Colt Model 1873 Single-Action Army Revolvers

This Colt SAA - serial number 89XXX - was manufactured in 1883. It has a 7-1/2" barrel, chambered for the .44-40 Caliber Winchester Center-Fire cartridge, black-powder-frame; wood stocks (grips); 3-line patent date; etched panel range. This revolver was originally factory nickel-plated, and was shipped to Schuyler, Hartley, and Graham in March of 1883. As with most of these shipped during that time, the nickel-plating has long since vanished.

The Colt Single-Action Army Revolver was originally designed with the US military in mind. They were all 7-1/2: barrel and chambered in the .45 Colt caliber. Approximately 24,000 of the first revolvers produced went to the military; civilian production began in earnest thereafter.
The early "black-powder-frame" single-action revolvers are easily recognized by the cylinder pin retaining mechanism. On the "old model" black-powder-cartridge frames, the cylinder pin is retained by a single screw in the front of the frame, below the barrel, forward of the cylinder (above); on the "new model" smoke-less powder-cartridge frames, the cylinder pin is retained by a spring-loaded cross-bolt through the side of the frame forward of the cylinder (below). This method was introduced circa 1892 but did not become standard until circa 1896. Colt did not actually gurantee their guns would hold up to the modern "smokeless" powders until circa 1900 (source - Flayderman's), so the terms used to distinguish the two styles are for approximate period and visual reference only. The actual transition period was between 1892 and 1896, approximately between serial numbers 144,000 and 163,000. The ejector head in these guns were of the round "bulls-eye" design, changing to a an oval "half-moon" style circa 1882-1884. Many older guns have been changed to this later style as a replacement.

These were truly the pistols that won the West!

This SAA was manufactured circa 1906. It has a 4-3/4" barrel and is chambered for the .41 Colt caliber. Old French Ivory (celluloid) grips, believed over 70 years old; not factory original. This gun was originally shipped to Arizona Hardware Company in 1906.

This SAA was manufactured circa 1901. It has a 4-3/4" barrel and is chambered for the .32-20 WCF caliber. This one has standard black checkered hard rubber grips. The b;ack hard rubber grip was first introduced in 1882 but with eagle motif; the style on this gun - the rampant Colt motif - became standard in 1896, as did the transverse cylinder pin (first introduced in 1892).

This SAA was manufactured circa 1902. It has a 4-3/4" barrel and is chambered for the .38-40 WCF caliber. This one has walnut grips, believed perhaps from an old 1860 Colt Army Percussion revolver. Wood grips were standard from 1873 to 1882.

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