Original U.S. Colt Frontier Six Shooter .44-40 Revolver made in 1890 - Serial 132248

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Set Available. This is it! Every young "Old West" fans dream: A real Colt Six-shooter! This is a very nice original Colt Single Action Army "Frontier Six Shooter" Model Revolver, with a very attractive nickel-plated finish and "gutta percha" grips bearing the Colt logo. 

The "Frontier Six Shooter" model was mostly 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. 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. This example has a 4 3/4" barrel, which still has traces of the original markings:


The side of the barrel bears additional roll stamped markings, though only the "R" remains:


This is the "official" model of the revolver, while the .45LC version was the "Single Action Army". However, Colt considered these to be the same internally, and they were grouped under the same serial number series. Between serial number 45000 and 65000, this same marking was etched onto the side of the barrel, but for many years it did not appear, until 1889, when it returned, roll stamped onto all .44-40 versions of this revolver until the end of production.

This revolver's serial number is 132248, which indicates it was manufactured in 1894. The Nickel plating is almost entirely intact, however it is definitely a refinished revolver, which is why the markings are so faint. The left side of the frame shows traces of the the Colt "Prancing Pony" logo, and shows patent dates of 18711872 and 1875. The trigger guard and grip bottom strap strap have matching serial numbers, while the frame serial number is mostly worn away, but we assume this is an all matching example.

The original Colt "gutta percha" grips have the "Prancing Pony" at the top, the standard grips for this revolver. They appear to be completely original, and have the expected wear from use and age. Both are cracked through the center, though they definitely are comfortable.

Mechanically, the action is smooth, with a good cylinder lock up, and crisp dry fire. The ejector door swings open easily, and the ejector itself works flawlessly.  It does need a bit of adjustment though, as the action is somewhat finicky, as expected of a revolver of this age and wear. The bore shows clear lands and grooves, and a partly bright finish with wear.. This has the look of a well cared for gun that saw use on the frontier for years.

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: 1890
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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