Colt 1st Gen Single Action Army SAA 4.75″ .45 LC Revolver & Letter 1902 C&R
SOLD FOR: $3883
Model: Single Action Army, 1st Generation
Serial Number: 236180
Year of Manufacture: 1902 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
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 bottom of the frame, the portion of the grip frame in front of the trigger guard, and the toe of the grip frame are all marked “236180”. The rear of the loading gate is marked with an assembly “261”. The inside of each grip panel is hand inscribed “LA”.
Barrel Length: 4 3/4”
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 a few hairline scratches. There are a couple little cracks on the inside of each panel at the escutcheon; ther eis a small loss on the left panel. Areas of the grips are slightly proud. The checkering and colts are generally well-defined. There are no cracks visible on the exterior. Overall, the grips are in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright. The rifling is mostly sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There are some patches of erosion and pitting in the bore. In my 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 35% of its metal finish. There is finish loss throughout, the most noticeable is on the frame. There is scattered oxidation and discoloration from previous oxidation scattered throughout. There is finish wear on the edges. There are some scattered light scabs. There is scattered light erosion, some of the most noticeable is on the left side of the barrel but it is peppered throughout. There are some scattered little nicks scuffs, and scratches. There are some marks in the metal, most noticeable on the bottom of the barrel and on the ejector rod tab. The strongest case color is on the front of the hammer and on the sides of the frame by the cylinder pin. 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: Included is a Colt letter.
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 1902. The revolver is chambered for the classic .45 Colt cartridge. The revolver is in Good condition, retaining about 35% 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 was originally shipped to Simmons Hardware Company in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1874, the company was a staple of the city, and even expanded to six locations before merging with another timeless gun company, Winchester. 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!
Some are hot, some are not, but thankfully most can be shot!