Sold For: $3,101.00
Model: Frontier Six Shooter 1st Generation Intermediate Black Powder SAA – This pistol has the Frontier Six Shooter name acid etched on the left side of the barrel.
Serial Number: 69003
Year of Manufacture: 1881
Caliber: .44-40 Win. (.44 W.C.F.)
Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder
Markings: The left side of the barrel has a panel acid etched with “COLT FRONTIER SIX SHOOTER” and the underside of the barrel near the frame is marked “44”. The top of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F. A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.”. The left side of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871. / “ JULY.2.-72. / “ JAN. 19.-75.”. The underside of the frame at the grip frame and the grip frame just behind it are marked “69003”. The “6” in the frame has been overstamped over another “6”. The underside of the backstrap is marked “69 / 003”. The left side of the trigger guard is marked “44 CF”. The inside rear face of the loading gate is marked with the assembly number “3856”. The rear of the frame under the hammer is marked “H”. The rear face of the cylinder is un-marked, but normally the serial numbers were not marked on nickel guns after S/N 60,000, so this is not unusual.
Barrel Length: 7 ½”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a tall quarter-round 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 with a lacquered finish. The grip fits the frame well, and there are no marks in the grip. The grip rates in about Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: The revolver is nickel plated.
Finish Originality: The finish has been professionally restored sometime in the distant past.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 99% of its current metal finish. There are a few spots of pitting under the finish in the rear edge of the frame at the front of the right grip, on the right side of the frame in front of the cylinder, and on the underside of the frame and trigger guard at the serial numbers. The surfaces have taken-on a somewhat milky look with age, and also show light swirl marks. There is a very light scratch on the left side of the frame in front of the cylinder, a few light handling marks in the right side of the frame in front of the cylinder and a tiny ding below the hammer screw on the right side of the frame. There is also a tiny nick in the left edge of the top strap, another in the upper edge of the frame below the cylinder, and a ding in the left side of the frame below the cylinder window. There are a few very light handling marks in the front strap and backstrap. The cylinder does not show a drag line. The hammer knurling is disfigured. The screw heads are sharp and the markings are clear. However, the serial numbers are all shallow and at least one number has been overstamped. Overall, this revolver rates in about Fine condition as re-finished.
Mechanics: The action functions properly. The cylinder lock-up is SOLID on all six chambers. The hammer has ¼ and ½ cock safety positions. We did not fire this revolver.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: Winchester developed the .44-40 W.C.F. round for their Model 1873 rifle, and Colt offered in their Model 1873 pistols starting in1878, giving them the designation “Frontier Six Shooter”. From Wikipedia: “Settlers, cowboys and lawmen appreciated the convenience of being able to carry a single caliber of ammunition which they could fire in both pistol and rifle. In both law enforcement and hunting usage, the .44-40 became the most popular cartridge in the United States and to this day has the reputation of killing more deer than any other save the .30-30 Winchester. This is an Intermediate Black Powder Colt 1st Generation Frontier Six Shooter in .44-40 Win. with a 7 ½” barrel. The revolver has been professional restored in the distant past with a nickel finish. The serial numbers on the frame, trigger guard and backstrap are matching. This revolver is rare in that it has a panel on the left side of the barrel acid etched with “Colt Frontier Six Shooter”. This panel was only used on .44-40 chambered revolvers between S/N 41,000 and 129,000. The revolver is in about Fine condition as refinished with 99% of its finish remaining. The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion. This is a really nice looking pistol with a fantastic bore and a solid cylinder lock-up, and you really have to look close to see that it was refinished. The blackpowder framed Colts are very collectible, and this rare “Etched Panel” model certainly isn’t going to be an exception. There are dozens of variations of Colt SAA revolvers to collect between the three generations, blackpowder vs. smokeless frames, army marked vs. civilian, etc. making it almost impossible for the collector to obtain one of each, and making all of them desirable.