NY State Militia Pre-1895 Issue Colt Model 1873 Cavalry .45 Revolver, 1890

SOLD FOR: $5,400

LSB#: 240313LC005

Make: Colt

Model: 1873 Cavalry Model Single Action Army

Serial Number: 133069

Year of Manufacture: 1890 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)

Caliber: .45 Colt

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 underside is marked “R.A.C.” and “P” in front of the cylinder pin head. Under the ejector housing, the barrel is marked “764” and “3069” in front of the frame as well as “K” behind the mounting stud. The outside of the cylinder is marked “3069”, “RAC” and “P”. The bottom of the frame at the front, the bottom of the trigger guard at the front and the butt are each marked “133069”. In front of the frame’s serial marking is “R.A.C”, behind the trigger guard’s serial marking is “K”, found again behind the serial marking on the butt. The butt is also marked “2 / SC / 37”. The hammer slot is marked “0”. The left of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871. / ” JULY. 2. -72 / ” JAN. 19. -75.” and “U.S”. The rear face of the loading gate has “1145” assembly number. The front face of the ejector housing has a tiny “K”. The right-rear of the frame, covered by the grip, is marked “K”. The backstrap inlet of the grip has “3069” hand-written. The left of the grip has a faded year marking over “script “SEB” in box cartouche, the bottom to the left of the butt is marked “R.A.C.”. the right of the grip has a more faded cartouche which appears to be script “RAC” in box. The right also has the crossed flags of the Second New York Signal Corps over rack number “37”.

Barrel Length: 7 1/2”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a thin quarter-round blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” groove in the top strap.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is a one-piece smooth walnut. The grip has scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. The Ordnance cartouches are worn, the Signal Corps marking is more clear. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grip is in Fine condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color

Finish Originality: Most remaining finish is Original, the hammer appears to have been refinished or replaced, the ejector housing mounting stud has been brazed in place on the barrel. We are unsure of the significance of the “764” marking on the barrel by its serial marking.

Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with sharp rifling. There is scattered minor erosion and some spots of light pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates about 7 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 50% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There are scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The barrel has some scattered finish wear and discoloration. There is finish wear along the ejector housing. The ejector housing’s mounting stud has been brazed in place. Most of the frame’s case color has muted, but there is some good color in protected areas. The handling areas are mostly worn to white, but there is some strong blue in the top of the backstrap and trigger guard. The action shows operational wear including a turn-line on the cylinder. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in Good-Very Good condition as Antique (see Mechanics).

Mechanics: The action clicks five times when the hammer is pulled back, the bolt is not properly disengaged when the hammer is at half-cock. To turn the cylinder, the hammer must be held manually part-way between the first and second “click”. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. The trigger is crisp. The cylinder locks with little 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: None.

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). This example retains strong mechanics, a nice bore for a revolver that would have seen use with black powder more than 130 years ago, and has matching serialized parts. Much of the original finish remains and the markings are in good shape apart from the cartouches on the grip.

Speaking of cartouches on the grip, this is a very interesting example of a Model 1873 Cavalry revolver as it has grip and grip frame markings indicating that it was issued to the New York State Militia, specifically to the Second Signals Corps. It has matching Signal Corps rack number on the grip and backstrap, 37, and appears to be a “pre-1895 issue” Militia gun with its original Arsenal inspection marks still quite clear. This is perfect for adding to your Colt or US Military small arms collection, and will take a prized place in a Single Action Army collection missing one of the NY Militia revolvers. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

NY State Militia Pre-1895 Issue Colt Model 1873 Cavalry .45 Revolver, 1890
NY State Militia Pre-1895 Issue Colt Model 1873 Cavalry .45 Revolver, 1890