Colt US Model 1873 Cavalry Single Action Army SAA .45 Revolver 1879 Antique

SOLD FOR: $6,450

LSB#: 240313LC006

Make: Colt

Model: 1873 Cavalry Model Single Action Army

Serial Number: 51083

Year of Manufacture: 1879 (

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 “H.N.” and “P” in front of the cylinder pin head, and under the ejector housing is “1083” at the rear. The outside of the cylinder is marked “1083”, “H.N.” 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 “51083”. The trigger guard behind the serial marking and the top of the backstrap are each marked “H.N.”. The hammer slot is marked “C”. 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 “459” assembly number. There is no serial marking in the backstrap inlet, the left of the grip is stamped “1878” over a “JEG” cartouche, the right has a worn cartouche which is not legible, the bottom-left is stamped “H.N.”. The left of the hammer is marked “H.N.”.

Barrel Length: 7 1/2”

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

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is one-piece smooth walnut. The grip has light handling wear with more notable wear at the bottom on each side. There are scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches with some losses at the bottom edges. There is a repaired chip-loss at the bottom-front corner on the right. Overall, the grip is in Good-plus condition as Antique and not original to the gun.

Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is scattered light erosion and pitting in the bore with a few patches of more notable pitting. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 5 or 6 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 3% of its metal finish. There is some case color remaining on the hammer. Most surfaces have gone to a light patina with areas worn to white and some showing light polishing. There are scattered nicks and scratches. There are some spots of surface erosion. There is a notable ding on the left of the frame between the patent dates and “U.S.” marking. There are tool marks around some screw heads. The action shows operational wear including a turn-line on the cylinder. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with usable slots. The markings range from clear to worn, but legible. Overall, this revolver is in Good-Very Good condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks with minor play on each chamber. The trigger is crisp. 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 U.S. Cavalry model is from 1879, during a period when the revolvers were inspected by Henry Nettleton. As a matter of fact, according to Kopec and Fenn’s book, “Cavalry & Artillery Revolvers…a Continuing Study”, this is the very last revolver inspected by Nettleton! The gun shows wear consistent with its age and service. It has matching numbered metal parts, though the grip has been replaced. It does retain a more than decent bore given its age and use with black powder. This Nettleton inspected (the last!) Cavalry model will be a neat addition to any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

Colt US Model 1873 Cavalry Single Action Army SAA .45 Revolver 1879 Antique
Colt US Model 1873 Cavalry Single Action Army SAA .45 Revolver 1879 Antique