Lot #3146
Lot #3148

Lot 3147: Antique U.S. Colt Artillery Model Single Action Army Revolver

Outstanding Documented U.S. Colt Artillery Model Single Action Army Revolver with Kopec Gold Seal Letter and Factory Letter

Auction Date: August 28, 2022

Lot 3147: Antique U.S. Colt Artillery Model Single Action Army Revolver

Outstanding Documented U.S. Colt Artillery Model Single Action Army Revolver with Kopec Gold Seal Letter and Factory Letter

Auction Date: August 28, 2022

Estimated Price: $14,000 - $22,500
Price Realized:

Outstanding Documented U.S. Colt Artillery Model Single Action Army Revolver with Kopec Gold Seal Letter and Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Single Action Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 45 Colt
Barrel: 5 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 850
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 126
Class: Antique
Description:

This revolver is an outstanding example of a Colt Cavalry Model revolver that was modified to "Artillery" configuration during the Spanish-American War and subsequently refurbished by Colt. The factory letter lists it as originally part of a fifty-five gun shipment delivered to the inspector at the Colt factory on October 11, 1882, and then subsequently returned by the U.S. government for repairs and refurbishment before being reshipped to Springfield Armory on December 21, 1901. The included gold seal letter from noted Colt authority John A. Kopec more fully explains the history of this incredible revolver. He notes that the frame was manufactured for a U.S. Cavalry revolver in 1882 and inspected by Captain John E. Greer and David F. Clark and shipped on October 11, 1882. He also notes that the barrel and cylinder have Clark's initials. No information from the National Archives concerning this revolver was found. However, Kopec notes, "During 1893, most of the Cavalry revolvers then in service (except militia revolvers) were recalled by the Ordnance Department and placed into storage. Then in 1898, at the outset of the Spanish-American War, a large lot of over 16,000 of these former Cavalry revolvers were refurbished at the Springfield Armory. During this procedure, the revolvers were disassembled, cleaned, unserviceable parts replaced, barrels were shortened to the 5 1/2 inch length and front sights repositioned. These revolvers were however not refinished during this process. These then refurbished revolvers were reassembled without attention being paid to keep their serial numbered parts matching. These 'Altered' revolvers or as they are referred to by today's collector, 'Artillery models' were immediately placed into service during this conflict, and many were subsequently placed into service during the Philippine Insurrection. After serving in the Spanish-American War, a large group of 5294 of these 'battle worn' Artillery revolvers were returned to Colt's to again be refurbished during the 1900-1903 period. These revolvers were at this time refinished into 'as-new' condition and new cartouched grips fitted. Our subject revolver #82234 was among this group and was re-shipped from Colt's on December 21st, 1901. The grips of this fine revolver bear the cartouche of Lieut. Odus C. Horney under the year-date '1901'. The right grip displays the cartouche of Rinaldo A. Carr the Ordnance Sub-Inspector during these years." Kopec also notes that the revolver's trigger guard, marked "5252," came from an early Cavalry Model manufactured in 1873 and sub-inspected by Orville W. Ainsworth. That revolver was from the historic "Lot Five" of revolvers in the 4500-5504 range that included many of the revolvers issued to the U.S. 7th Cavalry prior to the Battle of Little Bighorn. The back strap is numbered "41627" and came from a "Civilian-U.S." issued revolver inspected and by Lieutenant David A. Lyle in 1880. The barrel is numbered "0361," and the cylinder numbered "2700." Kopec notes these were both manufactured in the 1880s for Cavalry revolvers sub-inspected by David F. Clark. The barrel has a blade front sight, the one-line address on top, two "P" proofs and "DFC" on the bottom, and the later ejector with small dished button. The frame has the early three-line patent marking followed by "U.S." on the left, the serial number and "D.F.C." on the bottom, and "750" on the loading gate. The trigger guard has "5252" and Ainsworth's "A." The back strap has a faint "A" behind the hammer and "41/823" at the toe. The grip has "1901" over an "O.C.H." cartouche on the left and "RAC" cartouche on the right. Provenance: The Jim Wright Collection; The Richard Atkinson Collection; Property of a Gentleman

Rating Definition:

Exceptionally fine as Colt factory refurbished with 90% plus of the commercial style charcoal blue finish remaining, light holster wear, moderate cylinder drag lines, 85% plus case colors on the frame and hammer, and minor handling and storage marks overall. The grip is excellent and has a crisp year stamp, distinct cartouches, minor lower edge wear, a dent on the upper right, and small yellow mark on the butt. As Kopec wrote in the included letter, "This revolver remains today as an outstanding example of an 1901 inspected, Colt refurbished Artillery revolver".



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