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Auction Date: December 5, 2014

Lot 3278: Colt - Single Action Army

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Extraordinary 1885 Production U.S. Colt Single Action Cavalry Model Revolver with Factory Letter
Estimated Price: $60,000 - $90,000
Item Views 170 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Colt - Single Action Army ManufacturerColt ModelSingle Action Army
TypeRevolver Gauge45 Colt Catalog Page120
Barrel7 1/2 Inch Round FinishBlue/casehardened GripWalnut
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionNearly new condition Colt Single Action Cavalry Model revolver manufactured in 1885 and inspected by Capt. Frank Heath and Ordnance Sub-Inspector David F. Clark. The revolver is complete with a Colt Factory Letter and a Letter of Authentication from John A Kopec. The Colt letter identifies the caliber of this revolver as .45/c and the finish as blue and states that it was delivered to the U.S. Government Inspector at the Colt Plant on September 23, 1885. The Kopec letter states that this revolver is in original unissued condition and speculates that it was originally issued to a state militia unit where it remained unissued until it was returned to Springfield Armory following World War I and sold as surplus or distributed through the Director of Civilian Marksmanship. The revolver has the Colt military blue finish on the barrel, ejector housing, cylinder, trigger guard and back strap. The feathered factory polishing marks are clearly visible on either side of the front sight blade and above the ejector housing stud. The frame, hammer and loading gate have a color case-hardened finish with strong case colors. The trigger and screws have a fire blue finish. The one piece walnut grip is oil finished. The ejector rod has the second style oval head used on U.S. contract Single Action revolvers from about serial number 113,000 to the end of production. The cavalry style hammer has elongated, bordered, knurling on the spur. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the fourth style, elongated block address "COLT'S PT. F.A. MFG. Co. HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.". The Colt three-line/three-date patent markings are roll-stamped on the left side of the frame. The assembly number "306" is stamped on the inside of the loading gate. The full serial number, "114973" is stamped on the bottom of the frame, trigger guard and back strap. The partial serial number "4973" is stamped on the barrel beneath the ejector housing and on the side of the cylinder. All of the visible serial numbers match. The "U.S" property mark is stamped on the left side of the frame behind the patent dates. Small, block letter, "D.F.C." ordnance sub-inspection marks are stamped on the underside of the barrel, on the frame above the serial number, on the side of the cylinder and on the left grip heel. "P" proof marks are stamped on the underside of the barrel and side of the cylinder. The left side of the grip is stamped with the date "1885" above the Ordnance final inspection mark which consists of the encircled script initials "FH". The Ordnance sub-inspection mark which consists of the scrip initials "DFC" in a rectangle with rounded ends is stamped on the lower right side of the grip. A Colt block "G" sub-inspection mark is stamped below the serial number on the trigger guard and back strap. Colt "P" and "J" sub-inspection marks are stamped in the hammer well above the firing pin hole. Small "O, G", and "J" Colt sub-inspection marks are stamped on the barrel immediately below the ejector housing stud. The initials "EJB" are lightly scratched above the "U.S" property mark on the left side of the frame.

ConditionExcellent plus. The revolver appears to be un-issued and remains in nearly new condition with 98% of the Colt military blue and color case-hardened finish. Finish wear is limited to traces of loss at the muzzle and leading edge of the ejector housing, some light turn marks between the cylinder stops and faint handling marks on the back strap and trigger guard. The screws retain nearly all of the fire blue finish and are in perfect condition. The bore is mirror bright. The Colt barrel legend, patent markings and serial numbers are extremely crisp. The Ordnance sub-inspection marks are equally sharp. The "U.S" property mark on the frame is lightly struck which, as the Kopec letter notes, is correct for revolvers in this serial number range. The walnut grip is in excellent plus condition and retains all of the original oil finish. The date and Ordnance final inspection and sub-inspection marks are perfect. Wear on the grip is limited to several very minor storage marks. The action functions perfectly. This is almost certainly the best Capt. Frank Heath inspected, U.S. contract, Colt Single Action Cavalry Model revolver ever offered for sale by the Rock Island Auction Company and one of the very best Colt Single Action Cavalry Model revolvers extant. It would be almost impossible to upgrade this superb revolver.
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