Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1280: Walter Winans' Colt London Target Single Action Army Revolver

Auction Date: September 11, 2021

"WW 450" Inscribed Cased Famed Marksman and Olympian Walter Winans Attributed London Agency Colt Flattop Target Single Action Army Revolver

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,500 - $7,500

"WW 450" Inscribed Cased Famed Marksman and Olympian Walter Winans Attributed London Agency Colt Flattop Target Single Action Army Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Single Action Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 450 Boxer
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: hard rubber
Item Views: 786
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 230
Class: Antique

Per Colt historian R.L. Wilson in "The Book of Colt Firearms" only 89 Colt Flattop Target Single Action Army Revolvers were manufactured in .450 Boxer. Manufactured in 1889 this example was owned by famed marksman and Olympian Walter Winans. "WW" initials over the caliber marking "450" are inscribed behind the hammer and his number "4436" is inscribed on the front grip strap. Fitted with pinned blade front sight and windage adjustable "U" notch rear sight. The top of the barrel is marked "COLT'S PT.F.A. MFG. Co. HARTFORD CT. U.S.A. DEPOT 14 PALL MALL LONDON." The frame has the three-line patent dates marking. The trigger guard is stamped "45 CAL/B" on the left side. London proofs appear on the underside of the barrel and at the rear of each cylinder flute. Matching serial numbers are on the frame, trigger guard and back strap. The partitioned case contains an added cartridge block holding 31 rounds of Eley marked .450 Boxer, James Dixon & Sons oiler, screwdriver, and cleaning rod. The inside of the lid has a Colt London paper label. Walter Winans was one of the most famous and highly esteemed handgun shooters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He participated in the 1908 and 1912 Summer Olympics and won a total of two Olympic shooting medals: a Gold in 1908 and a Silver in 1912. He authored ten books including "The Art of Revolver Shooting," "Practical Rifle Shooting" and "Automatic Pistol Shooting." Apart from his shooting successes, Winans was a noted horse breeder and sculptor who exhibited his art 14 times at the British Royal Academy and won an Olympic Gold Medal in the Arts Competition in 1912 for his statuette "An American Trotter." He is the only American to win medals in both art and sport at the Olympics. His Olympic career was not without controversy. At the 1908 Olympics, Winans' eligibility as an American competitor was questioned because he had never set foot in the United States. Winans was born to American parents in St. Petersburg, Russia where he lived for the first 18 years of his life. Before taking up residence in England, Winans took the oath of allegiance at the U.S. Embassy. He did not visit the U.S. until he was 58 years old. To compete at the Olympic Games, Winans was required to swear his allegiance to the U.S. Consul General.

Rating Definition:

Fine, retaining 75% original blue finish thinning to a brown with smooth brown and gray on the balance, some spotting the grip straps and a patch of pitting on the back strap. The replacement grips are very good with some wear. Mechanically excellent. The modified case is very good with minor handling/storage marks and lining with some insect damage and typical high spot wear. A Colt Flattop Target Single Action Army Revolver reportedly owned by famed marksman Walter Winans is a must have for the serious SAA collector.

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