Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3350: Antique New York Militia Colt Single Action Army Revolver

Auction Date: September 8, 2019

Earliest Known Documented Civilian Shipped New York Militia Marked Colt Black Powder Single Action Army Revolver with John Kopec and Factory Letters

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,500 - $8,500

Earliest Known Documented Civilian Shipped New York Militia Marked Colt Black Powder Single Action Army Revolver with John Kopec and Factory Letters

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Single Action Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 45 LC
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 1657
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 139
Class: Antique
Description:

The accompanying factory letter lists the revolver with .45 caliber chambering, blue finish and barrel length and type of stocks not listed (usually indicated 7 1/2 inches and walnut respectively) when shipped to John P. Moores Sons of New York City on June 1, 1875 and the revolver was later returned to the factory for "remodeling and refinishing" before being reshipped to the U.S. government on October 4, 1895. As explained in the included John Kopec letter, "At some time between 1875 and the U.S. Army recall of Cavalry revolvers in 1893, this revolver found its way into and under the authority of the Ordnance Department," and in 1895 was part of a special lot of 800 Colt refurbished SAAs issued to the New York militia. The revolver is, as Kopec proclaimed, "the earliest occurrence where we have positive proof that a civilian shipped revolver (shipped to J.P. Moore, 1875) which found its way into U.S. military service." The left side of the grip features New York militia unit and rack numbers: "A/386/47." The bottom of the grip has U.S. inspector "RAC" initials. The cylinder has "P" and "RAC" U.S. inspection markings. Matching serial numbers are on the frame, trigger guard, back strap and barrel. The cylinder is a replacement from the time the revolver was returned to the Colt factory. The frame was never stamped "US." The revolver is pictured and identified in Kopec and Fenn's "Cavalry & Artillery Revolvers…a Continuing Study" on pages 134-135. Note the accompanying original Kopec letter is published on page 135.

Rating Definition:

Very fine as period Colt refurbished, retaining 75% of the high polish blue finish thinning to a brown and 85% of the vivid case colors on the frame. The hammer is a replacement. The grip is fine showing some high edge wear and minor handling marks. Mechanically excellent. A rare opportunity to acquire the earliest known civilian-New York militia SAA! Provenance: Paul Hoffman collection.



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