Colt 1st Gen Single Action Army SAA 7 1/2″ .45 LC Revolver, 1877 Antique

SOLD FOR: $3875

LSB#: 230320LC007

Make: Colt

Model: Single Action Army

Serial Number: 37396

Year of Manufacture: 1877 (

Caliber: .45 Colt, Black Powder

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-”. Under the ejector housing is “7396”. The outside of the cylinder is marked “7396”. The bottom of the frame at the front, the bottom of the trigger guard at the front and the butt are each marked “37396”. The hammer slot is marked “P” and “0”. The left of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871. / ” JULY. 2. -72 / ” JAN. 19. -75.”. The rear face of the loading gate has “905” assembly number. The backstrap inlet of the grip had a hand-written serial marking, but it is worn and not legible. The left of the trigger guard is marked “45 CAL”.

Barrel Length: 7 1/2”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch integral to the top strap.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is one-piece smooth walnut. The grip has some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches with a few spots of more notable wear. There are small losses at most corners. There are no cracks. Overall, the grip is in about Very Good condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color

Finish Originality: The barrel appears to have had its finish intentionally removed. Otherwise, the finish appears Original

Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is scattered light erosion and pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 5 or 6 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 3% of its metal finish. There are infrequent scattered spots of remaining finish. Most surfaces have worn to white or gone to a light patina. Some areas show polishing. There is scattered minor surface erosion. There are some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches with tool marks around some screw heads. The action shows operational wear including turn wear 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 Good condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The ejector spring is weak, the rod can fall back far enough to interfere with the rotation of the cylinder. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. The trigger is crisp. The cylinder locks with little play on each chamber. The cylinder bushing is removable. 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: This revolver comes with a Colt Archives letter which indicates it shipped October 12, 1877 to Schulyer, Hartley, & Graham in New York City, New York as one of fifty 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). This example retains good mechanics, a decent bore for a revolver that would have seen use with black powder nearly 150 years ago, and has matching serialized parts, though whatever was written in the grip’s backstrap inlet has been lost to time. The revolver originally shipped to Schulyer, Hartley & Graham, one of Colt’s biggest sellers and almost certainly their biggest retailer in New York.

Any of the 1st Generation Single Action Army revolvers are collectible, and this example should be no exception. Whether you’re looking for an early SAA with a “been there, done that” appearance or are interested in restoring this example, it will be a nice addition to any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

Colt 1st Gen Single Action Army SAA 7 1/2" .45 LC Revolver, 1877 Antique
Colt 1st Gen Single Action Army SAA 7 1/2″ .45 LC Revolver, 1877 Antique