Original U.S. Museum Grade Colt .45cal Single Action Army Revolver Made in 1884 with Factory Letter - Serial 106952

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. IMA director Christian Cranmer almost fell over when this fantastic Colt Single Action Army revolver came out of an old collector's sock drawer! Then the old boy pointed out the Colt factory letter framed on the wall. This revolver is so pristine that it appears un-fired. However, after disassembly, we do see very slight internal wear, so it certainly had a few rounds through at some point during its life.

The frame is case hardened, the cylinder, grip frame, trigger guard and barrel show a wonderful rich deep blue. The revolver bears the colt address on the barrel:


The patent dates on the left side of the frame show dates of 1871, 1872 and 1875. There is also the .45CAL marking on the trigger grip, indicating it is chambered for the legendary .45 (Long) Colt cartridge. Features all matching serial number 106952. The virtually mint grips show the rampant stallion Colt logo. There is also a Colt logo on the back of the cylinder. The action sings. Utterly amazing, and this revolver was made in 1884.

The glazed wood frame houses the certificate from the OFFICE OF THE COLT HISTORIAN, and reads that the revolver with serial number 106952 was shipped to SIMMON'S HARDWARE COMPANY on May 26th, 1884. It was one of 25 in the shipment. The barrel is the military 7" plus version prominent in the day.

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: 1884
Caliber: .45 "Long" Colt
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 7 3/8  inches

Overall Length: 13 1/2 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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