This is a fine original example of a Colt Model 1871-72 Open Top revolver; this limited production revolver was the direct predecessor to the Colt Single Action Army revolver. The Model 1871-72 Open Top Revolver is one of the most difficult to obtain of the major Colt revolver types. The revolver has a nickel-plated finish with casehardened hammer, blued trigger and Army size, varnished walnut grip. The revolver has the distinctive Model 1871-72 features which include: (1) lack of conversion breech plate, (2) straight line cylinder and (3) Mason-Richards type barrel with integral rear sight. The rimfire firing pin is attached to the left side of the hammer by two rivets, and the loading gate is held open by a flat spring attached to the side of the frame above the trigger screw. The hammer spur is knurled with a bordered edge. The left side of the frame is roll-stamped: "-PAT. JULY.25.1871-/-PAT. JULY.2. 1872.-" in two lines. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the legend: "- ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA-" in one line. The cylinder is roll-engraved with the Texas Navy battle scene and "COLT'S PATENT NO." The full serial number "3641" is located on the bottom of the barrel lug, the frame, the trigger guard and the back strap. The partial serial number "641" is stamped on the cylinder. All of the visible serial numbers match.
Very fine. The revolver retains 75% plus of the original nickel plated finish. There is scattered flaking on the barrel, cylinder, trigger guard, frame and back strap. There are several shallow dents on the right side of the frame below the wedge. The cylinder retains 85% of the naval battle scene. The barrel and frame markings are crisp. The hammer retains about half of the original casehardened finish. The frame screws show limited wear and have most of the original blue finish. The grip is in fine condition with numerous shallow dents and scratches and about 75% of the original varnish finish. This is a very fine example of a scarce and very difficult to obtain Colt Model 1871-72 Open Top revolver. One will look a very long time for another one of these.
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