Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1182: Remington Arms Inc 1890 Revolver 44 CF

Auction Date: December 8, 2013

Remington Model 1890 Single Action Army Revolver Attributed to Outlaw Cole Younger of the James-Younger Gang

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $7,500 - $15,000

Remington Model 1890 Single Action Army Revolver Attributed to Outlaw Cole Younger of the James-Younger Gang

Manufacturer: Remington Arms Inc
Model: 1890
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 44 CF
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch round
Finish: nickel
Grip: hard rubber
Item Views: 2801
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 90
Class: Antique

This is one about 2,000 Model 1890 Single Action Army revolvers manufactured by Remington from 1891 to 1894. With serial number 2021, this revolver is likely one of the last Model 1890s Remington manufactured. This example is attributed to outlaw Cole Younger as the right grip panel is hand marked "COLE YOUNGER/1865" on the inside. A notarized letter from the consignor accompanying the revolver states that "1865 signifies the year that the James-Younger gang was formed" and that "Cole Younger was known to use lanyards on his pistols, like the one on this gun, so that he could tie multiple firearms to his saddle horn. He always filed down the front sight on the barrel so that the gun would not get caught in a holster as it was being drawn, and the sight on this gun is filed down in that manner." According to David Fagan of the Remington Society, (as stated in the letter) this revolver with serial number 2021 "could be the last Model 1890 Single Action Army Revolver made, which would mean that it was made in 1894". In the letter the consignor also proved the provenance of the revolver: "This firearm would have to have been purchased after Younger's release from prison in 1901, and was probably used in the Wild West Show. It was purchased by my family in the early 1920s in Jefferson City, Texas." Thomas Coleman "Cole" Younger (January 15, 1844 - March 21, 1916) was a Confederate guerrilla during the Civil War and after the war joined forces with notable outlaws Jesse and Frank James to form the James-Younger Gang. In Early February 1866, Jesse and Frank James met with Cole Younger to plan the first bank robbery and over the next few years Cole and his brothers participated in 12 bank robberies, 7 train robberies, 4 stagecoach robberies and various other criminal acts with at least 11 citizens killed by the gang. Cole Younger was captured after the gang's failed attempt to rob the First National Bank in Northfield, Minnesota, on September 7, 1876. Cole and his two brothers were badly wounded and captured during a shoot out with a local posse. The three Younger brothers pleaded guilty to their crimes to avoid being hanged. Cole was paroled on July 10, 1901 and returned to Missouri where he joined a Wild West theme show with Frank James, the brother of Jesse James. The top of the barrel is marked "REMINGTON ARMS CO. ILION, N.Y." and "44 C.F.W" on the left side of the frame just below the cylinder. The revolver has a blade front and frame notch rear sights, lanyard stud and ring mounted on the butt and checkered hard rubber grips with the "RA" monogram at the tops. The Model 1890 Single Action Army revolver is the most sought after of all of the Remington produced handguns.

Rating Definition:

Fair. The revolver has a smooth dark brown patina overall with some minor pitting. The ejector rod head has been period reattached using copper braising. The worn grips are fair with a large chunk of hard rubber missing from the left panel and a smaller chunk of hard rubber missing from the right panel. Mechanically needs work as cylinder does not lock when action is cycled.

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