Documented Philippine Insurrection Colt SAA Artillery .45 Revolver, Antique

SOLD FOR: $3,825

LSB#: 240313LC008

Make: Colt

Model: U.S. Model of 1873, Single Action Army, “Artillery” Model

Serial Number: 9546

Year of Manufacture: 1874 (

Caliber: .45 Colt

Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder

Barrel Length: 5? (the barrel has been cut since its “Artillery” conversion)

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the front of the barrel. The front sight is not original to the gun or to “Artillery” conversion. The rear sight is a “V”-notch at the rear of a groove in the top strap.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is one-piece smooth walnut. The grip has losses at corners and a pair of long cracks in the left side. There is another crack at the bottom-front corner on the right. There are scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches. The wood is generally shy to the metal. Overall, the grips is in Fair-Good condition as refinished Antique.

Type of Finish: No finish remains.

Finish Originality: The revolver was refurbished when converted to “Artillery” configuration and has since seen modification. Numbered parts are matching, the cylinder’s serial marking is worn, but appears to match. Appropriate “A” Ainsworth inspection marks are on the backstrap, trigger guard, frame and barrel, “P” inspection marks on barrel and cylinder. The ejector is not original to the gun, some other small parts may be replacements.

Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is worn, but visible. There is erosion and pitting scattered through the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates about 4 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 0% of its metal finish. The metal surfaces have gone to a mottled light-moderate patina with scattered surface erosion. There are scattered nicks, scrapes and scratches. There are tool marks on and around the cylinder pin head and around most screw heads. There are cracks on each side of the hammer at the firing pin. The markings range from clear to worn and incomplete. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with usable slots. Overall, this revolver is in about Fair condition as Antique (see Mechanics).

Mechanics: We were not able to remove the cylinder pin to remove the cylinder. The cylinder can be pushed out of lock on each chamber when at full-cock and on two chambers when the hammer is dow. The trigger is crisp. 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: 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 is an interesting example of the “Artillery” model, the product of re-working by a U.S. Arsenal in 1898 and again later after it began its civilian life. Despite this extensive use, it retains serial matching parts to the best we could determine, the cylinder marking is worn and incomplete. The original arsenal refurbishment included cutting the barrel down to 5 1/2? from the original 7 1/2? and was performed in preparation for use in the Spanish-American War.

While it is not clear if this revolver saw use in the Spanish-American War, records available through the Springfield Research Service do indicate that this revolver was issued to the 32nd U.S. Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company E, on July 26, 1899. The 32nd participated in the United States conflict against the Philippine Army of Liberation and Company E was even involved in at least one notable skirmish. As recorded in Major James Craig’s thesis, “Federal volunteer regiment in the Philippine insurrection: the history of the 32nd Infantry (United States Volunteers), 1899 to 1901“:

The 32nd was reassigned to Brigadier General F.D. Grant’s brigade it was immediately ordered to relieve a besieged patrol of American scouts north of Angeles. The small patrol was completely cut off from friendly lines. It was under heavy fire and in danger of being overrun. Captain Granville Sevier, the E Company commander, led the rescue mission. Sevier and his soldiers fought their way up to besieged scouts and found that they had stumbled into a series of well-organized trench works. Although the fire was heavy, Captain Sevier quickly realized that it was not accurate and he led an open-order attack on the positions. The Filipinos were overwhelmed by the speed of 32nd attack and were pushed back behind their third line of works, over 500 yards to the rear. This action not only rescued the besieged patrol, but it routed a deliberate P.A.L. attack as well. Because of their aggressive and organized action, the 32nd took no casualties during this attack, its first major action in the Philippines. Colonel Craig later recommended Captain Sevier for promotion to brevet-major of volunteers for his “courage and coolness in command” of this relief mission.

Since then, the revolver has had the barrel cut back another 1/2″ and a new front sight installed. It shows its age, but is a documented piece of history and will make a great addition to any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

Documented Philippine Insurrection Colt SAA Artillery .45 Revolver, Antique
Documented Philippine Insurrection Colt SAA Artillery .45 Revolver, Antique