This is a scarce example of a Colt Bisley Flattop Target revolver that was manufactured in 1896. These revolvers were developed after the standard flat top Colt Single Action Army target models with the intent of having a longer grip frame to prevent the pistol from riding up in the hand while shooting like the Single Action Army did. While the redesigned hammer was to aid in cocking the pistol with minimal movement of the hand in relation to the bore and grip of the revolver. This specific pistol is chambered in the very scarce "44 S&W" of which only 64 Bisley flat top target were chambered in this caliber, which was the premier cartridge for target shooting during this time period. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped: :COLT'S P.T. FA. MFG. Co HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.' in one line. The left side of the barrel is marked: "(BISLEY MODEL) 44 S&W". (Colt did not like marking the caliber with a competitors name like Smith & Wesson, but did on this one). The underside of the barrel is stamped with a small Colt inspectors proof of a "V" along with the caliber designation "44". The left side of the frame is roll-stamped with the Colt "two-line/three-date" patent markings followed by the encircled Rampant Colt trademark. It has the single blade target rear sight dovetailed into the top of the frame (adjustable for windage only) with the German silver blade front sight. The revolver has a high polish, full blue finish. The brown hard rubber two-piece grips with impressed checkering with the Rampant Colt trademark in an oval at the top of each grip panel. The distinctive Bisley hammer has polished sides and a niter blue top and spur. The full serial number is visible on the frame, trigger guard and back strap. All of the serial numbers match including the grips. Total Bisley Flattop production was reportedly 976 revolvers.
Very fine with 70% of the original high polish blued finish with wear on the front and rear grip strap, the underside of the trigger guard bow, the sides of the cylinder and on the ejector housing as well as the edges and high spots overall. The grips are also very fine showing only minor handling marks overall with only one small minor nick on the bottom of the right grips and one directly behind the Colt oval on the right side. The markings are clear and sharp. Mechanically excellent. A very nice antique Colt Bisley Flat top target revolver in a desirable caliber that any Colt collector would be proud to own.
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