SOLD FOR: $3825
Model: Single Action Army, 3rd Generation
Serial Number: 98743SA
Year of Manufacture: 1978
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 grips have no notable wear or damage on the exterior, only light handling marks. The interior of the right panel shows adhesive around the screw escutcheon. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Excellent condition as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Nickel
Finish Originality: Refinished, most likely at the time of engraving.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 10 out of 10.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 97% of its current metal finish. There is some patterned scuffing along the right of the topstrap and some scuffing on the bottom-right of the barrel in front of the ejector housing. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in Fine-plus condition as refinished.
Mechanics: The action functions properly. The trigger is crisp. The cylinder locks up with barely perceptible 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 “Stagecoach” Colt box with manual (not original to the gun). A Colt Archives letter is included which states that this revolver shipped April 26, 1978 to Roskin Brothers Inc. in Middletown, New York as the only gun of its 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 3/4”, 5 1/2” and 7 1/2”, 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. Additionally, 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 neat one to add to any collection. As well as being iconic for its use by military, law enforcement, and frontier settlers, the Single Action Army has also served as the canvas for some of the most beautiful firearms engraving in America. Manufactured in 1978, this revolver has been extensively engraved, given a new nickel finish, and furnished with an attractive set of grips. With a 7 1/2? barrel, chambered for .44 Special, and its customization, this is a gorgeous Single Action Army chambered for a classic cartridge suitable for addition to any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud