Bernard Bernie Wolfe Engraved Colt SAA 4 3/4″ .38-40 WCF Revolver, 1901 C&R

SOLD FOR: $4,887.99

LSB#: 231013RH004

Make: Colt

Model: Single Action Army, 1st Generation

Serial Number: 207527

Year of Manufacture: 1901 (

Caliber: .38 WCF (.38-40 Winchester Center Fire)

Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F. A. MFG. Co. / HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.”. The left of the barrel is marked “38 W.C.F.”. The left of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871. / JULY 2. 72. JAN 19. 75.”. The bottom of the frame is marked “207527”, found again on the bottom of the trigger guard. The butt of the grip frame is marked “207 / 527”. The fronstrap is engraved “Wolfe” at the bottom. There is Western-style decorative engraving on the barrel, cylinder, grip frame and frame.

Barrel Length: 4 3/4″

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 and Condition: The grips are “one-piece” with two panels adhered to a center piece. The right panel is scrimshawed with steer’s head. Per the consignor, this scrimshaw was performed by Bernie Wolfe. The grip has only a few scattered minor marks. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Excellent condition as not original to the gun.

Type of Finish: Silver-Plate

Finish Originality: Refinished, Original to engraving.

Bore Condition: The bore is gray with generally well defined rifling. There is some scattered erosion and pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 6 or 7 out of 10.

Many military and C&R-eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 97% of its current metal finish. The finish is generally strong throughout. There is infrequent minor wear, most notable at the front of the ejector housing. There is some scattered yellowish residue from some sort of grease or clear-coat applied over the surfaces, most wiped off easily. There is infrequent minor surface erosion under the finish, most notable at the top of the backstrap. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in Fine-Excellent condition as custom engraved.

Mechanics: The consignor asserts that the revolver has not been cocked since engraving, so we elected not to perform a full function check. The cylinder is currently locked up with barely perceptible play. 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 with a signed letter from author Rick Hacker detailing his history with the revolver.

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!

Everyone should have a Colt Single Action Army, and this would be a beauty to add to any collection. It has gorgeous engraving from Bernard “Bernie” Wolfe. Wolfe was born a Canadian, but after apprenticing as an engraver there, he came to America where he worked for decades as an engraver. He eventually moved to El Paso, Texas so that he could engrave single action revolvers in the Old West. His skill is quite evidence in this piece, having Western-style engraving with a couple of interesting touches. Perhaps most notable is the scrimshaw grip has been installed. Per the consignor, Rick Hacker, this is one of very few if not the only scrimshaw grip every performed by Mr. Wolfe. Perhaps even better for the collector, this revolver comes from the collection of noted gun writer, NRA Field Editor and winner of the John T. Amber Literary Award, Rick Hacker. A signed letter from Mr. Hacker is included with some more information about the revolver.

The pistol’s high condition, beautiful engraving, and silver finish will make it suitable for addition to any collection, but it is also chambered for a classic Winchester cartridge and would display well with a companion Winchester carbine. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Bernard Bernie Wolfe Engraved Colt SAA 4 3/4" .38-40 WCF Revolver, 1901 C&R
Bernard Bernie Wolfe Engraved Colt SAA 4 3/4″ .38-40 WCF Revolver, 1901 C&R