SOLD FOR: $1599
Model: Customized Single Action Army, 1st Generation
Serial Number: 231834
Year of Manufacture: 1902 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: This revolver has been converted to .38 Special.
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 is marked “COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY .38 SPECIAL”. The left of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871. / JULY 2. 72. JAN 19. 75.” and with a circled rampant colt. The bottom of the frame and trigger guard are marked “231834”, the butt of the backstrap is marked “231 / 834. The rear of the loading gate has assembly number “887”. The hammer slot is marked “W”. The bottom of the frame above the serial marking has “M.L.T.”.
Barrel Length: 5 1/2”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch at the rear of a groove in the topstrap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is one-piece smooth walnut. The grip has some scattered light nicks and scratches. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grip is in Very Good-plus condition as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: The finish appears Original to the parts. The barrel and cylinder are not original to the frame.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 87% of its metal finish. There is a spot of finish wear on the left of the barrel at the muzzle with minor oxidation at the edges of the wear. The ejector housing has some wear at the front edge. The frame’s case color has muted in most areas with some strong color remaining in others. The cylinder’s finish is thinning at most edges. The backstrap shows signs of light polishing, likely cleaning up the minor oxidation which is present. There is some other scattered minor oxidation, most easily seen in the muted areas of the frame. There are some scattered minor nicks, scratches and scuffing. 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 are generally clear, the patent markings on the frame are slightly worn at the top. Overall, this revolver is in Very Good condition as not parts-original.
Mechanics: There is one chamber on the cylinder on which the cylinder can be pushed out of lock with sufficient force. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. The trigger is light and crisp. The cylinder locks up with minor play on the other five chambers and 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: None.
Our Assessment: Colt’s Single Action Army revolver is the iconic sidearm of the cowboy, lawman, and outlaw. It served the United States Army from 1873 until the Great War and, much like its successor the 1911, it was both a revolution at the time it was adopted, but also a mainstay of American handguns for generations in law enforcement, criminal, and law abiding citizens’ hands. Also like the 1911, the Single Action Army has seen decades of tweaks, modification, customization and after market parts to fit various purposes.
This example of a 1902 vintage 1st Generation SAA has had the barrel and cylinder replaced for use with .38 Special cartridges, a common conversion in the post-War era when the cartridge far outstripped most other standard 1st Generation chamberings in popularity and availability. This custom 1st Generation SAA should still make for a fun shooter, but any 1st Gen is of interest to Colt collectors, and this one looks great for a 120 year old revolver. Please see our photos and good luck!