Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3053: Montana Shipped Colt First Generation Single Action Revolver

Auction Date: May 16, 2021

Montana Shipped Colt First Generation Single Action Army Revolver with Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $3,500 - $4,750

Montana Shipped Colt First Generation Single Action Army Revolver with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Single Action Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 45 Colt
Barrel: 5 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: hard rubber
Item Views: 683
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 38
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

The accompanying factory letter lists this revolver as originally shipped with a 4 3/4 inch barrel in .38/40 caliber, blue finish, grips not listed when shipped on June 10, 1903 to Carl Engel of Butte, Montana, c/o Winchester Repeating Arms Co. New Haven Connecticut. This was a single gun shipment from Colt, likely combined in the same shipment as a Winchester gun due to having a geographic location nearby in Connecticut. Carl Engel (1871-1956) owned a successful sporting goods store in the lively mining town Butte, Montana that sponsored lots of local shooting events with the Butte Rod and Gun Club. He was also a member of the Scottish Rite Masons, later a deputy sheriff circa 1925-1931 during Prohibition, became an insurance agent after 1931 and resided in Reno, Nevada circa 1952 until his death in 1956. Upgraded with a factory replacement 5 1/2 inch .45 caliber barrel with the one-line Hartford address on top and "COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY 45" on the left side. The left side of the frame has the two-line, three patent dates marking followed by a circled Rampant Colt. Matching serial numbers are on the frame, trigger guard, and back strap. Replacement .45 Colt cylinder. Assembly number "5394" on the loading gate. Checkered hard rubber grip panels both hand-numbered underneath "9406B", with the right side grip having a crossed out "6860". Provenance: The John Fox Collection

Rating Definition:

Very fine overall with authentic Montana use and care with the larger .45 caliber upgrade, retaining 50% original case colors on the frame with some light tell-tale edge wear, 60% plus blue finish overall with light muzzle wear on the factory replacement barrel, light western wear marks on the cylinder, and palm wear on the grip straps. Replacement grips are also very fine with some light handling marks and scratches on bottom. Mechanically excellent.

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