SOLD FOR: $1700
Model: Single Action Army, Bisley Model
Serial Number: 270379
Year of Manufacture: 1905
Caliber: .32-20 WCF
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 side of the barrel is marked “(BISLEY MODEL) 32 W.C.F.”. The left side of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871. / JULY 2. 72. JAN. 19. 75.” and with an encircled Rampant Colt logo. The loading gate is marked with assembly number “943”. The hammer slot is marked “7”. The bottom-front of the frame and trigger guard are marked “270379”, the butt is marked “270 / 379”. The inside of each grip panel has “0379” hand-scribed. The left-front of the trigger guard is marked “VP” in triangle, the left rear “5”.
Barrel Length: 5 1/2”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a fixed blade. The rear sight is “V”-notch in the top strap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two piece checkered hard rubber with rampant colts in ovals at their tops. The grips have light-moderate handling wear. There are a few light nicks, scuffs and scratches with one spot of more notable wear on the bottom of the left panel. The checkering is generally well defined and there is decent detail in the colts. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with sharp rifling. There is some scattered minor erosion with slightly more notable erosion near the muzzle.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 15% of its metal finish. Finish remains mostly in protected areas such as the cylinder flutes, inside and around the corners of the trigger guard, and around the hammer on the backstrap, though there is also some good blue remaining on and around the ejector housing. Most other surfaces have worn to white or gone to a light patina. There is scattered light surface oxidation and some minor erosion, most notable on the left of the frame. There are some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Fair condition (see Mechanics).
Mechanics: The hammer does not properly catch at the safety notch and does not consistently catch on the half-cock notch. When the hammer is at half-cock, opening or closing the loading gate will sometimes cause the hammer to fall. The cylinder tends to over-rotate past one chamber, but timing is good for the other five. The cylinder locks up with minor rotational play and barely perceptible end-shake on each chamber. The cylinder has a removable bushing. 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: The Colt Bisley was introduced in 1894 as a target pistol. The name Bisley came from the famous firing range in Bisley, England. The Colt Bisley can be distinguished by the longer grip, the wider hammer spur, and the wider trigger. These distinctive revolvers were serial-numbered in the range of 156300–331916, in the same sequence as the Single Action Army. This is an example of a 1st Gen. Bisley, made in 1905 and chambered for .32-20 Winchester with a 5 1/2″ barrel. The revolver will need some work before it is functioning properly, but would be an excellent candidate for restoration. As it is, it will make a great display piece with its “been there, done that” appearance. Please see our photos and good luck!