Model 1873 Colt Single Action Army

1877 Indian Wars Era, Commercial, 99% Condition

Colt Factory Letter with Original 1954 Factory Recondition Work Order



This is an "Indian Wars Era" Commercial Purchase Colt Single Action Army revolver number 41315. It was manufactured in October, 1877 and according to the Colt Factory Letter, it was shipped to Schuyler, Hartley, and Graham - New York City, NY, on October 18, 1877, in a shipment of 50 guns.

Undoubtedly a private purchase, this revolver served in the Indian Wars likely protecting the owner and his family as they traveled West in the 1880'.  It served this purpose well for over 75 years, but daily use left it showing much wear and tear until in April of 1954, it was sent back to the Colt Factory for reconditioning.  Now over 130 years later, it remains in 99% condition as received back from Colt in July of 1954.

The "RARE" Original Colt Work Order (below) tells the complete history of the Revolver's reconditioning.  Received at the Colt factory on April, 19, 1954, the revolver was inspected and found to have many worn parts.  Although the original barrel length was 7-1/2", during the time from 1940 through 1956, Colt was no longer manufacturing the Colt Single Action Army model, and the only replacement barrel they offered was the 5-1/2" length.  The work order shows all the parts that were replaced, as well as the inspection, labor, and dual-tone refinishing costs.  You will note that the original walnut grips were not replaced in 1954, and these original one-piece "numbered" stocks remain in place today.  

Interesting, this revolver with its original work order, provides many details about the mystery of the 16 years of Colt's suspended production of the Single Action Army model.  For example, in the late 1940's, the company changed its name to Colt's Manufacturing Company.  The unique barrel address of this revolver shows this change, as well as its placement on the right side instead of the usual top of barrel location.  In 1955, the name was changed back to Colt's Patented Firearms Manufacturing Co.  Barrel address markings after 1955 were again located on top of the barrel.  The newly installed replacement cylinder, displays a "Colt Pony" stamp between the chambers, a feature which was to be adopted on future second generation Colts when production continued in 1956.  You will note that the replaced hammer has the high-nose, fixed concave firing pin, features only found of the very first 2nd generation Single Action Revolvers.

All serial numbers of this revolver are matching. The Frame, Trigger Guard, Grip Strap, Loading Gate, etc. are all correct as they were in 1877.  Also, the "174" bin number (drawer number shown on the work order) is also stamped on all the original parts.

Finally, the case colors of those revolvers that were sent back to Colt's for refinishing during the "between production" years, is the most vivid and colorful of any of the Colt Single Action Revolvers.  





Model and caliber designation on the left side of the barrel.


Colt's new factory name on the right side of the barrel.


Original 1877 Black Powder frame with Colt's unique, beautifully vivid 1954 case colors.


New 45 caliber cylinder shows very little wear.


New 45 caliber cylinder shows "Colt Pony" marking which was later adopted on the Second Generation Guns.


Unique ejection rod head is a hi-bred variation of the 1870's Cartridge Conversion type.



Original 5 digit Serial numbers remain on Frame, Trigger Guard, and Back Strap.


The "174" bin number is found stamped on all original parts, as shown here on the original Type II Ejector Housing.


Front sight is the wide blade type.


Sighting slot was modified by Colt to the square notch type to accommodate the new front sight blade.  

Original Hammer slot "B" inspector mark remains.


High Hammer nose with fixed concave firing pin is correct for this variation.


Original 1877 "3-line" patent dates remain on the left side front of the frame.



The original one-piece walnut grips were not replaced during the 1954 refurbish.  The matching serial number is still visible in the back-strap slot.  Note the perfect wood to metal fit, even after 131 years.


This original 1954 work order shows all the replaced parts and their costs.  

Interestingly, the Excellent Condition Collector Value was given as $150 for insurance.


   "A most detailed Authentication of a Colt's Single Action Revolver sent back to the factory for refurbishing."


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