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Original U.S. Colt Single Action Army Revolver in .32/20 made in 1894 with 4 3/4" Barrel, Factory Letter & Holster - Matching Serial 158449

Regular price $3,895.00

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Compare at $4,295.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is every School boy's dream! A real Cowboy six gun, complete with an original period leather "open top" holster! This great frontier-worn Colt SAA (Single Action Army) Revolver has a "gunfighter friendly" original short 4 3/4" barrel and lovely worn Colt hard rubber grips, bearing the iconic Colt "Pony" on top. Originally nickel plated, the revolver has lost much of that finish on the barrel and frame, now displaying a great oxidized patina where it is missing. The ejector, hammer, loading gate, trigger guard, and grip frame still retain much of the plating, giving this revolver a very interesting look!

The revolver's serial number is 158449, which dates production to 1894. It has the serial number on the frame, trigger guard, and grip frame, making this a very nice "ALL MATCHING" example, without any parts swapped out over the years. This revolver was made after 1883, when Colt stopped marking the cylinders, which they did not do again until 1912. There is also assembly number 14 marked on the loading gate. It is in full working order and condition, with a great patinated look, sure to delight any "Old West" Americana collector.

The revolver came to us with a Colt Factory letter from the office of the Colt Historian Beverly Jean Haynes. It is dated December 7, 2022, and indicates it is a COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY REVOLVER, with the caliber listed as .32/20 and finish listed as Nickel. The barrel is listed as 4 ¾", and the stocks are "Not Listed, which usually indicates hard rubber, so this revolver is still completely in the original configuration as shipped from Colt. The gun was shipped on February 16, 895 as part of a shipment of 2 similar guns to Montgomery Ward & Company in Chicago Illinois, the world famous and pioneering catalog ordering company. In the early days there was not much that you could not order by mail.

The original double line address marking on the top of the barrel, correct for the shorter barrel, is still clear:


The left side of the frame has the Colt patent dates all clearly legible:

PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871.
JULY. 2.72. JAN. 19.75

These are the correct later pattern markings, and to the right is the correct Colt "Prancing Pony" logo on the frame. The markings are all relatively clear, so this revolver does not look to have been refurbished at any time, which would have worn down the markings during refinishing. The left side of the barrel is marked 32 W.C.F., indicating that it is chambered for Winchester .32-20, a popular small game cartridge of the time. While some may question why Colt would make a revolver chambered for a competitor's cartridge, having a rifle and revolver that took the same ammunition was a big selling point.

The revolver has the great worn look that only use in service can give. The original Colt hard rubber grips have a fantastic "broken-in" look, with the original checkering and logo still clearly visible, but worn. There are some scratches and chips in areas, as well as a missing chunk on the right bottom rear, as well as a wide grooves worn on either side from long contact with something, on the belt. Mechanically, the action is smooth, with a good cylinder lock up, and a strong mainspring. The action has all four clicks, and cycles correctly, with just a bit of slop in the lockup. As with all revolvers of this age we recommend being very gentle with cycling it, so we do not recommend "fanning" or "fan firing". The bore is in good condition, showing clear lands and grooves, but also overall wear and oxidation from long use. The ejector door swings open easily, and the ejector itself works great. Overall this is a great pistol!

The included holster is in good shape, but definitely shows wear from years or possibly decades of use. Original made from two pieces of leather (thick and thin) stitched together, much of the stitching has popped, and the holster is in overall delicate condition, suitable for display but definitely not for use.

Pistols such as this are extremely difficult to find today at any reasonable price. This honest worn example is just ideal for any Wild West Collection, especially with the holster. A great collector's revolver, ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1894
Caliber: .32-20 Winchester
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 4 3/4 inches
Overall Length: 10 1/4 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

History of the Colt Single Single Action Army

Bound by the Rollin White patent (#12,648, April 3, 1855) and not wanting to pay a royalty fee to Smith & Wesson, Colt could not begin development of bored-through revolver cylinders for metallic cartridge use until April 4, 1869. For the design, Colt turned to two of its best engineers: William Mason and Charles Brinckerhoff Richards who had developed a number of revolvers and black powder conversions for the company. Their effort was designed for the United States government service revolver trials of 1872 by Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company and adopted as the standard military service revolver. Production began in 1873 with the Single Action Army model 1873, also referred to as the "New Model Army Metallic Cartridge Revolving Pistol".

The very first production Single Action Army, serial number 1, thought lost for many years after its production, was found in a barn in Nashua, New Hampshire in the early 1900s. It was chambered in .45 Colt, a centerfire design containing charges of up to 40 grains (2.6 g) of fine-grained black powder and a 255-grain (16.5 g) blunt roundnosed bullet. Relative to period cartridges and most later handgun rounds, it was quite powerful in its full loading.

The Colt Single Action Army revolver, along with the 1870 and 1875 Smith & Wesson Model 3 "Schofield" revolver, replaced the Colt 1860 Army Percussion revolver. The Colt quickly gained favor over the S&W and remained the primary US military sidearm until 1892 when it was replaced by the .38 Long Colt caliber Colt Model 1892, a double-action revolver with swing-out cylinder. By the end of 1874, serial no. 16,000 was reached; 12,500 Colt Single Action Army revolvers chambered for the .45 Colt cartridge had entered service and the remaining revolvers were sold in the civilian market.

The Colt .45 is a famous piece of American history, known as "The Gun That Won the West". The Single Action army is a very popular firearm, even today, and it continues to be produced in various configurations.

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