SOLD FOR: $2727
Model: Single Action Army, 3rd Generation
Serial Number: S31528A
Year of Manufacture: 2000 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
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 “S31528A”. The left side of each portion of the grip frame is marked “S31528A” under the grip. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle and the left rear with “N”. The front face of the cylinder is marked “528” and the rear “45”. The rear of the loading gate is marked “528”.
Barrel Length: 4 3/4”
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 ram’s horn panels made by Roy Curtis Fishpaw of Lynchburg, VA. The inside of each panel is marked “R C F”, the right panel has “- 2 – 28 – 03 -“, the left “S31528A”. There are a few tiny losses at edges in the rougher portions of the grain. Otherwise, the grips show only minor handling marks. There are no cracks. The left panel is slightly proud at the top-front. Otherwise, the grips are quite well fit to the frame. Overall, the grips are in Excellent condition as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Blue Barrel, Cylinder and Grip Frame, Case Color Hammer and Frame
Finish Originality: The standard finish for the hammer would be polished sides and blued top/front/back. Colt did offer Case Color hammers as a special-order feature, it is also possible that the hammer was refinished. Otherwise, the finish is Original.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 98% of its metal finish. There are a few minor scratches on the bottom of the barrel next to the ejector housing and on the right frame flat below the loading gate. Each lead-in groove on the cylinder has a tiny spot of wear toward the front of the groove at the edge of the notch. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The case color is vibrant. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and smoothly. This revolver’s cylinder has a fixed bushing. The lockup produces very little play on all six chambers. The trigger is crisp. 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:
-Blue plastic Colt case with serial-matching label
-Assortment of factory paperwork including manual
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.
Some 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.
Everyone should have a Colt Single Action Army, and this would be a beauty to add to any collection. Manufactured in 2000, this revolver has a gorgeous set of custom horn grips installed, contrasting nicely with the blue and case color finish, giving the gun a striking and distinct appearance. The grips are marked “R C F” for Roy Curtis Fishpaw, dubbed “Dean of American grip makers” by collectors. Fishpaw was renowned for the quality of his grips and was perhaps best known for his ram’s horn grips, such as those on this revolver. Sadly, Mr. Fishpaw passed a few years ago, so this is a nice find for those who can appreciate his exquisite work. The hammer has a case color finish, which Colt did offer as a special-order feature. Since their earliest days, Colt’s was famous for never wasting anything, so it is possible that they simply had these hammers on hand at the time this revolver was assembled. It is also possible the hammer was refinished or replaced, though the quality of the case color would indicate that would have been done by the likes of Turnbull or Peacemaker Specialists, possibly even USFA. This revolver is in Excellent condition, appearing to have seen little if any use. This makes it more than suitable for addition to a collection, but it would also make an attractive “BBQ Gun” or could be used in Cowboy Action Shooting competitions. Please see our photos and good luck!