Factory Engraved 1st Generation Blackpowder Frame Colt .45 SAA Single Action Army, Documented Johnson County Range War Gun, MFD 1890

Sold For: $71,438.00

LSB#: 140620JN03

Make: Colt 

Model: Single Action Army 

Serial Number: 135929

Year of Manufacture: 1890

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 side of the barrel is marked “45 COLT”. The left side of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871. / JULY 2.72.JAN.19. 75.”. The bottom of the frame at the trigger guard and the trigger guard are marked “135929”. The bottom of the backstrap is marked “135 / 929”. The inside face of the loading gate is marked with the assembly number “798”. 

Barrel Length: 4 ¾” 

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a tall quarter round blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” groove in the top strap. 

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are stag that have turned yellow with age with darker areas of oil staining near the tops and on the bottom surfaces. They are not original to the revolver (the Colt letter shows it was shipped with Pearl grips). Each shows deep dark striations whose edges have been worn smooth with use. There are a very few minor handling marks in the grips, with a spot of reddish stain on the bottom of the right grip. The left grip is slightly proud of the metal at the bottom of the front strap. The grips are in about Very Good condition. 

Type of Finish: The barrel, cylinder, ejector rod housing and grip frame are blued. The frame and hammer are case colored. The entire revolver was richly scroll engraved at the factory (“C” coverage, or nearly 100%). 

Finish Originality: The finish is original. 

Bore Condition: The bore is gray and the rifling shows light wear. There is surface frosting in the bore with spots of light erosion in the grooves about 1 ½” from the muzzle. 

Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 30% of its metal finish. There is a small spot of solid erosion at the front and at the rear of the ejector rod housing, on the left side of the barrel 1 ½” from the muzzle, spots on the frame in front of the cylinder and on the sides of the front sight, and small spots along the bottom edges of the frame. There is pinprick surface erosion in the cylinder flutes, on the body of the cylinder and the sides of the hammer. There is surface loss on the body of the cylinder, the trigger guard, front strap and backstrap. The front strap and backstrap are starting to develop a dark patina and each show one or two small marks. The outside rounded part of the ejector rod housing shows surface loss, and the web area between it and the barrel shows thinning.There are two small compression marks near its front. The frame shows surface loss with case coloring still evident in the protected areas. The barrel shows surface loss along its left side with light handling marks and tiny compression marks along its underside.The hammer checkering shows very light wear. Most of the screw heads are sharp, but the cylinder pin screw and the grip screw are disfigured. The markings and engraving are clear – the engraving is very sharp on the barrel near the frame and slightly worn on the bottoms of the backstrap and front strap. Overall, this revolver rates in about Very Good condition. 

Mechanics: The action functions properly. The cylinder lock-up shows a small amount of play. The trigger pull is crisp. We did not fire this revolver. The ejector rod has a crescent shaped button correct for the 1880 time frame. The hammer in the revolver appears to be a 2nd Gen. hammer. The top and front are blued and the firing pin is cone shaped but slightly concave. 

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with its original 1st Gen. hammer and trigger, a letter from Colt, a copy of an article on the Johnson County War written by Bill Hockett, a Shooting Times July 1967 Magazine with an article on the Johnson Country War by Robert A. Murray, and the hard bound covered book “The War on Powder River” by Helena Smith. The hammer is case colored with a straight sided cone shaped firing pin. The sides of the hammer show surface frosting and the top shows a dark patina. The hammer checkering shows light wear, and the hammer its sears are badly worn. It is in about Fair condition. The trigger is case colored and its sear shows moderate wear and one corner is rounded-off. The trigger is in about Good condition. The letter from Colt states that the finish was blued and factory engraved, and that the revolver came with pearl grips. It was shipped to Dunlay and Geisler in Houston, Texas in October 1890. The letter is in Excellent condition. The article on the Johnson County War describes the war that took place in Wyoming in 1892 and how a group of Texas gunmen were hired to kill “rustlers” in Johnson County. The article describes this revolver as carried by J. D. Mynett of Texas as documented by Major Wolcott when the Army confiscated the “invaders” guns at the end of the war. The copy of the article is in about Excellent condition. The magazine article adds a picture of the “invaders” along with a complete list of the firearms, and shows that in addition to this pistol, J. D. Mynett also turned in a Winchester rifle in .45-90 and a cartridge belt. The magazine cover is slightly frayed on the spine and is in about Fine condition. The book tells the complete story of the war, adds more pictures of the “invaders” and indicates J. D. Mynett was one of the mercenaries recruited in Texas near Paris in Lamar county. The book is in Excellent condition. The revolver also comes with a soft tan carrying case with dark brown handles and edging. The interior of the case is imitation sheep skin. The outside of the case shows a spot of brown stain and a few light smudges, and the inside is pristine. It is in about Fine condition. 

Our Assessment: This is a Colt 1st Gen. Late Blackpowder SAA revolver in .45 Colt with factory “C” engraving. The scroll engraving covers nearly the entire revolver and looks fantastic, so please see our pictures!! The original pearl grips have been replaced with stag grips that are yellowed with age and show light wear on the edges of their dark striations. The hammer and trigger have been replaced, but the original hammer and trigger are provided. The revolver has about 30% of its finish remaining. It shows a few small spots of solid erosion with pinprick surface erosion on the cylinder. The engraving detail is very sharp on the barrel but slightly worn on the bottom of the backstrap and front strap. Included with this revolver is paperwork that shows that this revolver was shipped from Colt to Houston, Texas in 1890. There, it was purchased by J. D. Mynett in time for him to carry it with him when he was hired as a mercenary in 1892 near Paris, Texas to take part in action against “rustlers” in Jackson County, Wyoming. This revolver represents a significant period of American history, and the Colt SAA was known as “The Gun That Won the West”. They were carried by a host of lawmen and villains, including those on both sides in the Johnson County Wars. They served the army from their inception until 1892, as well as secondary units in the Spanish American War. This revolver is sure to end-up in a high-end Colt collection. Its factory engraving and Very Good condition would attract Colt collectors in any event, but with the documentation of how this was carried by a mercenary in the Johnson County Wars in Wyoming, it is now going to be highly sought after, especially by those collectors with roots in Wyoming or Texas. 

Factory Engraved 1st Generation Blackpowder Frame Colt .45 SAA Single Action Army, Documented Johnson County Range War Gun, MFD 1890
Factory Engraved 1st Generation Blackpowder Frame Colt .45 SAA Single Action Army, Documented Johnson County Range War Gun, MFD 1890