Rock Island Auction Company
1-800-238-8022
Back to Catalog
Premiere Auction September 7, 2012

Colt - Buntline

Lot 3228
Sold for Colt - Buntline
Full Screen
Estimated Price: $325,000 - $475,000
Serial #Colt - Buntline ManufacturerColt ModelBuntline
TypeRevolver Gauge45 Long Colt Catalog Page80
Barrel16 Inch Round FinishBlue/casehardened GripWalnut
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
Extremely Rare, Original, Factory Documented 16 Inch Colt "Buntline Special" Single Action Army Revolver with Skeletal Shoulder Stock with Factory Letter and Extensive Documentation
DescriptionRock Island Auction Company is proud, pleased, and honored to present the collecting community with the most famous, the most renowned, and among the most sought-after of all variations of the Colt Single Action Army. This is an extremely rare, totally original example of a Colt Single Action Army Revolver with 16-inch barrel, special front and rear sights and attachable factory stock; popularly known as the "Buntline Special". This revolver is complete with two Colt factory letters dated 1969 and 1970. The factory letters describe the revolver as .45 caliber with 16-inch barrel and blue finish. The letters further state that this is one of five revolvers shipped to B. Kittredge & Co., in Cincinnati, Ohio, on March 30, 1880. One of the letters is addressed to the well known antique firearms dealer Herb Glass of Bullville, New York. The revolver is also accompanied by extensive documentation including a 1956 dated letter to Herb Glass from John S. Du Mont. In that letter Du Mont states that he examined this revolver and the Colt factory records and believes it to be "genuine in every respect". A type-written note attached to the Du Monte letter signed by "Rev. Henry Lee Jones" (who apparently sold Colt No. 28826 to Herb Glass) states that No. 28,826 was purchased by H.J. Payne in "the late 1890s" in front of a saloon "on Front St., in Catlettsburg, Kentucky", from "a Logger who had come down the Big Sandy river". Experts believe that the accepted serial number range for carbine-length-barreled Single Action revolvers is 28,800-28,830 (A STUDY OF THE COLT SINGLE ACTION REVOLVER, Graham, Kopek and Moore, page 25). Also present with the revolver is a 28 page R.L. Wilson letter in which he writes "Serial No. 28826 is an excellent example of one of the most difficult and rare of all Legends of the American West firearms to acquire." In the letter Mr. Wilson also states this revolver serial number 28,826 to be "one of the finest known". Included with this revolver is "The AMERICAN RIFLEMAN" January 1976 issue, which pictures this particular Buntline along side lot 228 (also in this sale) on the front cover; both Colt revolvers are formerly of the Thomas Burnham Collection. Eighteen revolvers in this serial number range are recorded in Colt's factory records and 10 of these revolvers have 16-inch barrels. This particular revolver is probably the best documented of the "Buntline Specials". The revolver has a blue barrel, ejector housing, cylinder, trigger guard and back strap. The frame, hammer and loading gate are color casehardened. The one-piece walnut grip has a high polish varnish finish. The attachable stock is bronze with a nickel-plated finish and blued attachment knob. In addition to the 16-inch barrel, the revolver has a special extended hammer screw that serves as a lug for the shoulder stock, a flat top strap with milled groove that is fitted with a unique, folding, long range rear sight and dovetail mounted front sight with nickel silver blade. The ejector rod has the early "bullseye" head. The hammer has extended, bordered, knurling on the spur and a cone-shaped firing pin. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the "Condensed Block" address "COLT'S PT.F.A.MFG. Co. HARTFORD, CT.U.S.A.". The left side of the frame is roll-stamped with the Colt "two-date/two-line" patent markings. "45 CAL" is stamped on the left shoulder of the trigger guard. An "H" inspection mark is stamped in the hammer well above the firing pin hole and "20" is stamped in both the rear sight recess and on the face of the ladder rear sight. The full serial number, "28826" is stamped on the bottom of the frame, trigger guard and back strap. The partial serial number, "8826" is stamped on the underside of the barrel beneath the ejector housing. All of the visible serial numbers match. The assembly number "29" is stamped on the inside of the loading gate.

ConditionFine overall. As noted in the letter from John S. DuMont to Herb Glass; the revolver is all original. The barrel has a smooth gray-brown patina; the original commercial blue finish is visible beneath the ejector housing and around the rear sight dovetail. The barrel legend and serial number are crisp. There are traces of very fine flash pitting on the edges of the muzzle. The trigger guard and back strap have the same patina as the barrel with small amounts of blue finish in protected areas. The cylinder has a darker patina with some fine flash pitting on the face and sides. The frame, loading gate and hammer have a smooth silver-gray patina and retain significant amounts of case colors in protected areas particularly in the rear sight groove. The rear sight is complete with the sighting bar. The serial numbers, patent markings and caliber designation on the frame, trigger guard and back strap are crisp. The walnut grip is very fine and retains nearly 90% of the piano-finish varnish; wear is limited to finish loss on the grip heels and some minor handing marks on the sides and butt. The attachable stock is excellent and retains nearly all of the nickel-plated finish and most of the blue on the attachment knob. The action is crisp and functions perfectly. The Colt "Buntline Special" Single Action revolver is the most desirable and difficult to obtain of all the Colt Single Action variations. This outstanding revolver is well documented as having been owned and examined by some of the foremost Colt Single Action Army experts and collectors. This is the ultimate Colt Single Action Army revolver and quite possibly 19th Century American revolver!
Use your keyboard for viewing photos.
F Enters/exits full screen view for items
Esc Exits full screen view for items
Moves to previous lot, or moves to previous image if full screen view is enabled
Moves to next lot, or moves to next image if full screen view is enabled
Fully zooms the image when full screen view is enabled
Fits the entire image to the screen when full screen view is enabled

Payment

Buyer’s Premium: 17.5%

Cash Payment Discount: 2.5%

Participation Requirements: Valid Credit Card required for bidding approval. You will have the option to pay with these payment options: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Check, Money Order, Wire Transfer, and Cash.

Sales Tax: It varies each auction typically around 94% of auction items are not subject to sales tax. Read more here on sales tax.

We will contact you after the auction to arrange payment and shipping.

Terms

Premiere Auction Terms

Terms and conditions regarding Premiere Auctions. Revised : 08/29/2014

Shipping

SHIPPING CHARGES. All shipping charges must be paid by the successful bidder prior to delivery of the firearm. If Rock Island Auction (RIAC) is asked to ship the purchased lots, there will be a separate charge for such shipping. Shipping charges will be based upon what it costs RIAC to ship the purchased lots to the purchaser. All items must have shipping insurance; this insurance is mandatory. RIAC will not charge any labor charges for shipping. RIAC is not liable for any acts of omissions in packaging or shipping. Purchased lots handled by outside carriers or packers, including those RIAC may have recommended, may carry their own insurance and any claims for losses or damages should be addressed directly to the outside carriers or packers. RIAC will arrange for packing and shipping at RIAC’s earliest possible convenience. RIAC will attempt to ship as soon as possible; however, due to RIAC’s high volume of absentee bids, shipping can take up to two weeks after full payment is received. In the case of crating or any exceptional packaging, the purchaser will be charged RIAC’s cost from outside agents. Purchaser pays shipping, packing materials, and insurance charges. The shipping of any purchased items outside of the United States is hereby classified as “foreign export”. All foreign export is the sole responsibility of the purchaser.