Original U.S. Colt Nickel Plated Frontier Six Shooter .44-40 Revolver made in 1888 with Franzite Grips - Serial 125529

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 great set of aftermarket faux stag horn grips. It has also been finished with very attractive nickel plate, so it looks great!

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 a 5 1/4" barrel marked faintly with the Colt address:


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 125529, which indicates it was manufactured in 1888, and it is marked .44  on the front left of the trigger guard, indicating the caliber. All major parts of the gun are marked with the partial or complete serial number, so this is a very nice "All Matching" example. The revolver was definitely refinished at some point, so the patent date markings on the left side of the frame are not present. The nickel plating was executed very nicely, and is still mostly intact and bright.

The revolver has been fitted with a very attractive set of FRANZITE brand faux stag horn grips style grips. These are aftermarket pistol grips that were manufactured by Sports, Inc. out of Chicago, IL from the 1930's until the 1960's and were popular with gun owners and sportsmen. Each grip has a small medallion with an eagle and the company name. Most likely this revolver was serviced in the 20th century, the action tightened, and the finish redone, which was very popular at the time.

Mechanically, the action is smooth, with a good cylinder lock up, and crisp dry fire. When cocked it makes all four clicks, and unlike many revolvers of this age does not seem to have any action issues. 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.

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: 1888
Caliber: .44-40 Winchester
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 5 1/4 inches

Overall Length: 10 3/4 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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