1st Gen Colt Single Action Army SAA .45 Revolver & Letter, 1883 Antique

SOLD FOR: $3775

LSB#: 230515JB001

Make: Colt

Model: Single Action Army, 1st Generation

Serial Number: 102010

Year of Manufacture: 1883

Caliber: .45 Colt, Black Powder

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 of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871. / ” JULY 2. -72. / ” JAN 19. -75.”. The bottom of the frame and the bottom of the trigger guard at the front are each marked “102010”. The serial marking on the butt of the grip frame is “102 / 010”. The left of the trigger guard is marked “45 CAL.”. The rear of the loading gate has assembly number “9800”. Under the ejector housing at the rear of the barrel is “2010”. The outside of the cylinder is marked “2010”, the rear face is marked “L” and “1”.

Barrel Length: 7 1/2″

Sights / Optics: The front sight is an after-market brass 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 their tops and American eagles at their bottoms. The grips have light handling wear. The right panel appears more matte than the left, but has better definition in the colt and eagle. There are a few nicks and scattered scuffing. There is a tiny loss at the bottom-rear corner of the right panel. The checkering is generally well defined. There are no cracks. Based on the fit, we suspect that one or both of the panels is a replacement. Overall, the grips are in Fine condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color

Finish Originality: The hammer has been refinished. Other remaining finish appears Original.

Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is some scattered minor erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 8 or 9 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 15% of its metal finish. Most of the remaining finish is in protected areas, around raised features, and along the top and bottom of the ejector housing. The case color has almost completely muted or worn to white with a little bit remaining inside the hammer slot. Most exposed surfaces have worn to white or gone to a light patina, some areas show aggressive cleaning. There are some scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is infrequent minor surface erosion, most notable on the hammer. 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 range from clear to worn, but legible. Overall, this revolver is in Very Good condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. Lockup produces little play side-to-side and minor end-shake on all six chambers. The trigger is crisp. The cylinder is designed with 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 the gun shipped November 20, 1883 to Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. in Chicago, Illinois as one of six 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 1883. The revolver is chambered for the original .45 Colt cartridge, which would make it a nice companion for a lever action carbine chambered for the same round. The revolver retains some of its original finish, strong mechanics, and a quite outstanding bore for a revolver of its age. Overall, it’s in better shape than any of us will be at nearly 140 years old! Any 1st Generation SAA would make a great addition to a Colt collection, and this late 19th Century example should be no exception. The included letter is nice as it shows that this revolver originally shipped to Chicago, Illinois, specifically to Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. While this may not be familiar to everyone, it was a very large hardware wholesaler and the company would go on to become True Value, which is fairly well known today. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

1st Gen Colt Single Action Army SAA .45 Revolver & Letter, 1883 Antique
1st Gen Colt Single Action Army SAA .45 Revolver & Letter, 1883 Antique