The only reason I stuck with it for as long as I did was because I loved the subject and enjoyed doing it so much. It sure wasn't a way to get rich…or even get ahead financially.
Moosemilk (Ballistol and water mixed 1:20) in a spritz bottle does much of the cleaning work. That and a Boresnake make short work of my cleaning needs. Now and then, when I want to fondle my guns, I take them apart mostly, spray 'em out with Moosemilk and blow 'em off with compressed air.
Having loaded and shot Holy Black since before many shooters were in diapers, I've not had rust or corrosion problems. I do have a Winchester 97 in 16ga that has a brown patina that it acquired before I bought it. Not so much rust, but more of a long since loss of bluing and aging unprotected metal. I kind of like the looks of the old 97 and I doubt that I'll ever have it buffed and blued. The innards are slick, smooth and must have always been well lubricated.
Cleaning guns is a relaxing task and best done at a leisurely pace, preferably with a tall cool beverage near by.
The above isn't to be miss read to mean that I'm careless about cleaning my guns. It is, however, intended to take the mystery out of shooting and cleaning black powder firearms. Enjoy the smoke, fragrance and flames my friends.