Colt 1st Generation .41 Caliber 4 3/4″ Single Action Army Revolver SAA, C&R
SOLD FOR: $3500
Model: Single Action Army, 1st Generation
Serial Number: 320911
Year of Manufacture: 1911 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
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 is marked “41 COLT.”. The left of the frame is marked “PAT SEPT 19 1871. / JULY 2 72 JAN. 19. 75.” and with a circled rampant colt logo. The bottom of the frame and the bottom of the trigger guard at the front are each marked “320911”. The butt of the grip frame is marked “320 / 911″. The rear of the loading gate and the right-rear of the frame under the grip each have assembly number “423”. The left of the trigger guard is marked “VP” in triangle and “W”. The hammer slot is marked “4 / 7”. The bottom of the barrel, over the cylinder pin head, is marked “41”. The inside of each grip panel has “0911” hand-scribed.
Barrel Length: 4 3/4”
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 some scattered small nicks and scratches. There is a more notable mark at the front of the left panel. There is a crack at the bottom of the left panel toward the front which appears to have been repaired with adhesive. The checkering is well defined. Overall, the grips are in Good-Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright. The rifling is sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There is some scattered light erosion in the bore with less frequent light pitting. 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 65% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The grip areas show handling wear and there is scattered finish wear consistent with handling and holster use. Some worn areas are going to a light patina. Much of the frame’s color has muted, but the figuring is still generally visible and there is some strong color in protected areas. There is some scattered minor surface oxidation. The action shows operational wear including turn-wear on the cylinder. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. Lockup produces minor play and end-shake 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: This revolver comes with a Colt Archives letter which indicates that this revolver shipped in its current configuration to Belknap Hardware & Mfg. Co. in Louisville, KY on November 28, 1911 as one of five guns of the same type in the shipment.
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 1911. The revolver is chambered for the classic .41 Colt cartridge. This cartridge served as a middle-ground between the smaller .38 and larger .45 caliber revolvers that Colt offered, similar to the later .41 Magnum’s place between the .357 and .44 Magnum cartridges. The revolver is in Very Good condition, retaining about 65% of its original finish, a decent bore, and strong mechanics. The revolver shows honest wear consistent with its age and checks some boxes for the Colt collector both for its year of manufacture and its chambering. The revolver also originally shipped to Belknap Hardware & Mfg. Co. in Louisville, Kentucky. Founded in 1840, the company was a staple of the burgeoning city, and was a competitor to even the behemoths of Sears and Montgomery Ward in its time. Any 1st Generation SAA would make a great addition to a Colt collection, and this early 20th Century example should be no exception. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud