Lew Horton Exclusive Colt SAA Birdshead Pearl Grips Class C Engraved, C&R

SOLD FOR: $6025

LSB#: 220927HE003

Make: Colt

Model: Single Action Army, 3rd Generation

Serial Number: LH99014

Year of Manufacture: 1999, ATF C&R

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 “LH99014”. The front and back strap are both marked “LH99014” on the left side. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle, the rear “4”. The front of the cylinder is marked “014”, found again on the rear of the frame. The revolver has factory Class “C” engraving.

Barrel Length: 4 3/4?

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 mother of pearl panels on a bird’s head grip frame. The left panel has a crack at the top which extends back and down by the rear of the panel, terminating before reaching the rear edge toward the bottom. The right panel has a similar surface-crack at the rear edge, though shorter and not extending to any edges. The right also has a chip-loss in two pieces at the top-front, held in place by the rest of the panel against the frame. Otherwise, the grips show only light handling marks. Overall, the grips are in Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 10 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 97% of its metal finish. There is a spot of minor oxidation on the bottom of the frame at the serial marking and infrequent minor oxidation on the unfinished side faces of the hammer. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is 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 in a two-piece blue cardboard Colt box with white cardboard sleeve with serial-matching label, an assortment of factory paperwork including manual, and a Colt Archives letter. The letter confirms that this revolver shipped November 30, 1999 to Lew Horton Distribution Company Inc. in Westboro, Massachusetts as one of two revolvers of the same type in the shipment. The letter confirms the factory Class “C” standard American style scroll engraving (qualifying this revolver for C&R), birdshead grip configuration, mother of pearl grips and unique serial number “LH” prefix for Lew Horton. The letter further states that the revolver had qualified screws, the screw heads have been turned and are no longer timed properly.

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 ¾”, 5 ½” and 7 ½”, finishes of full nickel or blue, with color case hardened frame, and grips of hard rubber.

There have also been some limited production runs with a variety of features, and this is an interesting example. From the Colt Custom Shop, this revolver has a 4 3/4″ barrel, is chambered for the original .45 Colt cartridge and has factory engraving. Further, it has a factory bird’s head grip frame with factory mother of pearl grips installed, and was made for the distributor Lew Horton. Perhaps more than any other, Lew Horton is famous for the limited production runs it ordered from a variety of manufacturers. It is not clear how many of this particular variant may have been made. The included Colt Archive letter indicates it may have been as few as two, the serial number may indicate 15 or 20, but it is unlikely that more than 9,000 were made. It is more likely that the “LH” prefix was set aside for Lew Horton exclusive runs with this being the 9,914th Single Action Army made for such production.

The revolver shows little to no sign of use, though the grips have the cracking and chipping which is endemic to pearl panels. This revolver’s very rare configuration and documentation of factory special-order features would make it a great addition to any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

Lew Horton Exclusive Colt SAA Birdshead Pearl Grips Class C Engraved, C&R
Lew Horton Exclusive Colt SAA Birdshead Pearl Grips Class C Engraved, C&R