Late Colt 1st Gen Single Action Army SAA 5 1/2″ .38-40 Revolver, 1938 C&R

SOLD FOR: $3661.36

LSB#: 230617WL004

Make: Colt

Model: Single Action Army, 1st Generation

Serial Number: 356255

Year of Manufacture: 1938 (

Caliber: .38-40 Winchester

Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder

Barrel Length: 5 1/2”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the front of the barrel, the blade has been filed down slightly. The rear sight is a square 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 some minor discoloration, most notable on the bottom faces. The grips have minor handling wear with a few scattered minor marks and a couple of scratches on the bottom. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good-plus condition.

Type of Finish: Blued & Case Color

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 10 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 87% of its metal finish. The finish is thining at most edges. The grip areas show handling wear and light surface oxidation. The cylinder has scattered turn-wear. The frame’s case color has muted in some areas, but is still quite strong in others. The frame also shows some minor oxidation. There are a few 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 Very Good condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. Lockup produces very little play on all six chambers. The trigger is crisp. The cylinder has 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 an additional, and presumably more recently produced, cylinder chambered for .38-40. The additional cylinder has only light handling marks, in Excellent condition.

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! The 1st Generation Single Action Army was produced from 1873 to 1941, though sales did fall off toward the end of the 1st Generation. While more than 344,000 of the revolvers were made from 1873 to 1922, in the last 18 years of production there were only about 13,000 made. This is one of the very last of the 1st Generation, made in 1938 and with a serial number in the last couple thousand made before the United States entered WWII.

This example is in Very Good condition, appearing to have seen some use but retaining a great bore and the majority of its original finish. Chambered for .38-40 Winchester, the revolver comes with a more recently produced cylinder which doesn’t appear to have seen much if any use. This is a neat example of the late 1st Generation SAA and would make a great addition to a Colt collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

Late Colt 1st Gen Single Action Army SAA 5 1/2" .38-40 Revolver, 1938 C&R
Late Colt 1st Gen Single Action Army SAA 5 1/2″ .38-40 Revolver, 1938 C&R