Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1300: U.S. Ainsworth Colt Cavalry Model Single Action Army Revolver

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Desirable U.S. Ainsworth Inspected Colt Cavalry Model Single Action Army Revolver with John Kopec Letter

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Estimated Price: $7,500 - $11,000

Desirable U.S. Ainsworth Inspected Colt Cavalry Model Single Action Army Revolver with John Kopec Letter

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Single Action Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 45 LC
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 458
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 141
Class: Antique

O.W. Ainsworth's desirable "A" inspector mark is found on the trigger guard, barrel, cylinder, and back strap. A "P" proof is found on the cylinder and barrel. The barrel has the one-line Hartford address, the frame Colt patent markings are absent, and the "US" marking has been removed from the frame. The ejector rod has a bullseye head. The matching serial number is found on the frame, trigger guard, back strap, cylinder, barrel and ejector rod housing. Per the included letter of authentication, noted SAA expert and author John Kopec states the revolver was likely issued to the 4th Cavalry and noted the correct matching serial number on the ejector housing. "A very small group of revolvers from within this general serial range including our subject revolver were stamped with their revolver's serial number on their ejector tubes. Some of these examples included #4012; #4020; #4032; #4047; #4061; #4077; #4081; #4086; and #4096. There is no doubt that a numbered ejector tube when found, guarantees the authenticity of the ejector tube with its 'host' Cavalry revolver." Based on the obliterated "US" frame marking and grip cartouche and the fact the revolver escaped Artillery Model refurbishment, Kopec concluded that this is a "deserter's revolver." In Kopec's conclusion the missing Colt patent markings on the frame were "simply overlooked by the Colt factory workman whose job it was to stamp these markings." The accompanying Colt factory letter incorrectly states the revolver was returned to the factory for Artillery Model refurbishment. This error in the factory letter is also addressed by Kopec in his letter. "Either the serial number was entered incorrectly, or there is another revolver out there with a duplicate serial number." Kopec concluded that this revolver remains in original Cavalry Model configuration with the base pin screw and butt screw being replacements. This revolver was listed in Kopec's 2012 survey and falls between two known Artillery Models, nos. 4086 and 4088.

Rating Definition:

Good. Traces of original blue finish remains on and under ejector rod housing, otherwise the revolver has an untouched smooth brown patina with some pitting. The grip is also good and shows evidence of the deserter's efforts to scrub the U.S. ordnance markings and a couple chips at the toes. Mechanically excellent.

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