Original U.S. Colt .45cal Single Action Army Revolver with 7 1/2" Barrel made in 1897 - Matching Serial 173479
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 7 1/2 inch barrel with lovely broken in original Colt hard rubber grips. The revolver's serial number is 173479, which dates production to 1897. It has the same serial number on the frame, trigger guard, and grip frame, making this a very desirable "MATCHING NUMBER" revolver, and it's a great one!
Serial numbers were not stamped onto the cylinders from 1883-1912, so it was not worn away, it simply never had one. There is also assembly number 94 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 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 left side of the barrel is clearly marked 45 COLT., indicating the caliber of the revolver. We did however still check with a cartridge to confirm, even with markings. 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 original finish on the revolver is still well retained, though there definitely are areas of patination and oxidation. There are a few areas of light peppering, mainly on the barrel. The grips look to be original, and have a great worn look, with the "Prancing Pony" at the top still faintly visible. Mechanically, the action is smooth, with a good cylinder lock up, and crisp dry fire. The action has all four clicks, and cycles correctly. We did not notice any of the usual finicky behavior we often see from these revolvers. The bore is in very good condition, with clear lands and grooves with a partly bright finish. There is some overall oxidation and fouling 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: 1897
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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