Original U.S. Colt Frontier Six Shooter .44-40 Revolver with 7 1/2" Barrel made in 1888 - Serial 127959
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 the standard blued 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 excellent example has full length 7 1/2" barrel marked clearly with the Colt address:
COLT'S PT. F. A. MFG Co. HARTFORD. CT. U.S.A.
There is no "FRONTIER SIX SHOOTER" marking on the barrel, as during this time frame, the marking was not used. 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. As this revolver was made in 1888, it doesn't have the marking, but it is definitely still that model due to the caliber.
This revolver's serial number is 127959, which indicates it was manufactured in 1884, and it is marked 44 CAL on the front left of the trigger guard and 44 on the barrel, indicating the caliber. The left side of the frame shows patent dates of 1871, 1872 and 1875. The trigger guard, frame, cylinder and grip bottom strap strap have matching serial number, so this is an all matching revolver.
The original blued finish has faded to a lovely gray patina over the entire gun, giving it a great vintage look. There is some overall peppering to the revolver from removed surface rust. The original Colt grips have the "Prancing Pony" as well as the U.S. Federal eagle, the standard grips for this revolver. They appear to be completely original, and have the expected wear from use and age. There are no cracks, and only slight wear.
Mechanically, the action is smooth, with a good cylinder lock up, and crisp dry fire. The action has all four clicks, and we have not noticed any of the usual finicky behavior of old revolvers. Really a great action on this example. The ejector door swings open easily, and the ejector itself works flawlessly. The bore is crisp, with clear lands and grooves, and a mostly bright finish. This has the look of a well cared for gun that was on the frontier for years, but was not fired much at all.
Pistols such as this are extremely difficult to find today at any reasonable price, especially with a matching holster. 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: 1888
Caliber: .44-40 Winchester
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 7 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 13 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver
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