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Auction Date: September 9, 2017

Lot 1225: Colt - Single Action Army

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Highly Desirable Ainsworth Sub-Inspected U.S. Colt Single Action Cavalry Model Revolver
Estimated Price: $40,000 - $60,000
Item Views 323 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Colt - Single Action Army ManufacturerColt ModelSingle Action Army
TypeRevolver Gauge45 Long Colt Catalog Page134
Barrel7 1/2 Inch FinishBlue/case-hardened GripWalnut
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionU.S. contract Colt Single Action Cavalry Model revolver that was manufactured in 1874 and inspected by Orville W. Ainsworth. 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 case-hardened. The one-piece walnut grip is oil finished. This revolver has the distinctive features and markings of early production, Ainsworth inspected, Single Action revolvers: (1) the barrel is roll-stamped with the first style 'Script' address with slanted crosses at either end, (2) the first style ejector housing has a barrel boss dowel and bullseye ejector rod head, (3) the cylinder has small stops and guides, (4) the frame is roll-stamped with the early Colt "Two-Line/Two-Date" patent markings followed by a small "U.S." property mark, and (5) the "A" (Ainsworth) sub-inspection mark is stamped on the underside of the barrel, side of the cylinder, trigger guard, back strap and right grip heel. Small "P" proof marks are stamped on the underside of the barrel and on the side of the cylinder. The lower left side of the grip is stamped with the Ordnance inspection mark consisting of the script initials "OWA" in a rectangle with rounded ends (the right side of the grip is, correctly, not stamped with an inspection mark). The full serial number, "12421" is stamped on the bottom of the frame, trigger guard and back strap and the partial serial number, "2421" is stamped on the underside of the barrel beneath the ejector housing and on the side of the cylinder. All of the visible serial numbers match. The loading gate is stamped with the assembly number "922". This revolver falls within the serial number range (approximately 12,000-14,000) of the Single Action Cavalry Model revolvers issued to the state of Virginia under the Militia Act which were subsequently sold by Virginia to commercial firearms dealers.

ConditionFine. This revolver is all original and retains at least 50% plus of the original blue and color case-hardened finish. Most of the blue finish on the barrel is intact and the 'feathered' polishing marks are visible on either side of the front sight blade. The 'Script' address, "A" sub-inspection marks, serial number and proof mark are sharp. Wear is limited to some finish loss and one spot of light pitting on the right side of the barrel near the muzzle. The cylinder has a silver-gray patina with some spots of age discoloration but retains considerable blue finish in the flutes. The trigger guard retains most of the blue finish. The finish on the back strap is thin on the contact points. The frame and loading gate appeared to have been lightly cleaned and the case-hardened finish is thin and about 60% intact. The walnut grip is in very good overall condition with a crisp inspection mark but is missing a 1/4-inch chip on the lower left side. All of the Colt markings, serial numbers and Ordnance inspection marks are sharp and clear. The action is tight and functions well. Early U.S. contract Colt Cavalry Model revolvers are rarely found with any original finish. An Ainsworth inspected Single Action like this example that retains most of the original finish is a rare and very desirable revolver that would be a stand-out piece in the most advanced collection of Colt firearms or U.S. martial arms.
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