Original U.S. Colt Frontier Six Shooter .44-40 Revolver made in 1893 with 4 3/4" Barrel & Ivory Grips - Serial 152657

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Set Available. This is it! Every young "Old West" fans dream: A real Colt Cowboy Six-shooter! This very nice "frontier worn" Colt Frontier Six Shooter SAA (Single Action Army) Revolver has a "Gunfighter Length" 4 3/4" barrel, and very nice aged ivory grips! The revolver's serial number is 152657, indicating production in 1893. This is MATCHING on the frame, trigger guard, and grip frame, with assembly number 511 on the loading gate. As this revolver was made after 1883, the cylinder on this example was never marked with a serial number. That makes this a very nice "ALL MATCHING" example, with no major parts swapped out over the years!

The revolver is in very nice "frontier used" condition, sure to delight any Americana Collector. The original blued finish has faded to a lovely gray patina over the entire gun, with a few areas of light peppering. The ivory grips, which look to probably be marine / walrus ivory, have a fantastic color, and lovely checking on the bottom due to age. It is in full working Order and Condition, showing a gorgeous patina of age.

The markings on the top of the barrel are still fully legible, with just a bit of wear due to oxidation:


The left side of the frame bears the Colt "Prancing Pony" Logo, and to the left of this are the patent dates, which are still fully legible:

PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871
JULY 2. 72. JAN 19. 75.

The frame, grip, and trigger guard all bear the serial number clearly, so this pistol has definitely not been refinished at any time, though it definitely has worn a bit. The "Frontier Six Shooter" model was 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.

As this revolver was produced after 1889, it has the correct roll stamped marking on the left side of the barrel, still fully legible:


Colt considered these revolvers to be the same as the Single Action Army for record keeping, and they were grouped under the same serial number series. Between serial number 45000 and 65000, the "FRONTIER SIX SHOOTER" marking was etched onto the side of the barrel, but for many years it did not appear. This changed in 1889, when it returned, roll stamped onto all .44-40 versions of this revolver until the end of production.

Mechanically, the action is smooth, with a good cylinder lock up, and strong mainspring. The replacement cylinder base pin slides out easily, allowing the cylinder to be removed for cleaning and inspection. The hammer tumbler is a bit worn, and currently only really has a "fully cocked" position, without a safety or loading position. As with all revolvers of this age we recommend being very gentle with cycling it, so we do not recommend "fanning" or "fan firing". The ejector door swings open easily, and the ejector itself works flawlessly. The bore is in good condition, showing clear lands and grooves with an overall oxidized finish, with fouling now cleaned away.

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!


Year of Manufacture: 1893
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

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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