SOLD FOR: $7000
Model: Custom Frontier Six-Shooter, Single Action Army
Serial Number: 105306
Year of Manufacture: 1887 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
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”. The bottom of the frame at the front, the bottom of the trigger guard at the front and the butt are each marked “105306”. 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 “3024” assembly number. The left of the trigger guard is marked “45 CAL”. The revolver has extensive foliate scroll engraving with punch-dot fills, Western-style checkerboard, border and sunburst motifs.
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 bone. The grip has a spot of blue discoloration on the left at the bottom and there are a few scattered minor marks. There are some grain lines on the bottom face of the grip. Overall, the grip is in Fine condition as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Silver Plate with Fire-Blue Trim
Finish Originality: Refinished, the finish is original to the time of engraving. The barrel, cylinder and trigger guard are not original to the gun Some other parts may be replaced.
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with sharp rifling. There is some scattered light erosion and infrequent minor pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates about 7 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 85% of its current metal finish. The silver plate is generally strong with some areas showing discoloration common to old silver plate. The most notable finish loss is on the ejector housing, there is some on the interior of the frame around the cylinder and some scattered more minor spots of finish loss. Areas of finish loss do show some minor oxidation. There are some minor nicks, small scratches and minor scuffing. The action shows operational wear including turn wear on the cylinder. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in Fine-plus condition as custom Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger is crisp. The cylinder locks with minor 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 custom french-fit display case and a Colt Archives letter. The letter indicates it shipped April 6, 1887 to Andrews & Hills in El Paso, Texas as the only gun of its type in the shipment. The original configuration was a .44/40, blue, 7 1/2″ with wood grips.
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). It was also the canvas on which some of the most beautiful American art of the 19th century was created with engravers showcasing their talents on a functional, three-dimensional piece to make it as beautiful as it was useful.
Any of the 1st Generation Single Action Army revolvers are collectible, and this example should be no exception. Originally shipped as a “Frontier Six-Shooter” chambered for the .44 Winchester cartridge, it has been converted to .45 Colt with a new barrel, cylinder, and caliber-marked trigger guard which has been force-matched to the frame. In addition to this conversion, it has been extensively and quite skillfully engraved, given a new silver-plate finish with fire-blue on the screw heads and base pin, and equipped with an attractive grip. The revolver comes in a nice purple fabric-lined display case that accentuates the new finish and grip. The result is not just a wonderful Antique revolver, but also a piece of art that will display well in any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud