Original U.S. Colt .45cal Single Action Army Revolver made in 1891 with 4 3/4" Barrel & Factory Letter - Serial 141699
Original Item: Only One Available. This is every School boy's dream! A real Cowboy six gun! This great frontier-worn Colt SAA (Single Action Army) Revolver has a "gunfighter friendly" original 4 3/4" barrel and lovely worn Colt hard rubber grips, bearing the iconic Colt "Pony". It looks to originally have had a blued finish, but that is almost entirely faded to a lovely worn gray patina now.
The revolver's serial number is 141699, which dates production to 1891. It has the serial number on the frame, trigger guard, and grip frame, making this an "ALL MATCHING" example. 1883 had been the last year that serial numbers would be stamped on the cylinder until 1912, so the lack of the serial number there is correct. There is also assembly number 135 marked on the loading gate. It is in full working order and condition, showing a gorgeous worn patina of age, sure to delight any "Old West" Americana collector.
The revolver came to us with a printed copy of a Colt Factory letter from the office of the Colt Historian Emeritus M.S. Huber. It is dated August 24, 1989, and shows that the gun was made with a blued finish, and is still in the original configuration. There is no comment regarding the stocks, which usually means the standard hard rubber configuration. The gun was shipped on July 10, 1891 as part of a shipment of 20 similar guns to E.C. Meacham Arms Company in St. Louis, Missouri. This company operated from 1871-circa 1915, and initially sold inexpensive imported firearms and later transitioned to higher quality American firearms.
The original two line address marking on the top of the barrel is still clear:
COLT'S PT. F. A. MFG. CO.
HARTFORD. CT. U.S.A.
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 caliber marking 45 COLT is clear on the left side of the barrel, and we also have checked the cylinder and barrel with real cartridges to confirm. This revolver is definitely chambered for .45 Colt, also known as .45 "LONG" Colt, one of the most legendary handgun cartridges of the old west. When you hear people talk of a "Colt 45", this model gun is the reason why.
The revolver has the great well-worn look that only years of use on the frontier can give. The original hard rubber grips still have a lot of their checkering present, though the logos are a bit worn. there is also a crack on the rear of the left grip scale. Mechanically, the action is smooth, with a good cylinder lock up, and crisp dry fire. The action has all four clicks, and cycles correctly, without any of the finicky behavior that we often see. The bore is nice, with clear lands and grooves and a dull finish, with overall wear and oxidation from use. The ejector door swings open easily, and the ejector itself works great. Overall this is a great pistol!
Pistols such as this are extremely difficult to find today at any reasonable price. This example is just ideal for any Wild West Collection. A great collector's revolver, ready to display!
Year of Manufacture: 1891
Caliber: .45 "Long" Colt
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 4 3/4 inches
Overall Length: 10 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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