This is a very scarce and often overlooked Colt Model 1892 Double Action Revolver. This one is blued with a 4-1/2" barrel in desirable .41 COLT. This is one of only a handful of Model 1892 Revolvers I've seen in its first original form. Serial number is in the earliest commercial range at just over 11,000 and was made the first year offered to the public, 1893.
History: The Colt Double Action Model 1892 was the successor to the Model 1889 Double Action which had been Colt's first revolver featuring a swing-out cylinder. Both the United States Navy and the Army were interested in the new design but as it was unproven, the Army decided to hold back and let the Navy be the first to order them. It turned out to be a wise move because it didn't take the Navy very long to figure out that the lack of a cylinder stop on Model 1889 was a serious drawback. Colt went back to the drawing board and this is where the Model 1892 comes into the picture, now much improved with cylinder stops. The Army now stepped forward, ordering the first 8,000 Model 1892's. Colt skipped over the next 2,000 serial numbers and started offering the Model 1892 on the civilian market around serial number 10,000 in 1893. The civilian version was just like the military version only it was offered in several different barrel lengths, both .38 and .41 Colt, the choice of nickel or blued finish, and came standard with checkered hard rubber grips rather than walnut as issued to the military. However, it wasn't long before reports started coming back from the Army that there was a new potential problem with the Model 1892. Someone noticed that the revolver could still be fired when the cylinder latch was not completely locked in placed which meant there was potential that the gun could be discharged with the cylinder slightly out of battery...or in other words, the chamber of the cylinder was not aligned correctly to the barrel. While this was somewhat unlikely, the haste in which a gun might be reloaded in military action made this a possibility. So once again, Colt went back to the drawing board to remedy this. The end result was a simple device placed behind the latch that blocked the hammer from fully cocking when the latch wasn't fully closed. You will see this little device on most Colt DA revolvers as there is a screw that holds the device just beneath the latch on the left side of the frame. Colt and Springfield ended up installing this little device on about 7,700 of the original 8,000 Model 1892 Army Revolvers shipped to the military with all future orders to the government having it from the factory. This was deemed the Model 1894 by the Army but not at first on the commercial guns which started getting the new latch/block device starting around serial number 12,000-13,000. That means that a couple thousand of the early commercial 1892's got out the front door of Colts without the hammer block. This particular revolver is in the 11,000 range is one of the few early ones you'll find without the improvement.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Fine+ with 80% original blue that is worn to silver on the grip straps and high spots and a few scratches, dings and blemishes. The screws, trigger, and rear profile of the hammer still show portions of their original Colt nitre bluing. Serial number is located on the bottom-strap between the grips with 100% all matching numbers on the cylinder, inside of frame, swing-out arm, latch, barrel, right side plate, and on the inside of both grips. Top of barrel has the correct early 1884 and 1888 patent dates. Left side of barrel marked Colt D.A. 41 for .41 COLT. Rampant Colt in a circle on left side of frame. As mentioned above, there is no screw or hole ever drilled for the hammer block improvement...rare and correct for an early 1st year production commercial Model 1892. Grips have the desirable Rampant Colt with the "1892" designation. They would be in Excellent condition except for two small chips at the bottom rear corners of each panel. The 1892 marked grips are not common and since are they are numbered to the gun, should not be replaced. I believe we've come up with a concept to repair these chips to a very high standard using original gutta percha material. If the asking price is met and customer-willing, I will have these fixed free of charge. The mechanics on the gun are good as both double and single action work. Cylinder and latch are VERY tight. Bore is very good. Nice example of a rare and historic early 1892 Colt Double Action that is the grandfather to the modern American double action revolver.