SOLD FOR: $5,390
Model: Single Action Army, 1st Generation
Serial Number: 145983
Year of Manufacture: 1892 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup), Shipped May 1892 to Colt’s San Francisco Agency
Caliber: .45 Colt
Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. Co / HARTFORD. CT. U.S.A.”, the left is marked “45 COLT.”, the bottom is marked “45” at the frame. The left of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871. / JULY 2. 72. JAN. 19. 75.” and with a circled rampant colt logo. The bottom of the frame in front of the trigger guard and the bottom of the trigger guard at the front are each marked “145983”, the butt is marked “145 / 983”. The rear face of the loading gate has assembly number “569”.
Barrel Length: 4 3/4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a quarter round blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch in the top strap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece mother of pearl panels. The left panel has a chip loss at the top-front, the right has a smaller loss at the same location and another at the bottom-rear. There are a few scattered short cracks and spots of discoloration. Each panel appears to have material loss on the inside, concealed when assembled. There are a few scattered light nicks and scuffs. Overall, the grips are in about Good condition as Antique. The letter states “Not Listed” for Type of Stocks which typically indicates standard grips, however nickel guns would frequently have other grips installed, especially if shipped to a Colt Agency as this was.
Type of Finish: Nickel
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is light erosion scattered through the bore.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 45% of its metal finish. The grip frame has generally strong finish with wear on the inside of the trigger guard consistent with use by a left-handed shooter. The frame’s strongest finish is to each side of the hammer and on the right in front of the cylinder with scattered other remaining finish, including in the rear sight groove. The cylinder’s finish has mostly worn to white with small amounts of finish remaining in the flutes and stop notches. The barrel has fairly strong finish along the bottom and right as well as at the frame and around the front sight. The ejector rod housing has finish remaining on the top toward the rear. The worn areas show some scattered minor surface erosion and the areas with nickel show some spotting of light surface oxidation. The cylinder has a turn-line. The hammer has scattered light finish loss. There are some light nicks and scratches. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly disfigured with useable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Very Good-plus condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with light play on each chamber including minor end-shake. The trigger is crisp. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This revolver comes with a Colt Historian letter confirming the original configuration. This revolver was shipped May 18, 1892 to Colt’s Patent Fire-Arms Co. San Francisco Agency, California in a shipment of 5 guns of the same type. The letters show minor storage wear.
Our Assessment: Colt’s Single Action Army revolver is the iconic sidearm of the cowboy, lawman, and outlaw. This example is chambered for the original .45 Colt cartridge with the popular 4 3/4″ barrel length, but has a less common nickel finish and comes with a Colt letter confirming this is the original configuration. The revolver is in Very Good-plus condition with about 45% of its finish remaining, a decent bore and quite strong mechanics for such an old revolver. This 1st Generation Single Action Army with Black Powder frame and its Colt Historian letter is sure to attract Colt collectors as well as those that simply appreciate fine vintage firearms. Please see our photos and good luck!