SOLD FOR: $4001
Model: Single Action Army, 1st Generation
Serial Number: 325439
Year of Manufacture: 1913 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .38 W.C.F. (38-40 Winchester Center Fire)
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 “38 W.C.F.”. The left of the frame is marked “PAT SEPT 19 1871. / JULY 2 72 JAN. 19. 75.” and with a rampant colt logo. The bottom of the frame and the bottom of the trigger guard at the front are each marked “325439”. The butt of the grip frame is marked “325 / 439″. The rear of the loading gate and the right-rear of the frame under the grip each have assembly number “716”. The left of the trigger guard is marked “VP” in triangle and “1”. The hammer slot is marked “P”. The inside of each grip panel is hand-scribed “5439”.
Barrel Length: 7 1/2”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a 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 light handling wear with a few scattered small nicks and minor scuffs. The checkering is generally well defined and there is good detail in the rampant colts. There are no external chips or cracks, but each panel has short cracks on the interior at the boss around the screw escutcheon. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright. The rifling is sharp. There is infrequent minor erosion in the bore, mostly in the grooves. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates an 8 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 85% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. The barrel has some scattered wear and spots of minor surface oxidation, mostly along the left side. There is wear along the ejector housing. The grip areas show minor wear, most notable on the inside of the trigger guard. The outside of the cylinder has scattered turn-wear. The frame has generally strong case color with some muting on the left recoil shield and topstrap. The muted areas have some minor oxidation. There are scattered minor nicks, scuffs and scratches. The hammer has generally strong case color with some operational wear on the side faces and handling wear on the top of the spur. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in Very Good-plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. Lockup produces barely perceptible play on all six chambers. The trigger is crisp. The cylinder 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 is, perhaps more than any other, an iconic American pistol. It was the U.S. issue sidearm for the last two decades of the 19th century, used by pioneers, outlaws and lawmen across the expanding nation, and captivated audiences on the silver screen and television (and still does, today). Produced for nearly a century and a half, they are still being made, today! This example is a 1st Generation Single Action Army made in 1913. It is in Very Good-plus condition, retaining much of its original finish, a good bore, and excellent mechanics. The condition really is quite nice given that the gun is more than 100 years old. The revolver is chambered for the 38-40 WCF cartridge, one of the chamberings intended to be paired with a Winchester rifle. Any 1st Generation SAA would make a great addition to a Colt collection, and this early 20th Century example should be no exception, especially if you have a Winchester 92 or 73 chambered for the same round. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud