SOLD FOR: $5000
Model: Single Action Army
Serial Number: 112203
Year of Manufacture: 1885 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .45 Colt, Black Powder
Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder
Barrel Length: 4 3/4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch in the top of the topstrap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is a “one-piece” (actually two panels adhered to a center wood piece) bone with a carved steer’s head on the right side. The grip shows discoloration from age and handling with some grain lines opening up, mostly on the bottom face. The steer’s head has what appears to be red pain in some recesses. Overall, the grips are in Very Good-plus condition as Antique and not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Nickel
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is gray, the rifling is generally well defined. There is scattered erosion and pitting in 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 87% of its current metal finish. There is scattered flaking at edges, most notable at the muzzle and the front of the cylinder. There is some scattered bubbling, mostly in the cylinder flutes. Most areas of finish loss show oxidation. The nickel finish is slightly cloudy. There are scattered nicks and scratches with tool marks on and around the cylinder pin head. The action shows operational wear including a turn-line on the cylinder. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with usable slots. The markings range from clear to worn and incomplete. Overall, this revolver is in Very Good-plus condition as refinished Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. Lockup produces light play on all six chambers. 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 a Colt Archives letter which indicates that it shipped March 6, 1885 to Schoverling, Daly & Gales in New York, NY as one of 12 guns of the same type in the shipment. The revolver shipped as a .45 caliber, 4 3/4″ barrel with nickel finish.
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. Produced for nearly a century and a half, they are still being made, today!
This example is a 1st Generation Single Action Army made in 1885. It is in Very Good-plus condition as refinished Antique, showing honest wear consistent with its age. The revolver retains serial-matching parts, but has been refinished and furnished with a new grip. Any 1st Generation SAA would make a great addition to a Colt collection, and this late 19th Century example should be no exception. It is also interesting to note that it originally shipped to Schoverling, Daly & Gales in New York, better known to firearms collectors as the company behind the Charles Daly brand. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California -Bud