Colt Bisley Model SAA 5 1/2″ .38-40 Single Action Army Revolver, 1902 C&R
SOLD FOR: $1125
Model: Single Action Army, Bisley Model
Serial Number: 234355
Year of Manufacture: 1902
Caliber: .38-40 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) 38 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 “666”. The hammer slot is marked with a “W”. The bottom-front of the frame and trigger guard are marked “234355”, the butt is marked “234 / 355”. The inside of each grip panel has an Arizona Custom Grips logo
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 “Magna-Tusk” faux-ivory panels. The grips have some scattered minor nicks and scuffs, shaping wear around the edges, and discoloration which appears to have been intentionally applied. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine condition as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Remaining finish appears original. The uniformity of the finish loss in the exposed areas likely indicates that it was removed intentionally.
Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is generally well defined. There is scattered light-moderate erosion and pitting in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 5% of its current metal finish. Remaining finish is found in protected areas only such as the corners of the trigger guard, the cylinder flutes and rear face of the cylinder and the front face of the hammer. Other surfaces have mostly been worn or polished to white, starting to go to a light patina. There is some scattered minor surface erosion which has been scrubbed out and some light nicks, scuffs and scratches. There are some more notable nicks on the butt. The action shows operational wear including a turn-line on the cylinder. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings range from clear to worn, but legible. Overall, this revolver is in Fair-Good condition (see Mechanics).
Mechanics: The hammer does not properly catch at half-cock. When the hammer is at the safety notch, pulling the trigger can drop the hammer. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. 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 1902 and chambered for .38-40 Winchester with a 5 1/2″ barrel. The revolver has lost most of its exposed finish and has a mechanical issue with the hammer/sear engagement which should be addressed, so it would be a good candidate for restoration. It also has a “been there, done that” appearance set off by its faux-ivory grips which have an aged appearance, so it will display well as it is. This is a classic Colt revolver chambered for a classic Winchester cartridge and will make a nice addition to any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!