Manufactured in 1904 this is a very rare example of one of 50 Colt "Model 1904" revolvers shipped to the U.S. military. Little is known about these revolvers apart from that they were shipped to Springfield Armory exactly one year after the last major shipment of Model 1878/1902 "Alaskan/Philippine" revolvers were shipped. These 50 revolvers, like the Model 1902, were fitted with long triggers and oversized trigger guards, and they were listed in the Springfield Armory records as "New Service" revolvers. There has been some speculation over the years among researchers that this late shipment of 50 revolvers was intended to replace a crate of Model 1902 revolvers that was dropped overboard while en route to the Philippines. These revolvers are nearly identical to the Model 1902s accepted by the government, except that these never received a government inspector's mark like their counterparts and are simply marked "U.S." in a smaller font on the right of the frame. They also have the circled Rampant Colt on the left of the frame like the commercially sold revolvers. These revolvers were originally shipped with checkered hard rubber grips, which have been replaced on this example with a smooth walnut pair. This specific revolver is one of two examples pictured and described on p. 403-406 of "Colt's Double-Action Revolver Model of 1878" by Don Wilkerson, a copy of which is included. Also included is a plain shipping box with a label matching the gun. Provenance: The Don and Carol Wilkerson Collection
Exceptionally fine, retains 85% plus of the bright original high polish blue finish with the balance having thinned to mostly a smooth grey patina, primarily on the back strap, bottom front of the trigger guard, and edges. The replacement grips are excellent with only the slightest handling marks. Mechanically excellent.
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