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Auction Date: September 9, 2017

Lot 1226: Colt - Single Action Army

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Documented U.S. Inspected Colt Single Action Army Cavalry Model "Buyback" Revolver with Rare "Ropes Holster", Model 1876 Cartridge Belt and Factory Letter
Estimated Price: $9,500 - $16,000
Item Views 418 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Colt - Single Action Army ManufacturerColt ModelSingle Action Army
TypeRevolver Gauge45 Long Colt Catalog Page136
Barrel7 1/2 Inch Round FinishNickel GripWalnut
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThe accompanying factory letter describes this revolver as 45/c caliber, barrel length not listed, and finish blue, with special notation of government sale shipped to Schuyler, Hartley and Graham of New York City on October 7, 1874 and number of same type off guns in shipment as 115. The left side of the revolver frame is stamped with the "U.S." property mark. The small "A" sub-inspection mark of Orville W. Ainsworth is stamped on the cylinder. Although serial numbered and sub-inspected, the cylinder lacks the small "P" proofmark found on U.S. contract cylinders. The "A" sub-inspection mark and "U.S." property mark indicate that the frame and cylinder were manufactured for U.S. contract pistols. The left shoulder of the trigger guard has "45 CAL" marking found on commercial Colt single actions. This marking and the lack of the "A" sub-inspection mark of the trigger guard and back strap indicate that the revolver may have been assembled by Colt from U.S. contract over-run components. Alternatively, the revolver could be a "buyback" militia gun with the caliber marking added by Colt prior to re-sale. A number of nickel plated "buyback" militia Single Actions have been identified in this serial number range. Matching numbers are located on the frame, trigger guard, back strap (faint) and cylinder. The barrel has the number "8622" and is stamped with a "P" proofmark and the "C" inspection mark (Ordnance Sub-Inspector A.P. Casey). The early cylinder has small rectangular stops. The barrel has the hole for the barrel boss used on early trigger guards. The ejector housing is the later style without the barrel boss, and the ejector rod head is the late oval pattern. The top of the barrel has the first style "script" address, and the frame has the early two-date/two-line patent markings. No date or Ordnance inspection marks are visible on the grip. The pistol is accompanied by a rare "Ropes" type flap holster with "Mexican loop" back skirt and ten cartridge loops attached to the top of the holster body and covered by the flap (see page 30 of Rattenbury's "Packing Iron" and pages 146-148 of Meadows' "U.S. Military Holsters and Pistol Cartridge Boxes"). This type of holster was made in limited quantities during the Spanish-American War. Also included is a Watervliet Arsenal Model 1876 cartridge belt which was the primary cartridge belt used by the infantry and cavalry during the Indian Wars and remained in service with state militias through the Spanish-American War. The leather and canvas belt has fifty-four 45-70 loops, brass buckle and arsenal marked leather tongue.

ConditionFair. The revolver retains 20% nickel plating in the protected areas with the balance a silver-gray patina. There is light pitting and numerous nicks and scratches. The ejector housing screw hole has been crudely enlarged. The grip is good with moderate to heavy handling wear. The action functions well. The rare Ropes type holster is good with numerous scuff marks and tight stitching. The Model 1876 cartridge belt is good showing age cracks on the tongue and light-moderate wear on the canvas components. This is a solid example of an early production Single Action Cavalry revolver with factory letter that indicates commercial sale, rare Ropes pattern holster and Model 1876 cartridge belt.
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