Colt 1st Gen Single Action Army SAA 5.5″ .38 Revolver & Letter 1907 C&R
SOLD FOR: $3999
Model: Single Action Army, 1st Generation
Serial Number: 302937
Year of Manufacture: 1907 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .38 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 “38 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 “302937”. The rear of the loading gate is marked with an assembly number “21”. The inside of each grip panel is hand inscribed “2937”. The front face of the cylinder is marked “V”. The left side of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” verified proof and “6”.
Barrel Length: 5 1/2”
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 a few scattered little nicks. There is a little ding on the bottom edge of the left panel and a scratch on the bottom face. There are a couple of small light compressions on the checkered portions. The checkering and colts are generally well-defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright. The rifling is strong with a bit of light edge wear. There are some little spots of light erosion in the bore. In my opinion, this bore rates a 9 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 75% of its metal finish. There is finish loss on the edges, the most noticeable at the muzzle. There are some scattered scuffs that have caused thinning and finish loss, most noticeable on the ejector rod housing and barrel. There are a few little nicks and hairline scratches common of a revolver of this age. There is finish loss scattered over the frame but there are still areas of nice case color. There are some scattered areas of patina and frost, mostly on the grip frame from handling and use. There are some scattered little areas of discoloration from previous oxidation, most noticeable on teh frame. There are turn marks on the cylinder. There are some scratches from abrasive cleaning on the ejector rod housing at the front. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly used. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. Lockup produces very little play on all six chambers. The cylinder was made with a removable bushing which can be removed. 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 1907, just a couple years after Colt started the practice of the “Verified Proof”. The revolver is chambered for the .38 Colt cartridge, not a particularly common caliber for the SAA. The revolver is in Very Good condition, retaining about 75% of its original finish, a very nice 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 The Union Hardware & Metal Company in Los Angeles, California…could you imagine trying to ship a handgun to a hardware store today?! This is an awesome find for just about anyone, but especially if you are based in or around the LA area. 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!