Colt 3rd Gen Single Action Army SAA 5 1/2″ .357 Magnum Revolver & Box, 1979

SOLD FOR: $2476

LSB#: 220418ER001

Make: Colt

Model: Single Action Army, 3rd Generation

Serial Number: SA22023

Year of Manufacture: 1979

Caliber: .357 Magnum

Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder

Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY .357 MAGNUM”. 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 “SA22023”. The front and back strap are both marked “SA22023” on the left side. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle and at the rear with a “K”, there is a “5” marked on the right of the trigger guard. The front of the cylinder is marked “2023”. The inside of each grip panel is hand-scribed “22023”

Barrel Length: 5 1/2”

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 & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered black hard rubber with rampant colt in oval at the top and American Eagle at the bottom of each panel. The right panel has a light scratch on the bottom near the front. The left panel has a few light nicks in the border around the rampant colt and a few more notable nicks and scratches on the bottom. The checkering is sharp with good detail in the colts and eagles. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine 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 97% of its metal finish. There are some minor nicks and scuffs on the butt, the bottom of the trigger guard, the left of the barrel at the muzzle-end and around the outside of the cylinder. There are a few spots of very minor surface oxidation in the backstrap and in the unfinished side faces of the hammer near the tip of the spur. 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. 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 in a faux-wood cardboard Colt box with two-piece styrofoam insert. The box has scattered storage wear with all of the ears missing.

Our Assessment: In 1974, Colt quietly discontinued production 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 .357 Magnum came along by the end of 1976.

Everyone should have a Colt Single Action Army, and this would be a beauty to add to any collection. Manufactured in 1979, this revolver is in Fine condition, appearing to have seen little use, though it shows some minor storage wear. With a 5 1/2″ barrel and chambered for .357 Magnum, this is a classic Single Action Army chambered for a more modern magnum cartridge. This makes it suitable for addition to a collection, but is also something that could be carried as a hunting sidearm or used in Cowboy Action Shooting competitions. Please see our photos and good luck!

Colt 3rd Gen Single Action Army SAA 5 1/2" .357 Magnum Revolver & Box, 1979
Colt 3rd Gen Single Action Army SAA 5 1/2″ .357 Magnum Revolver & Box, 1979