Colt Archives was gracious enough to provide us with a .pdf of the letter which is en-route and will be provided to the winning bidder. Speaking with the Colt Historian, there is an interesting wrinkle in the Colt records. Serial 347949 (this revolver) was recorded as produced and factory engraved. There is no shipping record for 347949, but there are two shipping records for serial 347349. Serial 347949 (this revolver) was produced in October, 1925 and the second shipping record for serial 347349 is in October 1925. Serial 347349’s first shipping record is in February, 1925. While Colt does not have a shipping record for 347949 (this revolver), the duplicate 347349 record lines up with the production date for this revolver and the single digit is an understandable factory error.
SOLD FOR: $21,151
Model: Single Action Army, 1st Generation
Serial Number: 347949
Year of Manufacture: 1925 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
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 of the barrel is marked “45 COLT”. The left of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT 19. 1871. / JULY 2, 72. JAN. 19. 75” and with a rampant colt logo. The left of the trigger guard is marked “3” and “VP” in triangle. The bottom of the frame and the right of each portion of the grip frame are each marked “347949”. The rear of the loading gate and the right-rear of the frame under the grip are each marked “379”. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “949”. The inside of the right grip panel is hand-scribed “363”, the inside of the left panel appears to have had the same numbers hand-written. The revolver has Colt factory engraving with foliate scroll patterns which carry across the seam between the trigger guard and frame at the rear and motifs on the butt, trigger guard, backstrap, loading gate, cylinder barrel and ejector rod housing.
Barrel Length: 5 1/2”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a quarter-round blade fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch at the rear of a groove in the top strap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut with Colt medallions, smooth diamonds around the grip screw escutcheons and diamond motif at the top and bottom of the checkering. The grips show light handling wear with only a few scattered light marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Fine condition as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is some light erosion near the muzzle and some stubborn leading at the forcing cone.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 50% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There is finish wear on the barrel, ejector rod housing and cylinder consistent with holster use and handling wear in the grip straps and trigger guard. The frame’s case color has mostly muted with strongest figuring in the recesses in front of the cylinder, below the barrel. The hammer retains strong case color. There are scattered lgiht nicks, scuffs and scratches. The cylinder has turn-wear. There is some scraping at the rear of the trigger guard on each side and a more notable nick on the outside of the top-right backstrap screw hole. There is infrequent minor surface oxidation. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly disfigured with useable slots. The markings are generally clear, the left-side frame markings show light wear. Overall, this revolver is in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with very little play on each chamber. The cylinder has a removable bushing. The trigger is heavy and has a little bit of creep before the sear breaks. We did not fire this revolver. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: We have contacted Colt confirmed that this revolver was factory engraved, and ordered a Colt Archives letter. If the letter arrives while this auction is on-going, we will add photos of the letter to the listing and it will be shipped with the pistol to the winner. If the letter arrives after the close of the listing, we will mail the letter to the winner.
Our Assessment: The Colt Single Action Army is perhaps the quintessential old west handgun, produced for more than a century, serving the U.S. Army as its sidearm from 1873 into the first world war and captivating audiences on the silver screen. This example is a 1st Generation Single Action Army made in 1925. It is in about Very Good condition, retaining about 50% of its original finish with a nice bore and strong mechanics. Any 1st Generation SAA would make a great addition to a Colt collection. This example will certainly take a prized place in such a collection, coming from the Roaring ’20s and with factory engraving. Please see our photos and good luck!