Original Zulu Wars Named Colt Single Action Army Revolver in .45 Boxer Made in 1876 - Serial 24799

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This revolver is truly amazing! The serial number is 24799, meaning it was manufactured in 1876 and it is in the British .45 Boxer Caliber, of which Colt only ever made 729 units. It was a "SPECIAL ORDER" for London, prior to the opening of Colt's Pall Mall facility, so it does not have the London Address. However, it has British "London" Proof Markings to each chamber (Crown / V), as well as under the barrel. The top of the barrel is marked:


The Revolver is Nickel plated as many Private Purchase Colt Revolvers were and has a 5 1/2" barrel and is fitted with the first model ejector rod. It has nice plain original wood grips in very fine condition. In 1876 there was great expansion in the British Empire and many serving Officer's were acquiring sidearms intended for Overseas service.

The patent dates on the left side of the frame are clear, and show dates of SEPT.19.1871 and JULY.2.1872. There is also the 45CAL / B marking on the trigger grip, indicating it is chambered for the very rare .450 Boxer Mk I round, also known as .450 Adams. The serial number is present on the barrel, trigger guard, grip frame, with shortened serial number 799 on the cylinder. The action sings, with a great cylinder lockup and advance, and all 4 clicks are clearly audible. The Nickel-plating is mostly intact, and the only real issue is that the screw on the bottom of the grip is missing. We have left it as it was purchased, to keep it entirely authentic.

We think this revolver was ordered by a British Officer departing for South Africa in 1876/77/78 who almost certainly saw service in the ZULU WAR of 1879. Although this Officer remains un-named his last name might well have been BERGGREN, a family of Swedish descent. In any event on the under side of the grip frame it is stamped to F.BERGGREN who we know served in the British South African Constabulary during the Boer War, between November 1st 1900 and May 31st 1902 as ca Trooper 1st Class. For his War Service he was awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal and the King's South Africa Medal.

Trooper Berggren then enlisted in a special unit known as "ROYSTON'S HORSE" raised by a well known British Officer "GALLOPING JACK ROYSTON" who later in WWI became a General leading the Australian Light Horse. Royston's Horse was made up of an elite troop of just 550 men and Berggren was promoted to STAFF SERGEANT. and took part in the 1906 ZULU WAR known as the Bambatha Rebellion or the Natal Rebellion. For this he received the NATAL NATIVE REBELLION MEDAL. In 1905 the British insisted that all Officers were then to carry the current WEBLEY .455 Caliber revolver in South Africa. Hardly significant in this case, as the COLT 1873 chambered for .45 BOXER would also shoot .455 Caliber and .450/.476 caliber ammunition.

So here is a historically significant U.S. COLT made 1873 Single Action revolver made in 1876, one of only 729 units, that was shipped to London and then onto South Africa, very possibly for the 1879 ZULU War and that most definitely took part in the 1906 ZULU REBELLION and was carried by a known decorated British Staff Sergeant.

In lovely condition, a fine Colt Revolver that covers so many areas of Collecting, ready to display!

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: 1876
Caliber: .450 Boxer Mk I / .450 Adams
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 5 1/2  inches

Overall Length: 11 1/2 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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