I offered this revolver some time ago, but it didn’t quite make the reserve. I have lowered the reserve and added a buy it now option. It is also for sale elsewhere, and subject to sale in that venue.
This is an interesting early production Single Action Army Colt revolver in .44-40 caliber. The serial number puts this revolver in the 1879/1880 time frame, and it has the black powder frame, using the forward facing screw for the base pin. Oddly, this barrel measures 6 inches, a non standard length, and it is also a smoothbore barrel, with no rifling.
I obtained this gun from an 80 year old woman who told me it had been her grandfather’s, and had been "made for shooting rattlesnakes off the back of a train". This is an old railroad town, and I can imagine there once was a need to remove snakes without shooting up the train. In addition to snake control, circus and rodeo performers often used smooth bore SAAs, with shot shells widely available at the time, to prevent damage to circus tents during performances. Their common usage led to the development of the 44XL round, a dedicated shot shell designed for weapons chambered in .44-40.
This gun still retains areas of nickel finish, which I believe to be original. The barrel stamping, and patent dates are still very legible, as is the caliber marking on the trigger guard. There is no "Frontier Six Shooter" marking visible on the barrel. There is no dishing around the screw holes, and all edges are sharp. All component serial numbers match, even the loading gate, on which the numbers never seem to match, does shows the number 351, and these are the first 3 in the actual serial number, just wrong order. Maybe they started to stamp too far to the right, and had to go back and put the 3rd number on the left.
This gun was no pampered safe queen, and was well used. There are many small nicks overall, and the right grip is missing a piece as can be seen. The areas that have lost their nickel plating have a brown or gray patina. The base pin and its screw are period replacements. The cylinder fits well on the base pin, rotates fine when the hammer is cocked, and has good chambers with minor pitting in a few. To be a shooter, the hammer will need repair, as the half and full cock notches will not hold as is common on these old revolvers. Also, the bore is also dark and somewhat rough.
I have provided many detailed photographs for you inspection, and they are considered an important part of the description, but still, all questions are most welcome. Just please ask all questions before bidding. I have sold many items on eBay, and have hundreds of happy customers there. Please fell free to check my feedback there.
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