Colt 1st Generation Single Action Army SAA 5 1/2″ .45 LC Revolver, 1923 C&R

SOLD FOR: $2780

LSB#: 221121MA003

Make: Colt

Model: Single Action Army, 1st Generation

Serial Number: 345039

Year of Manufacture: 1923 (

Caliber: .45 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 is marked “45 COLT”. The left of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT 19. 1871. / JULY 2, 72. JAN. 19. 75” and with a rampant colt logo. The left of the trigger guard is marked “1” and “VP” in triangle. The bottom of the frame and the right of each portion of the grip frame are each marked “345039”. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “39”. The inside of each grip panel has “345039” hand-scribed. The rear of the loading gate and the right-rear of the frame under the grip are each marked “708”.

Barrel Length: 5 1/2”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a quarter-round blade fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch at the rear of a 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 of each panel. The grips have even, light handling wear with some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is a tiny loss at the bottom-rear corner of the right panel. The checkering and colts are generally well defined. There are no cracks. The panels are shy to the backstrap, this appears to be from shrinkage. Overall, the grips are in about Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color

Finish Originality: Original to the parts. Based on condition compared to surrounding surfaces, the cylinder pin and some screws may be replacement parts.

Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright. The rifling is well defined. There is scattered erosion and pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates a 6 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 revolver retains about 15% of its metal finish. Most surfaces have gone to a light patina or show wear with some strong finish in protected areas. There is scattered light surface oxidation and some minor erosion. There are scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The cylinder has turn-wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The cylinder pin head is tool marked. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in Good condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. Lockup produces very little play on all six chambers. The cylinder was made with a removable bushing, but it is seized in the cylinder. The trigger is crisp. 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: The Colt Single Action Army is perhaps the quintessential old west handgun, produced for more than a century, serving the U.S. Army as its sidearm from 1873 into the first world war and captivating audiences on the silver screen. This example is a late 1st Generation Single Action Army made in 1923. It is in Good condition, retaining about 15% of its original finish, having a decent bore and strong mechanics. While the revolver shows its age, it is an honest example of a revolver which likely saw use and carry through some trying times in America. Any 1st Generation SAA would make a great addition to a Colt collection, and this inter-war example should be no exception. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Colt 1st Generation Single Action Army SAA 5 1/2" .45 LC Revolver, 1923 C&R
Colt 1st Generation Single Action Army SAA 5 1/2″ .45 LC Revolver, 1923 C&R