Horst Held = Antique Handguns

e-mail held@ectisp.net
541 Lynnie Pennie Lane Midlothian, Texas 76065

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Colt  SAA revolver = "single action army revolver"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colt Single Action Army, Early Black Powder serial # 7387, made in 1874, Caliber .45,  7 ½” barrel with the early inscription style in Italic COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A. The underside of the barrel is marked “P” and “A”. The underside of the frame, trigger guard, blackstrap and the circumference of the cylinder are marked “7387”. The top of the blackstrap and the flat at the front of the trigger guard are marked “A”. The circumference of the cylinder is also marked “A” and “P”. (The “A” is the sub-inspector mark of O. W. Ainsworth). The loading gate is marked with the assembly number “540”. The front sight is a quarter-round blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “U” groove milled into the top strap. The grip is a one piece smooth walnut that is a replacement grip made in the 1880s. The left side of the grip bears the inspection mark of Captain Frank Heath, who served within the 111000 through 117000 serial number range. The right side of the grip displays a faint cartouche of David F. Clark, and his initials also appear on the left side of the butt.  Both front corners at the butt are absent, a cluster of deep compression marks are visible on the right side of the butt and a significant compression mark is evident on the left panel above the cartouche. There are a few scattered handling marks present on the grip and the grip shows spots of oil staining under the finish, which is darkest at the butt. The grip rates in about very good. The finish appears original, with a dark patina forming on all surfaces. The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is shallow erosion in the bore. The action functions correctly. The cylinder lockup shows a small amount of play. The trigger pull is crisp. The old style main spring has no hammer roller channel, which is typical of early production Single Action Army revolvers. The revolver is accompanied by a letter of authentication from John A. Kopec, author, historian, collector and former President of the Colt Collectors’ Association. This pistol was pictured and discussed on page 323 in “A Study of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver” by Graham, Kopec & Moore, and a copy of that page is also included. This revolver  was previously owned by former by my late friend Colt Collectors’ Association President and author Les Quick and is accompanied by an authentication letter sent to him by author and historian John A. Kopec. This revolver is an oddity because it possesses no markings on the left side of the frame, an error of omission by the Colt factory, whose responsibility it was to stamp the patent dates and “U.S.” markings on Cavalry revolvers while they were in the polished “soft” state before finishing. The revolver was manufactured in 1874, during the second year of production and was sub-inspected by O. W. Ainsworth. Though the exact serial number could not be located in the archives, pistols which were produced during the same timeframe with neighboring serial numbers were issued to the 5th Cavalry as early as August 1875. It would likely have seen service in the Arizona Territory Apache Wars. The grip is a later replacement and display the initials and a faint inspection stamp of Ordnance Sub-Inspector David F. Clark and the cartouche of Captain Frank Heath. The hammer checkering is more typical of later production models, but not unseen in earlier models and the main spring is the early style with no roller channel.
The revolver is in very good condition, and with its rare marking omission coupled with the letter of authenticity, this is a one of a kind addition to a high end Colt collection.     $12,000.

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