This Colt U.S. Contract Single Action Army revolver was manufactured in 1874 and refurbished by Colt to "Artillery" configuration with 5 1/2-inch barrel. This revolver is accompanied by a silver seal "Letter of Authentication" by Colt Single Action expert John A. Kopec. The letter describes the features and condition of this revolver, and the details of the Colt "Artillery" alteration and refurbishment. In the letter, Kopec states how interesting and unusual it is for all the serialized parts of an Artillery to be manufactured in the same year. Being that all of the major components are from 1874, they all would have been inspected by sub-inspector O. W. Ainsworth. Ainsworth's "A" inspection stamp can be found below the serial number on the trigger guard, on the bottom of the barrel, on the cylinder, and top of the back strap. The cylinder and barrel also bear a "P" proof mark along with the aforementioned sub-inspection mark. The letter also comments on the fact that the revolver's barrel address is still in near perfect condition. The revolver features blade front and notch rear sights, bullseye ejector, and one piece walnut grip. The grip, Kopec states, was likely to have been pulled from a parts bin when the revolver was being rebuilt to artillery specifications due to their ill-fitting along the back strap and trigger guard and lack of cartouche. The frame of the revolver features the two-line, two-patent marking followed by "U.S." As Kopec states, many of these revolvers went straight from being rebuilt to the troops in the Philippines during the Philippine Insurrection.
Very good, retaining 20% blue finish and faint traces of case colors with a smooth brown-gray patina on the balance with some patches of light pitting and a few dents on the back strap. The grip is also good with a repair (right side), high edge wear, and some minor handling marks. Mechanically fine. This artillery model Colt SAA is a historic timepiece!
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