Unique Colt Engraving Sampler Single Action Army SAA .44 Special Revolver

SOLD FOR: $7,525

LSB#: 240104HE002

Make: Colt

Model: Single Action Army, 3rd Generation, Factory Engraving Sampler

Serial Number: SA27592

Year of Manufacture: 1991 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup), ATF C&R

Caliber: .44 Special

Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder

Barrel Length: 5 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 pearl panels  with nickel Colt Custom Shop 150th medallions. The right panel has a grain-line crack on the bottom face. The grips otherwise have only light handling marks. Overall, the grips are in Fine condition.

Type of Finish: Nickel

Finish Originality: Original

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 99% of its metal finish. There is no notable wear or damage, only light handling marks. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in Excellent condition.

Mechanics: The action functions properly. The cylinder locks up with very minor 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 Colt display case with lock and a Colt Archives letter. The letter indicates that this revolver was produced in its current configuration and shipped to “Armsmear II” in Anaheim, California. Unfortunately, there appears to be a typo on the letter and an exact date of shipment is not listed. We have contacted Colt Archives to request a complete letter and will update the listing if it arrives before the auction closes.

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 ¾”, 5 ½” and 7 ½”, finishes of full nickel or blue, with color case hardened frame, and grips of hard rubber.

There have also been some limited production runs with a variety of features, and this is a very interesting example. It is an Engraving Sampler, having Type B scroll engraving in a variety of styles, engraved by Colt Master Engraver Denise Thirion. The backstrap and trigger guard are engraved in the style of Richard Henshaw, the cylinder in the style of Lois Nimschke, the frame in the style of Cuno Helfricht, and the barrel and ejector rod are in the Contemporary style. There are two other features of note in the letter. First, the Engraving Sampler edition revolvers were furnished with scrimshawed ivory stocks, marked with the engraving styles. This revolver is the only one of the edition to be supplied from the factory with pearl stocks. The second interesting tidbit in the letter helps explain the first, the revolver was shipped to “Armsmear II” in Anaheim, California. Named after Samuel Colt’s family home in Hartford, Connecticut. Armsmear II was used as a moniker by Albert Brichaux, a prolific Colt collector and a contributor to Don Wilkerson’s book on post-war Single Action Army revolvers.

The Engraving Sampler edition is highly collected by fans of engraved Colts, and this one is in a unique factory configuration. Any engraved Single Action Army, especially a nickel-finished .44 Special, would take a prized place in a collection. This extremely rare and documented revolver will add to even advanced collections and will display well with the included case. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

Unique Colt Engraving Sampler Single Action Army SAA .44 Special Revolver
Unique Colt Engraving Sampler Single Action Army SAA .44 Special Revolver