SOLD FOR: $2225
Model: Single Action Army, 3rd Generation
Serial Number: S40246A
Year of Manufacture: 2005
Caliber: .38-40 WCF (Winchester Center Fire)
Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY 38-40”. 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 “S40246A”. The front and back strap are both marked “S40246A” on the left side. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle and at the rear with “5”. The front of the cylinder is marked “246”, the rear is marked “38-40”. The inside of each grip panel has “246” hand-scribed and the rear of the loading gate is marked “246”.
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 and Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered hard rubber panels, each with the Rampant Colt at the top and an American eagle at the bottom. The grips have no notable wear or damage, only light handling marks. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips rate in Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 96% of its metal finish. The barrel has a spot of wear on the left-front and a couple of light scratches on the bottom next to the ejector housing. The cylinder has some light turn-wear. The frame has generally strong case color, the color is slightly muted on the right below the cylinder. Based on their fit to the frame, the bolt and trigger screws have been swapped. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions properly. The cylinder locks up with barely perceptible play on each chamber. The cylinder’s bushing is removable. 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 pistol comes in a blue cardboard two-piece Colt box with a white cardboard sleeve, serial-matching label, cable lock, and an assortment of factory paperwork including manual.
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. 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 other chamberings would soon follow, including .38-40 WCF.
Everyone should have a Colt Single Action Army, and this would be a beauty to add to any collection. Manufactured in 2005, this revolver is in Fine condition, appearing to have seen light, responsible use. With a 4 3/4″ barrel and chambered for .38-40, this is a classic Single Action Army chambered for one of the original SAA (and Winchester) cartridges. The pistol’s high condition and the comparative scarcity of 38-40 chambering in the 3rd generation guns make it suitable for addition to a collection, but is also something that would make an interesting “BBQ Gun” or could even used in Cowboy Action Shooting competitions. Please see our photos and good luck!