SOLD FOR: $3325
Model: Frontier Six Shooter
Serial Number: 51656
Year of Manufacture: 1879 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .44-40 Winchester
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 “V”-notch in the top strap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is one-piece smooth bone. The material shows some discoloration and there are open grain lines on the bottom face. The grip is generally shy to the frame. There are some small nicks and scratches. Overall, the grip is in Very Good condition as Antique and not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: No finish remains.
Finish Originality: The surfaces show signs of cleaning, but we don’t see any evidence of a new finish being applied. The serialized parts are matching, including the barrel and cylinder.
Bore Condition: The bore is dark with well defined rifling. There is even light-moderate erosion through the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 5 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 0% of its metal finish. The surface have worn or been cleaned to white or have gone to a light patina. There is some scattered minor surface erosion, more notable on the right of the frame and on the loading gate. There are some nicks and scratches. The head of the cylinder pin has notable tool marks. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with usable slots. Most markings range from clear to worn but legible, the etched panel is shallow and faint. The “44 CF” caliber marking on the left of the trigger guard is double-struck. Overall, this revolver is in Good-Very Good condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The timing is correct and the cylinder locks up light play on all six chambers. The cylinder has a removable bushing. The trigger is crisp. We did not fire 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 Colt Historian letter which indicates that this revolver shipped May 2, 1879 to H&D Folsom Arms Company in New York, New York as one of 12 guns of the same type in the shipment.
Our Assessment: Colt’s Single Action Army revolver is the iconic sidearm of the cowboy, lawman, and outlaw. Originally introduced in Colt’s .45 caliber, the demand for a revolver compatible with Winchester’s cartridges for their 1873 led to the introduction of the Frontier Six Shooter, essentially just a SAA chambered for the Winchester cartridge. This example is a 1st generation Frontier Six Shooter produced in 1879. It has the classic 7 1/2″ barrel, black-powder style frame with the cylinder pin retained by a screw, and etched-panel barrel. The revolver shows its age, but retains a decent bore for a gun which likely saw exclusive use with black powder over the last 140+ years and still retains strong mechanics. This will make a fine addition to any Colt revolver collection, especially with the included Colt letter. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud