Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1195: Colt First Generation Single Action Army .45 ACP Revolver

Auction Date: August 27, 2022

Sensational, Incredibly Rare and Well-Documented Colt First Generation Single Action Army Revolver in Rare .45 ACP with Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $45,000 - $65,000

Sensational, Incredibly Rare and Well-Documented Colt First Generation Single Action Army Revolver in Rare .45 ACP with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Single Action Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 5 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: hard rubber
Item Views: 1135
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 149
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

This stellar first generation SAA in rare .45 ACP is featured in "A Study of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver" by John Kopec. on page 184. As noted by the esteemed authors in their seminal work, you are looking at "the finest known .45 ACP Caliber SA" in existence. This is truly a prized piece of Colt heritage that is worthy of the finest public or private collections. Its rarity and near mint condition will make this SAA a standout piece to even the most advanced Colt collections. Based on research presented by author David Brown in "The 36 Calibers of the Colt Single Action Army," Colt manufactured only 44 first generation SAAs chambered in .45 ACP. .45 ACP was first made available in 1924 on special order. Per Brown, "Almost all made after 1924 were shipped to men in some branch of the Armed Forces. They could get all of the .45 Auto ammo they wanted but part of them wanted to shoot the Colt Single Action Army instead of Colt Automatic so they would order the Colt SAA made up in the .45 ACP....The only revolvers made in this caliber by Colt were Colt Single Action Armys, and they are extremely valuable to any Colt SAA collection" (page 62). The accompanying factory letter for this revolver confirms the 5 1/2 inch barrel in .45 Auto and blue finish. The type of stocks were not listed. The letter also states the revolver was sold to Baker, Hamilton, & Pacific Co. of San Francisco, California, and individually shipped to H.H. Hone of Eureka, California, on April 7, 1938. It is not often that we catalog an SAA as being shipped to an individual. Also included is a paper tag with the handwritten note, "#356423/This Colt Single Action/.45 was made up for me by/Fitzgerald of Colt factory and/is chambered for the .45 Colt Auto Pistol Ctg. The old/.45 ctg. can not be used." The author of this note is presumably H.H. Hone as the revolver was shipped to him per the factory letter. John Henry Fitzgerald (1876-1945) was a Colt employee from 1918 to 1944 and is perhaps best known for creating the Fitz Gerald Special, a customized snubnosed revolver made from various Colt models that served as the predecessor to the Colt Detective Special. Beyond his work at Colt, Fitzgerald was a New York State Trooper, a police firearms instructor credited as a founding father of modern firearms training, the inventor of the "Colt Police Silhouette Target," an early advocate of practical shooting, and a noted firearms expert who published the book "Shooting" in 1930. As for the revolver itself, the barrel has the standard one-line Hartford address on top and "COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY .45" on the left side, the frame has the standard two-line patent dates marking followed by a Rampant Colt, and matching serial numbers appear on the frame, trigger guard, back strap, and right grip panel. Provenance: The James C. Lund Collection; The Mel Guy Collection; The Doug Stein Collection; Property of a Gentleman

Rating Definition:

Excellent plus, retaining 99% plus bright original high polish blue finish and 99% vivid original case colors showing some high edge wear on the recoil shield and loading gate. The grips are excellent plus with very limited handling marks and crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. As the finest known first generation SAA chambered in .45 ACP, this Peacemaker will make a grand statement in any Colt collection.

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