Lot #136
Lot #138

Lot 137: Colt Black Powder Single Action Army .38 LC Revolver

Desirable and Documented Colt Black Powder Single Action Army Revolver in Scarce .38 Colt with Factory Letter

Auction Date: December 9, 2022

Lot 137: Colt Black Powder Single Action Army .38 LC Revolver

Desirable and Documented Colt Black Powder Single Action Army Revolver in Scarce .38 Colt with Factory Letter

Auction Date: December 9, 2022

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

Desirable and Documented Colt Black Powder Single Action Army Revolver in Scarce .38 Colt with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Single Action Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 38 LC
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 773
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 135
Class: Antique
Description:

The accompanying factory letter confirms the 7 1/2 inch barrel in rare .38 Colt cartridge and blue finish with type of grips not listed (a common indication of walnut, which is the type grip material on this revolver). The factory letter also states the revolver was shipped to J.P. Lovell Arms Co. of Boston, Massachusetts, on July 27, 1887 (copies of J.P. Lovell Arms Co. are included). This was a single gun shipment. SAAs chambered in .38 LC prior to 1914 are a rarity in Colt collecting. .38 LC was introduced to the SAA line in 1886, dropped in 1914, and reintroduced in 1922. Around 1,011 standard frame SAAs chambered in .38 LC were manufactured prior to 1914. As Colt expert and author David Brown pointed out in "The 36 Caliber of the Colt Single Action Army," "The comparatively small production in the caliber makes these guns hard to find, and they are prized by collectors. Specimens in mint condition are extremely rare. The percentage of 7 1/2" barrels is lower in this group than in most other calibers, so specimens with 7 1/2" barrels are especially prized" (page 170). In the seminal work "The Official Record of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver 1873-1895" the authors tabulated only 95 factory blued, 7 1/2 inch barrel SAAs in .38 Long Colt within the serial number range 1-164100 or prior to the cylinder pin retaining screw being changed to the spring loaded system (page 357). This is certainly a rare SAA! The revolver is pictured in "The Official Record of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver 1873-1895" on page 356. The top of the barrel has the one-line Hartford address. The left side of the trigger guard has the three-line patent dates marking. The left side of the trigger guard is stamped "38 CAL." Matching serial numbers appear on the frame, trigger guard, and back strap. Provenance: The John Irwin Collection; The William Dalrymple Collection; The Richard Atkinson Collection; Property of a Gentleman

Rating Definition:

Fine. The barrel retains 70% bright original polish blue finish, the ejector rod housing retains 30% original blue, the cylinder retains 40% original blue, and the grip straps retain 30% original blue with a smooth gray patina on the balance. 30% original case colors remain on the hammer and frame. The grip is also very fine with high edge wear, numerous dings on butt, and most of the original varnish remaining. Mechanically excellent. A very attractive, highly desirable Colt black powder SAA revolver in very scarce .38 LC worthy of the finest Colt collection.



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