Colt US 1873 Cavalry Model Single Action Army SAA .45 Revolver 1881 Antique

SOLD FOR: $4825

LSB#: 230320LC003

Make: Colt

Model: 1873 Cavalry Model Single Action Army

Serial Number: 71202

Year of Manufacture: 1881 (

Caliber: .45 Colt, Blackpowder

Action Type: 6-Shot Single Action Revolver with Side Gate Loaded Cylinder

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F. A. MFG. Co. HARTFORD CT. U. S. A.”, the underside is marked “D.F.C.” and “P” in front of the cylinder pin head, and under the ejector housing is “1202” at the rear, behind the mounting lug for the ejector is a small “G” and a “T” or an “I”. The outside of the cylinder is marked “1202”, “D.F.C.” and “P”, the rear face is marked “0” and “B”. The bottom of the frame at the front, the bottom of the trigger guard at the front and the butt are each marked “71202”. Behind the trigger guard and backstrap serial markings are “G”. The hammer slot is marked “Z”. The left of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871 / ”  JULY. 2. -72. / ” JAN. 19. -75.” and “U.S”. The rear face of the loading gate has “297” assembly number. The front face of the ejector housing is marked “M”.

Barrel Length: 7 1/2”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” groove in the top strap.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is one-piece smooth walnut. On each side is the remnant of a cartouche, just a little bit of its border. The grip has moderate wear with scattered finish loss and most notable wear toward the bottom. There are scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches with a few more notable dings, mostly at the bottom. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grip is in Very Good condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: No finish remains.

Finish Originality: There is nothing to indicate that a new finish was applied, but the surfaces do show aggressive cleaning and/or light polishing.

Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is scattered light erosion and some minor pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates 6 or 7 out of 10.

Most antique firearms have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the use of black powder. When fired, black powder reacts corrosively. NRA Antique Firearm Conditions Standards are quite lenient for bores. In some cases the NRA standards disregarded the bore’s condition for collectors firearms.

Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 0% of its metal finish. The surfaces are mostly in the white, appearing to have seen aggressive cleaning and/or light polishing. There is some scattered discoloration from oxidation and some spots of minor surface erosion. There are small nicks, scuffs and scratches. There are tool marks around some screw heads. The action shows operational wear including a turn-line on the cylinder. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings in the metal range from clear to worn, but legible. The markings in the wood have been almost entirely worn away. Overall, this revolver is in Good-Very Good condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger is crisp. The cylinder locks with light play on each chamber. The cylinder bushing is a separate part, but it is seized in the cylinder. We were not able to remove the bushing. We have not fired this handgun. 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). This U.S. Cavalry model is from 1881, during a period when the revolvers were inspected by David F. Clark.

This example has some interesting features. In addition to it’s proper serial and D.F.C. inspection markings, there are “G” inspection markings, one which is found on a fairly narrow range of serial numbers including this one. The gun shows honest wear consistent with its age and service, appearing to have seen some cleaning or minor polishing with no finish remaining. It does retain a nice bore given its age, as well as strong mechanics. This Clark inspected Cavalry model will be a great addition to any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

Colt US 1873 Cavalry Model Single Action Army SAA .45 Revolver 1881 Antique
Colt US 1873 Cavalry Model Single Action Army SAA .45 Revolver 1881 Antique