Original U.S. Colt .45cal Single Action Army Revolver with 7 1/2" Barrel made in 1883 - Matching Serial 86556
Original Item: Only One Available. This is every School boy's dream! A real Cowboy six gun! This Colt SAA (Single Action Army) Revolver has a full length long 7 1/2 inch barrel with with lovely aged walnut grips. It looks to originally have been the standard blue steel, and years of cleaning have worn this to a lovely gray patina.
The revolver's serial number is 86556, which dates production to 1883. It has the serial number on the frame, trigger guard, grip frame, and even 6556 faintly visible on the cylinder. This was the last year that serial numbers would be stamped on the cylinder until 1912, making this a rare treat as a confirmed "ALL MATCHING" revolver. There is also assembly number 4908 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 markings on the top of the barrel are still faintly legible:
COLT'S PT. F. A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD. CT. U.S.A.
The left side of the frame has the Colt patent dates still visible as well:
PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871.
* JULY. 2. --72.
* JAN. 19. --75.
These are the early pattern markings made before the "Prancing Pony" logo began appearing on the frame. The markings are all relatively clear, so this revolver does not look to have been refurbished at any time, and it does not look to have been refinished, though it definitely was cleaned many times. The caliber marking 45 CAL is clear on the trigger guard, 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. All the metalwork has a dull gray patina, and the grips are a lovely dark brown color. Mechanically, the action is smooth, with a good cylinder lock up, and crisp dry fire. The action has all four clicks, and cycles correctly, with good indexing. We did notice a bit of slop in the mechanics, however we did not see any of the usual finicky behavior we often see from these revolvers. The bore is in good condition, with clear lands and grooves, showing wear and oxidation from long service on the frontier. 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: 1883
Caliber: .45 "Long" Colt
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 7 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 13 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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