|Scarce and Very Fine Ainsworth Sub-Inspected Colt Single Action Cavalry Model Revolver|
|Estimated Price: $30,000 - $50,000|
|Serial #||Manufacturer||Colt||Model||Single Action Army|
|Type||Revolver||Gauge||45 Long Colt||Catalog Page||145|
|Barrel||7 1/2 Inch Round||Finish||Blue/casehardened||Grip||Walnut|
|Description||Colt Single Action Cavalry Model revolver manufactured in 1874 and sub-inspected by Orville W. Ainsworth. This revolver was manufactured as part of the First Contract executed by the Ordnance Department with Colt for 8,000 revolvers on July 23, 1873. The majority of the First Contract Cavalry Model revolvers were issued to the ten U.S. Cavalry regiments and saw hard use on the frontier. Approximately 2,700 First Contract Cavalry revolvers were issued to the states under the Militia Act. Virginia received 2,307 Single Action Cavalry revolvers in July 1874 and subsequently sold most of these revolvers to commercial firearms dealers. This revolver has the distinctive features and inspection marks that identify the early production Ainsworth sub-inspected Single Action Cavalry revolvers. These features include: (1) small cylinder bolt stops and guides, (2) ejector housing with barrel boss, (3) "Script" barrel address and (4) First Style "Two-Date/Two-Line" patent markings. The underside of the barrel, trigger guard, back strap, left grip heel and cylinder are all stamped with the small block "A" (Ainsworth) sub-inspection mark. The lower left side of the grip is stamped with the Ordnance sub-inspection mark which consists of the script initials "OWA" enclosed in a rectangle with rounded ends. "U.S." is stamped on the left side of the frame behind the Colt patent marks. Small "P" proofmarks are stamped on the underside of the barrel and the side of the cylinder. The full serial number "2570" is stamped on the bottom of the frame, trigger guard, back strap, side of the cylinder and bottom of the barrel beneath the ejector housing. All of the visible serial numbers match. The inside of the loading gate is stamped with the assembly number "1760". The ejector rod has the early "bullseye" style head and the hammer has elongated, bordered, checkering on the spur. The revolver has the Colt military blue finish on the barrel, ejector housing, cylinder, trigger guard and back strap. The frame, loading gate and hammer are color casehardened. The trigger and screws have a fire blue finish. The one-piece walnut grip is oil finished.
|Condition||Very fine. The revolver retains 75% plus of the original military blue and color casehardened finish. "Feathered" polishing marks are visible on the barrel below the front sight blade. Most of the finish loss is holster wear on the sides of the barrel, ejector rod housing, cylinder and recoil shields. The Colt markings, Ordnance sub-inspection and proof marks and serial numbers are extremely crisp. One of the back strap screws is an incorrect replacement. The walnut grip retains most of the original oil finish and is in excellent condition with sharp Ordnance inspection marks. The action is tight and functions fine. This revolver is almost certainly one of the Virginia Militia Cavalry Single Actions sold on the commercial market. Most of the Ainsworth sub-inspected revolvers issued to the U.S. Cavalry were subsequently altered to Artillery configuration in the late 1890s. Ainsworth sub-inspected Single Action revolvers with any amount of original finish are scarce. This is a very fine example of an early and very desirable Colt Cavalry Model that would be very difficult to upgrade.|
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