Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3278: "RAC" Colt U.S. Contract Model 1873 Single Action Army Revolver

Auction Date: December 5, 2021

Exceptional Documented "RAC" Colt U.S. Contract Model 1873 Single Action Cavalry Revolver with John Kopec Gold Seal Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $35,000 - $45,000

Exceptional Documented "RAC" Colt U.S. Contract Model 1873 Single Action Cavalry Revolver with John Kopec Gold Seal Letter

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Single Action
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 45 Long Colt
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 993
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 156
Class: Antique
Description:

This Colt Model 1873 Single Action Cavalry revolver was manufactured in 1890. This late production Colt Cavalry Revolver is marked with the "S.E.B." initials of Ordnance Inspector Capt. Stanhope E. Blunt on the lower left side of the stock and the "R.A.C." initials of Ordnance Sub-Inspector Renaldo A. Carr on the lower right side of the stock and other locations. The revolver has the standard dull military blue finish on the barrel, ejector housing, cylinder, trigger guard and back strap. The frame, loading gate and hammer have a casehardened finish. The one piece grip is oil finished walnut. The revolver has the correct late oval ejector rod head introduced at serial number 113000. The hammer is the standard cavalry pattern with elongated deep crosshatched spur. The top of the barrel is marked with the "Elongated Block" barrel address: "COLT'S PT. F.A. MFG. Co HARTFORD CT. U.S.A." used from about serial number 54000 to the end of production. The left side of the frame is marked with the Colt "Three Date in Three Line" patent format used through about serial number 134300 followed by "U.S". There is, correctly, no period following the "S". The lower left side of the stock is dated "1890" in small numbers over the script initials "SEB" in a cartouche. The script sub-inspector initials "RAC" are located in a cartouche on the right side of the stock. The inspection mark "R.A.C." is stamped in small block letters on the left stock heel, the cylinder, frame and the underside of the barrel. Small "K" Colt inspection marks are stamped on the bottom of the back strap and trigger guard behind the serial numbers. "P" proofmarks are stamped on the underside of the barrel and the side of the cylinder. The inside of the loading gate is stamped with the assembly number "865". The full serial number is located on the underside of the frame, trigger guard and back strap. All of the visible serial numbers match. Correctly the partial serial number "1821" is stamped on the side of the cylinder and the underside of the barrel beneath the ejector housing. This revolver falls in the serial number range identified by Colt Single Action expert John A. Kopec as being one of 100 "Pre-1895" Colt Single Action Cavalry revolvers issued to the New York militia on January 10, 1890 in "CAVALRY & ARTILLERY REVOLVERS" and is one of only a few Colt Single Action Cavalry revolvers that was not modified to "Artillery" configuration between 1895 and 1903. In the included gold seal letter of authentication, John Kopec states he first examined this revolver in the 1970s when it was part of the famous Colt collection of singer Mel Torme and concludes, "This Cavalry revolver remains in as a near-perfect condition as anyone would ever hope to find." This revolver is pictured and identified in "A Study of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver" on page 237. Provenance: The Mel Torme Collection; The Milan J. Turk Collection

Rating Definition:

Excellent. The revolver barrel, hammer and loading gate retain 95% of the original blue finish. The "feathered" polishing marks are clearly visible on either side of the front side blade. There is light finish loss and some fading on the barrel muzzle and left side. The back strap has moderate handling wear. The frame, hammer, and loading gate have 80% plus of the original casehardening colors. The casehardening colors are vivid and show minimal fading. All of the markings on the barrel and frame are sharp and clear. The grips are in excellent condition. The inspection marks and date are exceptionally sharp. Mechanically excellent.



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