Another thing for which the Model 1860 Army gained recognition is its gracefulness. Gone was the octagon barrel of the ’51 Navy including its large rear block through which the loading rammer pivoted. The entire barrel of the ’60 Army is smoothly curved. Another new thing tried only once with Colt cap and ball revolvers was the longer grip frame of the Model 1860. It is one-quarter inch longer than that of the Model 1851 “Navy.” Combined, the smoothly curved 8" barrel and extra long grip frame made Colt’s last .44 caliber revolver both distinctive and attractive in appearance. Some early ones were given 7 ½" inch barrels but the vast majority had the 8" length.

Another idea tried with the Model 1860 was flutes on the cylinder between the chambers. This development did not catch on and was quickly discontinued. One has to question why flutes were introduced in the first place. One theory is weight savings, but the amount shaved from an unfluted Model 1860’s 42 ounces was minimal. A more logical explanation is the flutes were put there to give a place for grasping the cylinder to help it rotate when badly fouled. Black powder fouling will quickly cause a revolver’s cylinder to bind if not properly lubricated. Regardless, it’s interesting to note cylinder flutes did not catch on much with cap and ball revolvers, but became standard for metallic cartridge revolvers only a few years later.