This is a nice example of an early Colt Single Action Army Revolver in .45 Colt. Serial number is in the 72,000 range and comes with a Colt Factory letter verifying its configuration. It was shipped in Oct. 1881 to H&D Folsom of New York with 7 1/2" barrel, nickel finish, and early one-piece walnut grips. It has all matching numbers and matching sub-assembly numbers on the frame and loading gate. This gun looks identical to the Colt SAA Bob Ford is seen posing with across his lap following the assasination of Outlaw Jesse James in April 1882.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Fine+ to Excellent condition with 85% original nickel plating overall. The balance of finish was mostly due to flaking and had turned to a brown patina mainly in the cylinder flutes and along the front of the frame. When we found this gun, it was very close to being an attic gun...the 15% or so brown patina...gave it more of a dirty nickel appearance...which is something you either love or hate. We knew this was a great Colt but it just wouldn't sell so with a great deal of time and expense, decided to remedy anything we perceived as a cosmetic or mechanical flaw on this gun. For starters, the dark brown areas were carefully polished to bright in order to give the gun a more even appearance. Even though it only has 85% nickel, from a few feet away...you'd think it was 100%. The screws are the originals but after 125 years, were looking a bit tattered. They have since been straightened, carefully polished, and re-tempered their once- attractive original fire blued finish. Fire blued parts had a very fragile finish and usually wore away almost as soon as the gun was put in use. After these were re-fired, each screw was rubbed back slightly so that they politely compliment the gun without over-stating or contrasting to its overall appearance. The result is a very attractive original nickel gun with fire blue accents that really compliment the gun nicely while giving you a glimpse of what this Colt SAA probably looked like 100 years ago. Cylinder pin head is still a little tattered but like the screws, its original and we don't have the heart to replace it. The hammer on this gun was beautiful but several Colt experts notified us that is was a late 1st generation hammer that was probably an older replacement...with worn notches. Since this wasn't original...we felt no qualms in replacing it with a correct one. Well, after months of looking, we finally located a correct original early 1st generation hammer with the long checkered knurling. Its been re-notched so it works perfectly. This hammer matches the gun quite nicely and while it may not be "THE original" one that left the factory on this Colt, at least we now know it is "Correct" for the gun. Nice markings throughout with a perfect barrel address, 1871, 72, and 75 Patent dates on the frame, and tg marked 45 CAL. Very good walnut grips show light handling markings but no chips, cracks, or repairs. Note: I see no number pencilled on the inside of the grips but fit pretty well and look right to the gun.. Action has been completely rebuilt and works perfectly with all 4 clicks. The bore is Fine to Excellent with nice rifling...a few light pits here and there but still bright with no rings or bulges. About as nice of a bore as you will find on an early 1880's era black powder Colt. A nice correct example of an early Colt SAA from the "Wild West Era" with Factory letter!