2.1 Major Characteristics

Chapter 2 – Facts and Figures

2.1 Major Characteristics and Unique Features of the „1960 NEW MODEL ARMY“


















Major Characteristics and Unique Features of the „1960 NEW MODEL ARMY“


Steel and Brass


Three Basic Centaure Frames

Evolution of the Arbor

Hammer Spurs


Barrel Lengths

Barrel Diameters

Bores, Grooves and Lands

Muzzle Crowns

Front Sights

Front sights – Factory Installed

Front sights – Custom Modifications


Cylinder Shapes

Chamber Sizes – Diameters

Chamber Sizes – Interior Depth

Position of the Ratchet Teeth


Backstraps and Butt Screws

Notch on Butt







This newly produced and Colt licensed percussion revolver or “1960 NEW MODEL ARMY” (NMA) of Colt 1860 Army pattern as termed by some was manufactured by Fabriques d’Armes Unies de Liège (F.A.U.L.) in Belgium. This is the first mass produced clone of the venerable Colt Model 1860 Army of Civil War fame after the Colt Company in Hartford discontinued their making in 1873. Only some 16,000 specimens of the Centaures were fabricated between the fall of 1959 and early summer of 1973.

In the 20th century F.A.U.L. was the corporation succeeding the famous Belgium consortium of seven (7) gun makers around Jean Baptiste Hanquet with the April 1853 license to manufacture Samuel Colt’s cap and ball revolvers (other sources say 1852: COLT BREVETE). This license was never terminated. The proud gun maker’s history of the Hanquet family behind the company goes back as far as to 1796.



Steel and Brass


F.A.U.L. used high quality forged carbon steel of particular hardness for barrels, cylinders, frames, backstraps, loading presses, etc. Their steel is harder than the steel alloy used for the making of Italian percussion revolver clones! From sometime in 1970 formerly forged parts were cast.


D:\FAUL-rough cast frame\1-P1020853.RW2.jpg

2.1_1 Rough cast frame from sometime in the early 1970s


D:\FAUL-rough cast frame\1-P1020854.RW2.jpg

2.1_2 Sample found on a Belgian flee market after F.A.U.L. was sold in 1992


Only in 1972 a small batch of Regular New Model Armies (RNMAs) were fabricated using stainless steel. The stainless-steel alloy used is of the magnetic kind, see chapter for more details.

Triggerguards and front sights of the Belgians were made of brass as were the originals.





Our Centaures were built around either 3 or 4-screw frames. If you look on the left side of the frames these screws are (from the left) the 1) bolt, 2) trigger and 3) hammer screw.

The so-called 4th, guiding or shoulder stock screws are located between the trigger and the hammer screw of the Cavalry and Marshal 2nd variation Models only – example #3 of 2.3.1 below.

In addition, the frames differ in the construction of their recoil shields, i.e. with or without notches.

Three Basic Centaure Frames


The vast majority of Centaures was manufactured with what collectors call 3-screw frames. Two such variants are recognized:

1)      3-screw frames „round“ variant“ do not possess the two notches in the recoil shield for the attachment of a shoulder stock. This type of frames was used for the making of the Civilian (chapter 3.3) and the first two variations of the Pocket Army Models (chapters and

2)     3-screw frames with notches in the recoil shield were used for the making of the RNMAs (chapter 3.2), the Marshal Models 1st variation (chapter and the special-order Pocket Army Models 3rd variation (chapter

The third variants come with a 4-screw frames, i.e. all Cavalry Models (chapter 3.4) and the Marshal Models 2nd variation (chapter are equipped with this type of frame. Together with the notches in the recoil shield and the toe on the butt the 4th pair serves to securely attach a shoulder stock.


D:\FAUL Civilian 1V #C418 1V\1-FIL22265.JPG

2.1_3 „Round“ 3-screw frame without notches in recoil shield of Civilian 1st variation #C418


D:\FAUL Marshal 1V 1SV #11337\1-P1010208.JPG

2.1_4 3-screw frame with notches in the recoil shield of Marshal 1st variation 1st sub-variation #11337


D:\FAUL Cavalry 1V 1SV #F490 1V\1-P1030205.JPG

2.1_5 4-screw frame with notches in the recoil shield to attach a stock to Cavalry 1st variation 1st sub-variation #F490

Evolution of the Arbor


The majority of the Centaures studied have their arbor fixed in the frame by a horizontal, a few by a vertical, lock pin. You can see the end of the pin when you cock the hammer.

1st Version Arbors: Most early production RNMAs, the Civilians, Cavalry Models 1st variation and Pocket Armies feature an arbor with a separate deep grease groove close to the slot for the barrel wedge. This version is rare in later produced pistols. This usually means a replaced arbor.

This feature is combined with the historically correct square ended bottomed arbor, tight in the hole” like you find in 19th century Colt percussion revolvers.



2.1_6 1st version arbor: Square ended with separate deep grease groove


2nd Version Arbors: Next in the development from around 1963 was a slightly tapered ended arbor with a separate shallow grease groove, picture below.



2.1._7 2nd version arbor: Separate shallow grease groove


3rd Version Arbors: Beginning with this version the factory did away with the separate grease grooves. The tip is slightly tapered ended. If these evolutionary steps to the tapered arbor were done to please demanding competition shooters is not known but many of the Belgian Colts were and still are successfully used by target shooters and cowboy action shooters due to their inherent accuracy.



2.1_8 3rd version arbor: Without separate grease groove but slightly tapered ended


4th Version Arbors: During the later production we find some batches of Centaures with square ended arbors, like the 3rd version without a separate grease groove.