Engraved Colt 3rd Gen Single Action Army SAA .44-40 Revolver & Case, 1981

SOLD FOR: $2205.99

LSB#: 211227HE01

Make: Colt

Model: Single Action Army, 3rd Generation

Serial Number: SA56521

Year of Manufacture: 1981

Caliber: .44-40 Winchester (.44 WCF)

Action Type: Single-Action Side Loading Gate Revolver

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “+COLT’S PT. F. A. MFG. Co. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.+”, the bottom is marked “44”. The left of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19, 1871 / JULY 2, 72 JAN. 19, 75” and with a rampant colt. The bottom of the frame is marked “SA56521” in front of the trigger guard. The left of the trigger guard is marked “VP” in triangle and “K”, the right is marked “H”. Due to the way that the grips have been installed, we were not able to examine the grip frame for serial marking. It appears that the mainspring is holding the backstrap in place, even by removing both portions of the grip frame, we were not able to remove the grips. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “44-40”, the front is marked “21 7 4 0 1 1” and “R”. The barrel and cylinder have decorative engraving.

Barrel Length: 7 1/2”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a quarter-round blade affixed to the barrel.  The rear sight is a square notch at the end of a groove in the top strap.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece synthetic panels which are joined together, presumably with adhesive. The manner of joining the grips appears to be between the mainspring and frontstrap as we were not able to separate the front and backstraps when removed from the frame. The right panel has an embossed Mexican eagle. The grips have light handling wear with some voids in their finish, most notable on the left panel. The eagle has good detail. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Fine condition as not original to the gun.

Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color

Finish Originality: The frame finish appears original. The cylinder is not original to the gun and the barrel and cylinder were refinished when they were engraved.

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 97% of its current metal finish. The balance is mostly in scattered minor nicks and scuffs, most on the barrel and grip frame. The cylinder has minor turn wear. The screw heads are sharp and there are minor tool marks around some screw heads. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in Fine-plus condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with barely perceptible rotational play on each chamber. 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: This revolver comes with a Colt display case with red fabric-lined french-fit interior and a key for the case. The case shows minor storage wear with some light nicks and scuffs on the exterior.

Our Assessment: In 1974, Colt quietly discontinued production of 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. The introductory caliber for 3rd Generation SAAs was .45 Colt, but other chamberings would soon follow.

Everyone should have a Colt Single Action Army, and this would be a beauty to add to any collection. Manufactured in 1981, this revolver has decorative engraving and a set of custom grips. Chambered for the classic .44-40 cartridge, this revolver has a 7 1/2″ barrel and displays well in the included case. This classic Single Action Army chambered for a classic cartridge is a nice example of a custom Single Action Army, with an old-west feel and a beautiful overall appearance. It will make a fine addition to any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

Engraved Colt 3rd Gen Single Action Army SAA .44-40 Revolver & Case, 1981
Engraved Colt 3rd Gen Single Action Army SAA .44-40 Revolver & Case, 1981