SOLD FOR: $1584
Model: Single Action Army, 3rd Generation
Serial Number: 80173SA – (Colt began numbering the 3rd Gen. guns at 80000SA)
Year of Manufacture: 1976
Caliber: .45 Colt
Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY .45”. The top of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F. A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.”. The left side of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19, 1871 / JULY 2,72 JAN. 19,75” and with the “Rampant Colt” logo. The underside of the frame at the grip frame is marked “80173SA”. The front and back strap are both marked “80173SA”. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle and at the rear with an “A”. The base of the hammer is marked “P”. The front of the cylinder is marked “173”.
Barrel Length: 7 ½”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a quarter round blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a square groove in the top strap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece smooth walnut with Gold Colt medallions. The inside of the right panel is missing two slivers, one at the toe and the other just behind the trigger guard. This would be an easy repair; we’d suggest bedding compound. Both panels show handling marks and a few dings. About 70% of the factory finish is retained. Overall, the grips rate in about Fair overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color Hardened
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 85% of its metal finish. There is a ring on the cylinder, with other scuffs and marks from use and handling. The muzzle has thinning on both sides, as does the front of the ejector rod housing. The grip straps still have almost all of the original finish, as does the barrel and frame. The cylinder shows more wear than the other parts, though it is original to the gun. Perhaps this was a SASS used revolver that saw some use wear but no abuse. The screw heads are a little worn. The markings are crisp. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very God to Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions properly. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: In 1974, Colt quietly discontinued production the single Action Army; this would be the second time they discontinued production of this glorious revolver. Luckily, the loyal fans of the SAA would not need to wait long as colt would bring back the SAA in 1976 as the “3rd Generation”. Changes were made but the basic SAA was the same, i.e. three standard barrel lengths of 4 ¾”, 5 ½” and 7 ½”, finishes of full nickel or blue, with color case hardened frame, and grips of hard rubber. Grips on nickeled guns were walnut, with Colt’s Rampant Colt medallions.
The changes were incorporated in an effort by Colt to keep prices down. One new change was a pressed-in cylinder pin bushing instead of the removable ones used in 1st and 2nd Generation cylinders. Also, the ratchet at the rear of the cylinders was re-shaped, which also necessitated a different shape on the rotating hand. And for some unknown reason, the pitch of the barrel’s threads was changed from the 20 threads per inch (TPI) as used on 1st and 2nd Generation SAAs to 24 TPI for these new ones. Toward the end of 2nd Generation production Colt had begun using some investment cast parts, but the frames continued to be forged. The introductory caliber for 3rd Generation SAAs was .45 Colt, but .357 Magnum came along by the end of 1976. (MIKE “DUKE” VENTURINO)
Everyone should have a Colt Single Action Army, and this would be a beauty to add to any collection. Manufactured in 1976, THIS IS THE 173rd 3rd Gen. EVER MADE… Though this gun has been shot and wears grips from a nickel gun, it has clearly been cared for.
This going to be popular with collectors and would make a fine revolver to pass down through the generations.
Please see our photos and good luck!