One of the most sought-after variants of the iconic Colt Single Action Army is the first-generation model inspected by Henry Nettleton, U.S. Ordnance Department Principal Sub-Inspector in Charge at the time these guns entered U.S. service. These guns bear Nettleton's inspection initials on the left side of the hammer and trigger guard, unlike any other inspector. In total, it's estimated that Nettleton only inspected around 3,000 guns. In 2018, Rock Island Auction sold a Nettleton-inspected Colt Single Action Army for a realized price of $109,250. For all those Colt SAA enthusiasts who don't have six figures to spend on such a unique variant, there's the U.S. Cavalry 1873 Henry Nettleton Revolver now being offered by Cimarron Firearms.
The new gun pays homage to the unique elements of the Nettleton-inspected guns, having proof marks and Nettleton inspection stamps in the same fonts and locations as found on the originals. The overall layout of the 1873 Henry Nettleton Revolver hearkens back to the first-generation design of the Colt Single Action Army, having a 7.5" barrel, six-round cylinder and a .45 Colt chambering. The guns are finished with a case-hardened frame and hammer, blued barrel and ejector-rod housing, blued trigger guard and blued grip frame. An attractive pair of smooth walnut grips completes the package.
While the 1873 Henry Nettleton Revolver is aimed at those who appreciate the history behind this unique variant, the gun is also a great opportunity for fans of the Colt Single Action Army to get an authentic reproduction of the first generation of these revolvers introduced into U.S. service in the mid-1870s. Many of the original Nettleton-stamped guns were modified later for New York militia use, having had their barrels cut down and blued parts treated with a case-hardened finish. Despite those modifications, the guns still command a premium on the Colt collector's market. Meanwhile, the Cimarron Firearms U.S. Cavalry 1873 Henry Nettleton Revolver retails for just $697.34. For more information, visit cimarron-firearms.com.