Colt 1st Generation Single Action Army SAA 7 1/2″ .38-40 Revolver, 1923 C&R

SOLD FOR: $2727

LSB#: 230524TC003

Make: Colt

Model: Single Action Army, 1st Generation

Serial Number: 345691

Year of Manufacture: 1923 (

Caliber: .38-40 WCF (Winchester Center-Fire)

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 W.C.F.”. The left of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT 19. 1871. / JULY 2, 72. JAN. 19. 75” and with a rampant colt logo. The left of the trigger guard is marked “1” and “VP” in triangle. The bottom of the frame and the right of each portion of the grip frame are each marked “345691”. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “91”. The inside of each grip panel has “345691” hand-scribed. The rear of the loading gate and the right-rear of the frame under the grip are each marked with assembly number “353”.

Barrel Length: 7 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 fairly even handling wear with a few nicks and scratches. The checkering shows some wear but is visible and generally defined. There is a tiny loss in the rear edge of the right panel near the top. There are no cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color

Finish Originality: The frame’s case color appears Original, but the blued parts have been Refinished.

Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright. The rifling is sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There is some scattered light erosion and a pew patches of moderate pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates 5 or 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 75% of its current metal finish. There is some scattered finish wear in the blued parts with minor erosion under the finish. The frame’s case color is strong in some areas, muted in others, and some shows oxidation and minor erosion. There are some light nicks and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Very Good condition as refinished.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The mainspring appears to have been lightened, the hammer pull is light and smooth. Lockup produces little play on all six chambers. The cylinder was made with a removable bushing. 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: None.

Our Assessment: The Colt Single Action Army is perhaps the quintessential old west handgun, produced for more than a century, serving the U.S. Army as its sidearm from 1873 into the first world war and captivating audiences on the silver screen. This example is a late 1st Generation Single Action Army made in 1923 and chambered for .38-40 Winchester. It is in about Very Good condition as refinished, retaining about 75% of its metal finish with the blued parts refinished and the frame’s case color appearing original. The revolver’s bore has some erosion and pitting, but for a 100 year old gun it’s certainly not that bad. This is an honest example of a revolver which likely saw use and carry through some trying times in America. Any 1st Generation SAA would make a great addition to a Colt collection, and this inter-war example should be no exception. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

Colt 1st Generation Single Action Army SAA 7 1/2" .38-40 Revolver, 1923 C&R
Colt 1st Generation Single Action Army SAA 7 1/2″ .38-40 Revolver, 1923 C&R