Colt 1873 Single Action Army SAA .45 Revolver Artillery-Style 1880 Antique

SOLD FOR: $2,951

LSB#: 24320CC006

Make: Colt

Model: Single Action Army

Serial Number: 56045

Year of Manufacture: 1880

Caliber: .45 Long Colt

Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate

Barrel Length: 5 1/2”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the barrel above the muzzle. The rear sight is a square notch grooved into the top strap.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is a one-piece smooth wood aftermarket with markings that appear to be from an Italian replica. The grip shows light nicks, scratches, compressions and some minor handling and storage marks. There is a small chip at the bottom rear of the right side. There are no cracks. The grips are in Fine overall condition.

Type of Finish: Blue and Case Color

Finish Originality: Refinished. The serial markings are:

Trigger Guard: U43168, Backstrap: U43168, Barrel: NSN, Cylinder: Not legible

Bore Condition: The bore is bright, the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates a 9 or 10 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 93% of its metal refinish. The balance of the finish shows a turn line on the cylinder. There is thinning and wear on some leading edges and surfaces including the muzzle, ejector housing and cylinder flutes. There are a few spots of shallow erosion scattered throughout. The screw heads are lightly tooled. The markings are mostly clear except for worn/shallow markings on the left side of the frame. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good Plus condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks in each position with light play. We did not fire this firearm. We have cleaned this firearm and performed a mechanic’s check but expect many will want to clean the firearm again depending on their standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: This revolver appears to have started out life in 1880 as a Model 1873 Cavalry revolver and likely saw some use in the Indian Wars of the late 19th Century. It has since been assembled as an “Artillery Model”. Between 1900 and 1903, Colt altered and refinished 5,444 revolvers into “Artillery” models (5 ½” barrel). Per Kopec and Fenn, “A single Artillery revolver often will have parts from three or four different Cavalry revolvers”. The “Artillery” moniker is a collector’s term, as the modified revolvers were most notable for their issue to U.S. Artillery units in the Spanish-American war.

This particular revolver is an interesting amalgam with an aftermarket grip/grip frame, a 2nd generation SAA barrel, a non-serial marked cylinder and a non-matching loading gate. But at the very core, the antique first-generation SAA frame likely carries a very interesting century-plus history. All of the Colt 1st Generation revolvers are heavily collected, and this example has quite an interesting mix of parts, so it could serve as a source of parts for other SAAs as well as displaying well in your collection. Good luck in your bidding!

-J. Ren

Colt 1873 Single Action Army SAA .45 Revolver Artillery-Style 1880 Antique
Colt 1873 Single Action Army SAA .45 Revolver Artillery-Style 1880 Antique