Original U.S. Antique Colt Frontier Six Shooter .44-40 Revolver with 4 3/4" Barrel made in 1894 - Serial 156202

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Set Available. This is it! Every young "Old West" fans dream: A real Colt Cowboy Six-shooter! This very nice Colt Frontier Six Shooter SAA (Single Action Army) Revolver has a "Gunfighter Length" 4 3/4" barrel, and very nice original Colt logo gutta percha grips! The revolver's serial number is 156202, which is ALL MATCHING, built in 1891 with Assembly Number 1128 on loading gate. As this revolver was made after 1883, the cylinder on this example was never marked with a serial number.

The revolver is in very nice "frontier used" condition, sure to delight any Americana Collector. Years of cleaning and polishing have worn the original nickel finish off almost completely, and the revolver is pretty much "in the white" now, with a bright steel finish. The Colt grips still show the Colt "prancing pony" faintly, with a good amount of the original checkering still present. It is in full working Order and Condition, showing a gorgeous patina of age. Due to age and wear, we are unable to tell if the revolver had the barrel shortened. However it does have the two line address used on the shorter barrels. The front sight has been partly replaced with a copper inset.

The markings on the top of the barrel are still fully legible:


The left side of the frame still bears the Colt "Prancing Pony" Logo, and to the left of this are the patent dates, which are still mostly legible:

P[A]T. SEPT. 19. 1871
JULY 2. 72. JAN 19. 75.

The frame, grip, and trigger guard all bear the serial number clearly, so this pistol has definitely not been refinished at any time, though it definitely has worn a bit. The "Frontier Six Shooter" model was identical to the .45 "Long Colt" chambered Single Action Army model, except that it was designed for Winchester .44-40 ammunition, also called .44 W.C.F., which was and is a popular "Cowboy" ammunition. It has the correct 44 stamp on the underside of the barrel near the frame. While some may question why Colt made guns chambered for a competitor's cartridge, having a repeating rifle and revolver that took the same ammunition was a big selling point.

As this revolver was produced after 1889, it has the correct roll stamped marking on the left side of the barrel, though it is slightly worn:


Colt considered these revolvers to be the same as the Single Action Army for record keeping, and they were grouped under the same serial number series. Between serial number 45000 and 65000, the "FRONTIER SIX SHOOTER" marking was etched onto the side of the barrel, but for many years it did not appear. This changed in 1889, when it returned, roll stamped onto all .44-40 versions of this revolver until the end of production.

Mechanically, the action is smooth, with a good cylinder lock up, and crisp dry fire. The cylinder base pin slides out easily, allowing the cylinder to be removed for cleaning and inspection. The action has all four clicks with a functional loading position, and we have not noticed any of the usual finicky behavior of old revolvers. Really a great action on this example. The ejector door swings open easily, and the ejector itself works flawlessly. The bore is clear with visible rifling, and a dull finish, without any major oxidation visible. This is a revolver that looks to have been carried around extensively, but not actually fired that much.

Pistols such as this are extremely difficult to find today at any reasonable price. This example is just ideal for any Wild West Collection! Ready to display and cherish for decades to come!

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.


Year of Manufacture: 1894
Caliber: .44-40 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

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