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Item:
ON7298

Original U.S. Antique Colt Single Action Army Revolver Factory Converted to .38 Special - Serial 27032

Regular price $2,250.00

Item Description

Original item: Only One Available. This is really unusual: an ORIGINAL COLT Single Action Army Revolver made in 1876, serial number 27032, which has been returned to the COLT COMPANY in Hartford CT. and fitted with a .38 SPECIAL caliber barrel and cylinder.

The barrel is fully marked by COLT on both sides:

COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY 38 SPECIAL

COLT'S MFG CO. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.

Wood grips in splendid condition, with a great worn patina on the rest of the revolver. There is definitely wear on the frame, but serial number 27032 is still visible on both the frame and trigger guard. The Bottom Strap marking has unfortunately worn off.

The beauty of this weapon is having the convenience of a .38 Special cartridge but being a recognized ANTIQUE being made in 1878. The cylinder rotates correctly and indexes properly. There are all four clicks when the hammer is pulled back to firing position.

In great working order and condition, ready to display.

More on the .38 Special Cartridge:

The .38 Special was introduced in 1898 as an improvement over the .38 Long Colt which, as a military service cartridge, was found to have inadequate stopping power against the charges of Filipino Muslim warriors during the Philippine–American War. Upon its introduction, the .38 Special was originally loaded with black powder, but the cartridge's popularity caused manufacturers to offer smokeless powder loadings within a year of its introduction.

Despite its name, the caliber of the .38 Special cartridge is actually .357 inches (36 caliber/9.07 mm), with the ".38" referring to the approximate diameter of the loaded brass case. This came about because the original .38-caliber cartridge, the .38 Short Colt, was designed for use in converted .36-caliber cap-and-ball Navy revolvers, which had cylindrical firing chambers of approximately 0.374-inch (9.5 mm) diameter, requiring heeled bullets, the exposed portion of which was the same diameter as the cartridge case.

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.

Specifications: 

Year of Manufacture: 1876
Caliber: .38 Special
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 5 1/2  inches

Overall Length: 11 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

Shipping Restrictions

    This product is not available for shipping in US state(s)
    New Jersey


    This product is not available for international shipping.

Legal Information

  • IMA considers all of our antique guns as non-firing, inoperable and/or inert. Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 921(a)(16) defines antique firearms as all guns made prior to 1899. This law exempts antique firearms from any form of gun control or special engineering because they are not legally considered firearms. No FFL, C&R or any license is required to posses, transport, sell or trade Antique guns. All rifles and muskets sold by IMA that were manufactured prior to 1899 are considered Antiques by the US BATF (United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms). Therefore, all of IMA's Antique guns may be shipped to all US States and most nations around the world.

    These antique guns are not sold in live condition. They are sold as collector’s items or as wall hangers. Any attempt at restoring an antique gun to be operational is strongly discouraged and is done so at the risk of the customer. By purchasing an antique gun from IMA you thereby release IMA, its employees and corporate officers from any and all liability associated with use of our Antique guns.

    Pre-1899 Manufacture, no licenses required, allowed to ship to almost any deliverable address across the globe. Please note that for international shipping, these MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services.

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