Favorite Firearms: A Mystery Colt Single Action Army

by
posted on May 25, 2024
Colt Single Action Army

Perusing an expired paper-edition Gun List several years ago, I came across an ad for this old 1880-1881 Colt Single Action Army. Can’t remember what I paid, but at that time, it was too cheap to believe it was still for sale. I believe it now to be a .44-40 Win. etched-panel gun, which, at the time, was basically unknown to me. I just wanted what I thought was a Colt SAA from what I considered to be the prime 1880-1881 cowboy years.

The revolver has a blackpowder screw frame with a bullseye ejector rod. The bore is surprisingly bright with heavy rifling, all the numbers match and the action is very tight. There is a noticeably darkened area of etched panel. The seller stated that it looked like it had ivory stocks, but he was sure they were plastic. I couldn’t believe anyone would custom-carve plastic stocks, and I was convinced they were authentic ivory—which it turns out they were. Upon its arrival, I was understandably ecstatic at my good fortune.

I’d love to track down and find out any information on the law-enforcement officer/sheriff carved into the stocks, but I figure that 140 years later, that info is probably lost to the ages, though it does seem to have a recognizable look to it. Unfortunately, I made an amateur’s mistake of changing out the ejector housing that was slightly damaged for a better one … oh well! Probably damaged from a buffaloing arrest. It’s truly an “if only it could speak” Colt!

—Ron Bellville

Latest

Bumps
Bumps

Supreme Court Overturns Bump Stock Ban

In a 6-3 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a standing ban on bump stocks is unlawful.

Gun Of The Week: Davidson’s Exclusive Springfield SA-35 & Knife Combo

Join American Rifleman staff this week on the range with a unique Davidson's Exclusive package from GalleryofGuns.com: the Springfield SA-35 High Power and matching Civivi EDC knife.

The Armed Citizen® June 14, 2024

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Almost Portable: The German MG08/15

The MG08/15 was not a good design for a “light machine gun,” but it was a design that was available when it was needed, and it was the first step in the German progression toward a universal machine gun.

Gun Industry Taxes Paid $17 Billion Toward Wildlife Conservation Since 1937

The National Shooting Sports Foundation announced in May 2024 that firearm and ammunition manufacturers have paid more than $17 billion in excise tax contributions to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund (WRTF) since its inception in 1937.

Rifleman Review: Silencer Central Banish 46 Suppressor

One of the most versatile options in Silencer Central's own line of suppressors is the Banish 46, rated for use on rifles chambered for .458 Win. Mag. or less.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.