Factory Markings

Under construction. 
Barrel Markings of Centaure Models & Variations

No barrel marking: selected models 1967, 1971 through 1973

  • Early RNMA 5th variation (above left #6759)
  • Marshal Models
  • Factory engraved Models (above right #11851)

 

“1960 NEW MODEL ARMY”: 1959 through 1973

 

  • RNMA model pistols (no serial numbers, stamped “M”)
  • RNMA 1st variation, 1st & 2nd sub-variation (above #14260)
  • RNMA 2nd variation, 1st sub-variation
  • RNMA 3rd variation, 1st sub-variation
  • RNMA 5th variation, 2nd sub-variation
  • RNMA 6th variation, 2nd sub-variation
  • Civilian Model 1st & 2nd variation
  • Cavalry Model 1st variation, 1st, 2nd & 3rd sub-variation
  • Pocket Army

“1960 NEW MODEL ARMY”    CENTENNIAL TRADE MARK: 1965 through 1973

  • RNMA 1st variation, 2nd & 3rd sub-variation
  • RNMA 2nd variation, 1st & 2nd sub-variation
  • RNMA 3rd variation, 2nd & 3rd sub-variation (# > 2000)
  • RNMA 6th variation, 1st sub-variation
  • Cavalry Model, 1st variation, 1st sub-variation

“1960 NEW MODEL ARMY”    CENTENNIAL TRADE MARK CHICAGO U.S.A.: 1963 (USA and New Zealand)

·      RNMA 2nd variation, 1st sub-variation (above #2024)

·      Civilian Model 2nd variation

·      Cavalry Model 1st variation, 1st & 2nd sub-variation

 

CENTENNIAL TRADE MARK   “1960 NEW MODEL ARMY”: 1963 through 1973

  • RNMA 1st variation, 2nd (above #11567) & 3rd sub-variation
  • RNMA 2nd variation. 1st sub-variation
  • RNMA 3rd variation, 2nd & 3rd sub-variation (# > 2000)
  • RNMA 4th variation
  • RNMA 5th variation, 2nd sub-variation
  • RNMA 6th variation, 2nd sub-variation
  • RNMA 7th variation
  • Civilian Model 2nd variation
  • Cavalry Model 2nd variation, 1st & 2nd sub-variation

 

Centaur – Corporate Logo
No logo!
# Early RNMAs through ca. serial number 950 (1959 through 1961 production) do not have the Centaure logo embossed into the frame nor do the
# 1st variation Civilian Models from #C1 to C488 (1960/61 production, see #C418 left), nor
# factory engraved NMAs!

Later production regular production pistols without corporate logo are very rare. They would most likely represent an error at the assembly line but not a pistol specially ordered without logo.

Logo: Rampant centaur!

From 1961 to the end of production the Centaure logo was placed on the forward left side of the frame.

Through some time in 1964 (#3281) the logo is a rampant centaur with the front legs raised and the rifle pointing upwards, see left RNMA #2722, no matter if it is a RNMA, 2nd variation Civilian, 1st variation Cavalry or Pocket Army.

 

Logo: Walking Centaur!
This was changed to a walking centaur from around #3408 with the rifle pointing downwards, see left RNMA #5535.

Country of Origin: Most pistols have MADE IN BELGIUM embossed into the butt of the back-strap (#128 left below).

Only a few Centaures from 1963 production are known with this mark on the left side of the barrel as well (#2538 right below).

Pistols sold in Belgium or to personnel of the NATO HQ in Brussels, military or civilians alike, may or may not feature the MADE IN BELGIUM mark (#7638 left below).

Many shoulder stocks of the Cavalry Model are stamped MADE IN BELGIUM on the left side of the brass. See picture of F845 below right.

Naval Scenes on the Cylinder: Centaures with 2 types of naval engagement scene roll engraved into the cylinder were marketed.

Centaure Proprietary Naval Scene: These cylinders were roll-engraved at Fabriques d’Armes Unies de Liège (FAUL’s) in Belgium. The naval scene is similar to the Colt/Ormsby pattern but shows less background detail. 2 variants of this scene are known:

# Type 1: The legend ENGAGED 16 MAY 1843 is engraved parallel to the front end of the cylinder on the 1st variation Civilian Model (see #C418 below left), but was omitted on 2nd variations.

# Type 2: Found on 2nd variation Civilians, 2nd variation RNMAs, 1st variation Pocket Army (conformation pending) and 2nd variation Cavalry Models (confirmation pending) do not have this legend. Likewise, it is not found on the extra cylinders with this naval scene.

Between the naval scene of the two variants is the marking NEW MODEL 44 (#2684 below right)

Colt or Ormsby Style Naval Scene: Contrary to the before mentioned type of cylinder scene these cylinders were roll-engraved in the USA! Because US shooters did not like the Centaure proprietary naval engagement scene. Therefore, Centennial Arms Corporation, Chicago (CACC) had noted US gunmaker Thomas Haas produce a roll cylinder die with the Ormsby naval scene as used on Colt 1851 & 1861 Navies,  1860 Armies and 1871/72 Open Top. According to another source this die was not produced by Haas but by master engraver Horacio Acevedo Sr. During the 1960s Acevedo used to work for Haas.

Be that as it may Centaures were ordered by the Americans from FAUL’s with their cylinders blank. i. e. 1st variation RNMAs so the Colt/Ormsby scene could be added in the USA at the Lincolnwood shop of CACC. These pistols then became what we call today RNMAs 3rd variations. Their cylinders regularly bear the legend ENGAGED 16 MAY 1843 parallel to the rim of the cylinder. 2 basic types of such cylinder scenes are currently known:

# Type 1: Between the naval scene of the 1st sub-variation the marking embossed COLTS PATENT No plus serial number of the Centaure is embossed. It is assumed that this is one of the experimental markings found on the first pistols with this cylinder scene, below the 1500 serial number range (#1423 left below). These are the extremely rare RNMA 3rd variation, 1st sub-variation.

#Type 2: On 3rd variation RNMAs with this cylinder scene but higher S/Ns the regular marking between the naval scene was CENTENNIAL (right below #5252). Centaures with this type of cylinder engraving are called 2nd sub-variation (with toe on the butt for shoulder stock) or 3rd sub-variation (without toe on the butt for shoulder stock). These variations are very common in the USA. A few late production pistols with this cylinder scene are known without the CENTENNIAL mark.

Thoughts about Availability: pistols readily available say in the USA but only one or two specimens were discovered in Europe are considered “American” models/variations/sub-variations or vice versa … until we may know better at one point in the future that this variant of a pistol was actually regularly imported into the other target markets as well.

MYTHBUSTER

Different models and variations in America and Europe? MYTH CONFIRMED!

1 “American” models and variations

# RNMAs 1st variation: 1st sub-variation

# RNMAs 2nd variation, 1st sub-variation

# RNMAs all 3rd variations

# Civilian Models: all variations

# Cavalry Models: 1stvariation

# Pocket Army: all variations

2 “European” models and variations

# RNMAs 4th variation

# RNMAs all 5th variations

# RNMAs all 6th variations (possibly available as special order in the USA)

# RNMAs 7th variations

# Marshal Models: all variations (possibly available as special order in the USA)

# Factory engraved pistols in de Luxe, Super de Luxe, Presentation style

3 “Universal” models and variations

# RNMAs 1st variation: 2nd & 3rd sub-variation

# RNMAs 2nd variation: 2nd sub-variation

# Cavalry Models: 2nd variations