SOLD FOR: $3425
Make: Colt, engraved by Gary Merlie
Model: Single Action Army, 3rd Generation
Serial Number: SA01236
Year of Manufacture: 1978 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup), engraved 1985
Caliber: .44 Special
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 “COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY .44 SPECIAL”. The left of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT 19. 1871 / JULY 2, 72 JAN. 19, 75” and with a rampant colt logo. The bottom of the frame and the left of each portion of the trigger guard are each marked “SA1236”. The front face of the cylinder is marked “1236”. The inside of each American Eagle grip panel has “012 36” hand-scribed. The front face of the trigger guard is marked “-MERLIE-85-“. The revolver has Sears-style engraving wtih relief foliate scroll, checker panels, gold bands at the front and rear of the barrel and rear of the cylinder, gold borders on the frame and hammer and an unmarked banner on the butt. The left of the pearl grip has been carved with a rampant colt in a bordered oval. The screw heads have also been decoratively engraved.
Barrel Length: 7 1/2”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a quarter-round blade fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a square notch at the rear of a groove in the top strap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The installed grip is mother of pearl with a rampant colt in a bordered oval on the left side. The right face appears to have had a thin loss which has been smoothed out and there are a few very thin grain-line cracks around the edges. Otherwise, the grip shows only minor handling wear, in about Fine condition.
Also included is the original pair of checkered black hard rubber panels with rampant colts in ovals at their tops and American Eagles at their bottoms. The original grips have no notable wear or damage, only light handling marks. The checkering is sharp and there is good detail in the colts and eagles. Overall, the original grips are in Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Gold
Finish Originality: Original to Engraving
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright and the rifling is sharp. There is a patch of light erosion in the top of the bore at the muzzle-end.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 97% of its metal finish. The balance is mostly in finish loss along the top edge of the ejector rod housing. The cylinder has a minor turn-line, mostly under the finish. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. Lockup produces almost no play on all six chambers. The trigger is crisp. The cylinder’s bushing is fixed in the cylinder. 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: This revolver comes in a wood Colt display case with the Colt logo on the outside of the lid, red satin lined interior on the lid with a gold rampant colt logo and french-fit red fabric-lined interior on the tray portion. The exterior of the case has some scattered nicks, dings and general light storage wear, the interior shows minor wear from the contents, in about Very Good-plus condition.
Our Assessment: In addition to being an icon of the American West, the Colt Single Action Army has served as the canvas for some of the most gorgeous examples of engraving. The revolver’s graceful lines, mixture of flat and rounded surfaces, and the ability to pair and contrast various metal finishes and grip materials make it an ideal piece for this art form. This .44 Special 1978 vintage Single Action Army was engraved in the “Sears” style by Gary Merlie in 1985. His work is quite beautiful, with the design taking cues from the engraving styles seen on some of the earliest SAAs in the late 19th century. The revolver comes in a Colt presentation case and will make a fine addition to any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!