Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 137: U.S. Colt Cavalry Model Single Action Army Revolver

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Outstanding Documented David F. Clark Inspected Colt Cavalry Model Single Action Army Revolver with Factory Letter and John Kopec Silver Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $40,000 - $60,000

Outstanding Documented David F. Clark Inspected Colt Cavalry Model Single Action Army Revolver with Factory Letter and John Kopec Silver 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: 794
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 164
Class: Antique

This U.S. contract Colt "Cavalry Model" single action revolver was manufactured in 1880, inspected by Ordnance Sub-Inspector David F. Clark, and is in excellent condition, worthy of the finest collection. The included factory letter states the revolver was delivered to the U.S. government inspector at the Colt plant on April 21, 1880. This was a delivery of 150 Cavalry Models. Renowned Colt historian and author John Kopec examined this outstanding Cavalry Model and summarizes his conclusions in his included silver seal letter of authentication. The revolver was a new listing in his survey, and he concluded that the revolver "remained in storage at the Springfield Armory until sold to a private individual as surplus," which likely occurred in the 1920s. Kopec noted the unusual appearance of the grips. He wrote, "The grips of this revolver are original, bearing the correct inspector's cartouches. During our examination we have noticed that these grips had sustained an unusual appearing finish. This finish had possibly been applied with a glass-beading instrument, leaving a finely stippled surface on both sides of these grips but avoiding the butt surfaces This beading process had been accomplished without the grips being removed." The grip retains the "1880" date on the left side as well as the cartouche on both sides. The butt of the grip has Clark's "DFC" initials. Otherwise this "especially attractive" Cavalry Model is in "as new condition." As Kopec clearly points out in his letter, "The frame's case-colors remain brilliant and it is within this this group of 1880s revolvers that the case-colors hold a special appreciation among today's Colt collectors because of their outstanding opalescent appearing hues. The military-blue finish remains spectacular throughout this revolver with the back strap showing it desirable 'candy-stripping' patterns." The barrel has the one-line Hartford address with the two lines under the letter "o" in the abbreviation for "Co." The "U.S." property mark along with the three-line Colt patent marking is stamped on the left side of the frame. A small block "D.F.C." sub-inspection mark is stamped on the underside of the barrel, bottom of the frame above the serial number, side of the cylinder and on the right grip butt. "P" proofmarks are stamped on the underside of the barrel and side of the cylinder. The assembly number "2571" is stamped on the inside of the loading gate. The full serial number is visible on the bottom of the frame, trigger guard, and back strap. The partial serial number "5452" is stamped on the side of the cylinder. The revolver was not disassembled to examine the partial serial number stamped on the barrel underneath the ejector housing out of respect for the superb condition.

Rating Definition:

Exceptionally fine. The revolver retains 90% original high polish blue finish overall and 97% plus vivid case colors showing slight edge wear the muzzle and on the ejector rod housing, a few handling marks, and the front strap having thinned to a pleasing gray. The cylinder has a drag line but retains 99% original blue. The screws and trigger retain 95% original nitre blue. The vivid original case colors on the frame, hammer, and loading are exceptional. All frame, barrel and serial number markings are exceptionally sharp. As previously mentioned, the modified grip has a glass-beaded appearance with the date and cartouches remaining legible. Mechanically excellent. A superb example of the legendary Colt Cavalry Model Revolver from the Indian Wars.

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