SOLD FOR: $3526
Model: Single Action Army, 3rd Generation
Serial Number: SA27001
Year of Manufacture: 1979, shipped February 1980.
Caliber: .44 Special
Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder
Barrel Length: 7 1/2”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a quarter round blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a square groove in the top strap.
Stock Configuration and Condition: The grips are two-piece smooth bone panels with silver-colored Colt medallions. The inside of each panel is stamped with “Hand Crafted For / Colt Firearms” in blue ink. The exterior of the grips have only light handling marks. There is some sort of repair on the interior of the right panel at the screw escutcheon. The grips appear in Excellent condition and rate Very Good overall condition as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Nickel
Finish Originality: Refinished at the time of engraving. The left of the grip frame is engraved “WC ENG”, but we have not been able to identify the engraver.
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is erosion in the bore, but there is some stubborn fouling in the forcing cone. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates about 9 out of 10.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 98% of its current metal finish. The action shows faint operational wear and there are a few scattered minor marks. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Excellent condition as refinished.
Mechanics: The action functions properly. The cylinder locks up with little play on each chamber. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This revolver comes in a custom wood display case with the serpent Colt logo on the lid and a 12-round cartridge block on the interior. Also included is a Colt Archives letter detailing the original configuration of the revolver as well as its shipment to Ellett Brothers in Chapin, South Carolina on February 22, 1980 as one of 21 revolvers of the same type in the shipment.
Our Assessment: In 1974, Colt quietly discontinued production of the single Action Army; this would be the second time they discontinued production of this glorious revolver. Luckily, the loyal fans of the SAA would not need to wait long as colt would bring back the SAA in 1976 as the “3rd Generation”. Changes were made but the basic SAA was the same, i.e. three standard barrel lengths of 4 ¾”, 5 ½” and 7 ½”, finishes of full nickel or blue, with color case hardened frame, and grips of hard rubber.
Some changes were incorporated in an effort by Colt to keep prices down. One new change was a pressed-in cylinder pin bushing instead of the removable ones used in 1st and 2nd Generation cylinders. Also, the ratchet at the rear of the cylinders was re-shaped, which also necessitated a different shape on the rotating hand. And for some unknown reason, the pitch of the barrel’s threads was changed from the 20 threads per inch (TPI) as used on 1st and 2nd Generation SAAs to 24 TPI for these new ones. Toward the end of 2nd Generation production Colt had begun using some investment cast parts, but the frames continued to be forged. The introductory caliber for 3rd Generation SAAs was .45 Colt, but other chamberings would soon follow, including .44 Special.
Everyone should have a Colt Single Action Army, and this would be a beauty to add to any collection. Manufactured in 1979, this revolver was originally shipped as a standard 7 1/2″ chambered for .44 Special. It has since been custom engraved, given a new nickel finish, and has been equipped with an attractive set of grips. The pistol’s configuration and chambering by themselves would make it quite suitable for addition to a collection, but its customization and included case will make it a gorgeous piece to display. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California -Bud