SOLD FOR: $1775.01
Model: Custom Single Action Army, 1st Generation
Serial Number: 220078
Year of Manufacture: 1902 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: The cylinder is chambered for .357 Magnum. A qualified gunsmith should be consulted before firing magnum cartridges in this revolver (see Our Assessment).
Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder
Markings: The barrel has no markings. The left of the frame is marked “PAT SEPT 19 1871. / JULY 2. 72 JAN. 19. 75.” and with a circled rampant colt logo. The bottom of the frame and the bottom of the trigger guard at the front are each marked “220078”. The butt of the grip frame is marked “220 / 078”. The rear of the loading gate has assembly number “247”. The interior of the grip panels are each scribed with what appears to be “1111236”. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “357”.
Barrel Length: 5 1/2”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight has been milled out to a square notch at the rear of a groove in the top strap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered black hard rubber with rampant colt in oval at the top and an American eagle at the bottom of each panel. The grips have minor handling wear with a few scattered light marks, most notable around the grip screw escutcheons. The checkering is well defined and there is good detail on the rampant colts and eagles. There are no chips or exterior cracks, there is minor cracking at the boss around the grip screw escutcheon on the interior of each panel. Overall, the grips are in Very Good-Fine condition as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 96% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at some edges. There is a spot of finish wear in the backstrap and a few light marks on the butt. The cylinder has a light turn-line. There are a few other scattered minor marks. The remaining markings range from clear to worn, but legible. The screw heads are sharp. Overall, this revolver is in about Fine condition as refinished and customized.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. Lockup produces barely perceptible play on all six chambers. The trigger is crisp. The cylinder has a removable bushing. 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: This revolver comes with a glass-lidded display case and a Tony Lama branded sterling silver belt buckle marked “Judge Woodrow Bean”. The belt buckle has some minor discoloration which should clean up. The display case has scattered light storage wear on the exterior and light wear on the interior from the contents.
Our Assessment: Colt’s Single Action Army is, perhaps more than any other, an iconic American pistol. It was the U.S. issue sidearm for the last two decades of the 19th century, used by pioneers, outlaws and lawmen across the expanding nation, and captivated audiences on the silver screen and television. Produced for nearly a century and a half, they are still being made, today! This example is a 1st Generation Single Action Army made in 1902. Since then, it has been customized with a new barrel and cylinder, chambered for .357 Magnum cartridges with recessed chambers, full blue finish, as well as a new set of grips. The choice of .357 Magnum may seem like a modern upgrade, but the SAA was actually offered in the .357 Mag as a standard chambering starting in the 1930s. That said, around the time that the cartridge was adopted for this model, Colt’s also saw fit to do away with the fouling scoop in the topstrap behind the barrel, possibly to keep a little more meat where the magnum cartridge might start flame-cutting. This revolver’s topstrap has the fouling scoop and doesn’t show any signs of cutting, but it may be best to consult with a gunsmith about which .357 Magnum loads may be suitable for use, or just stick to .38 Specials. Any 1st Generation SAA would make a great addition to a Colt collection, and this customized early 20th Century example should be no exception, especially with its display case. Please see our photos and good luck!