Colt Single Action Army SAA 1873 US Artillery .45 Revolver, 1891 Antique

SOLD FOR: $3025

LSB#: 210608MW86

Make: Colt

Model: U.S. Model of 1873, Single Action Army, “Artillery” Model

Serial Number: 137752

Year of Manufacture: The frame was made in 1891, the revolver was most likely altered by Springfield Armory in 1898.

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 frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871. / JULY. 2. 72. JAN. 19. 75” and with “U.S”. The bottom of the frame in front of the trigger guard is marked “R.A.C. / 137752”. The right-rear of the frame, under the grip, is marked “K”. The rear of the loading gate has assembly number “709”. The bottom of the trigger guard is marked “133056 / K”. The butt of the backstrap is marked “96 / 074 / G”. The bottom-right of the barrel, under the ejector rod housing, is marked “2354” at the rear, and above the cylinder pin head is “P” and “R.A.C.”, one rotated 90 degrees from the other. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “S”, the outside of the cylinder is marked “D.F.C.”, “P” and “4826”. The hammer slot is marked “k / 0”. .

Barrel Length: 5 1/2″

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a 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 grip is one-piece smooth walnut. The grip has minor handling wear with a few scattered light nicks and scuffs. There is a more notable ding at the bottom on the right, toward the front. There are no cracks. The wood is proud to the metal at the bottom, but is otherwise generally shy to the metal. Overall, the grip is in Very Good-Fine condition as refinished Antique.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Refinished, likely arsenal refurbished.

Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There is scattered light erosion and some pitting in the bore.

Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 40% of its current metal finish. Remaining finish is scattered and mottled with wear and light erosion. There is handling wear in the grip areas, trigger and hammer. Worn areas have generally gone to a light patina. The frame has some visible case color, but it appears in some areas that the case color was finished over. There are scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. The action shows operational wear including a turn-line on the cylinder. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with a usable slot. The markings range from clear to worn, but legible. Overall, this revolver is in about Fair-Good condition as refinished Antique (see Mechanics).

Mechanics: The cylinder has very little play when locked, but can be pushed out of lock with little force. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. The trigger is crisp. The cylinder has a removable bushing. 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: None.

Our Assessment: Colt’s Single Action Army is, perhaps more than any other, an iconic American pistol. It was the U.S. issue sidearm for the last two decades of the 19th century, used by pioneers, outlaws and lawmen across the expanding nation, and captivated audiences on the silver screen and television (and still does, today). Many of the original 1873 Model revolvers were arsenal refurbished in 1898, including cutting the barrel down to 5 1/2″ from the original 7 1/2″, in preparation for use in the Spanish-American War. This appears to be one of those revolvers, referred to by collectors as “Artillery” models as most were issued to artillery units during the conflict. Unlike some refurbishment programs performed earlier, little care was given to preserving and none to re-marking matching serial numbers on the 1898 refurbished guns, resulting in mixed parts. This and service on the American frontier and/or in the Spanish-American War would certainly be consistent with this revolver’s present condition. This would be a nice addition to a Single Action Army or American military small arms collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

Colt Single Action Army SAA 1873 US Artillery .45 Revolver, 1891 Antique
Colt Single Action Army SAA 1873 US Artillery .45 Revolver, 1891 Antique