SOLD FOR: $2275
Model: Single Action Army, 3rd Generation
Serial Number: SA03127
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Caliber: .45 Colt
Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY .45”. 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 “SA03127”. The front and back strap are both marked “SA03127” 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 “7” marked on the right of the trigger guard. The front of the cylinder is marked “S3127”. The inside of each grip panel has “03127” hand-written.
Barrel Length: 7 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 and Condition: The grips are two-piece smooth walnut panels. The right panel has a couple of light nicks. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Nickel
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. The most notable defect is a small but deep ding on the left of the barrel above the ejector tab. The left of the barrel has a few other minor nicks and the cylinder has faint turn-wear. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The screw heads range 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 with a faux-wood cardboard Colt box with serial-matching label, and two-piece styrofoam inserts. Also included is a Colt Archives letter which confirms that this revolver shipped May 26, 1978 to Pacific Int’l Merchandising Corporation in Sacramento, CA as one of three guns of the same type in the shipment.
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 3/4”, 5 1/2” and 7 1/2”, 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. Additionally, 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 .44 Special.
Everyone should have a Colt Single Action Army, and this would be a beauty to add to any collection. Manufactured in 1978, this revolver is in Fine condition, appearing to have spent most of its life in the included box, though there is one notable ding on the barrel. With a 7 1/2″ barrel, nickel finish and chambered for the original .45 Colt cartridge, this is a classic Single Action Army chambered for a classic cartridge. The included letter shows that it originally shipped to Pacific International Merchandising in Sacramento, California, better known to the locals as the Old Sacramento Armory. The pistol’s high condition and nickel finish will make it suitable for addition to a collection, but it should also make for a fun shooter that will draw some eyes at the range. Please see our photos and good luck!