SOLD FOR: $3576
Model: Single Action Army
Serial Number: 230315
Year of Manufacture: 1902
Caliber: .41 Colt
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 “41 COLT.”. 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 “433”. The hammer slot is marked with “W”. The bottom-front of the frame and trigger guard are marked “230315”, the butt is marked “230 / 315”.
Barrel Length: 4 3/4”
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 Franzite faux-stag plastic panels. The grips have minor handling wear with only a few scattered light marks. They are generally shy to the frame, most notably at the top-front where there is a visible gap. 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: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright and the rifling is sharp. There are some scattered spots of light erosion and infrequent spots of very minor pitting. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates a 7 out of 10.
Many military and C&R eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide. For example, the U.S. used corrosive ammunition throughout WWII. The U.S. military did not begin to phase out corrosive-primed ammunition until the 1950’s.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 60% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The barrel has some finish wear along the left side, more toward the muzzle-end and there is similar wear along the ejector housing. The frame’s case color has muted in most areas, but there is good color in protected areas such as in front of the cylinder, in the loading slot, in the groove on the topstrap and in the hammer slot. The grip areas have mostly worn to white with some finish remaining at the top of the backstrap, on the butt and in front of the trigger guard. Some worn areas show discoloration from oxidation, most notable on the frame and there are scattered spots of minor surface oxidation. There are some scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. The action shows operational wear including a notable turn-line on the cylinder (see Mechanics). The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with usable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Good condition.
Mechanics: The timing allows the gun to function properly for firing, but the cylinder stop engages early, preventing the cylinder from rotating when the hammer is at half-cock. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with barely perceptible play 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: This revolver comes with a Colt Archives letter which confirms that it was shipped July 31, 1902 to the Lee Hardware Company in Salina, Kansas as one of four guns of the same type in the shipment.
Our Assessment: The Colt SAA revolver and Winchester Model 1873 rifle were two guns that helped tame the Wild West of the United States in the last quarter of the 19th Century. This is a one hundred and twenty-year-old Colt SAA 1st Generation revolver made in the Early Smokeless Powder period. The revolver has a 3/44 barrel, later-vintage Franzite grips, and is chambered in .41 Long Colt. The .41 Long Colt was originally made for use in the M1877 Thunderer double action revolver. Although less potent than its better-known cousin, the .45 Colt, Elmer Keith in “Sixguns” wrote that it was a better fight stopper than its paper ballistics would indicate.
The revolver is in about Good condition with a minor timing issue with the cylinder stop which does not prevent proper function while firing, but does make unloading the revolver a little tricky. Apart from that, the gun retains about 60% of its original metal finish with a bore much better than might be expected given the guns age. All of the Colt 1st Generation revolvers are heavily collected, and we expect this one to be as well. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud