Unique Ainsworth Inspected Colt Cavalry Single Action Army Revolver – Photographed in the Kopec Book!

Make: Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co.
Model: 1st Generation Single Action Army, Black Powder Frame
Serial Number: 7387
Year of Manufacture: 1874
Caliber: .45 Colt
Action Type: Single Action with Side Loading-Gate Cylinder
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. Co. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.” The bottom of the barrel is marked “P” and “A”. The underside of the frame, trigger guard, backstrap and the cylinder are marked “7387”. The top of the backstrap and bottom of the trigger guard are marked “P”. The cylinder is marked “A” and “P”. The loading gate assembly number is marked “540”.
Barrel Length: 7 ½”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “U” groove milled into the top strap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The two piece smooth walnut grip is a replacement. The grip was made in the 1880s and the left panel bears the inspection mark of Captain Frank Heath, who served within the 111,000 through 117,000 serial number range. The right panel displays a faint cartouche of David F. Clark, and his initials appear on the butt of the left panel. The grips have been sanded and refinished and fit a little shy on the backstrap. Both front corners at the butt are absent, a cluster of deep compression marks are visible on the butt of the left panel and a significant compression mark is evident on the left panel above the cartouche. Scattered handling marks are present on the grip which rates in about Very Good overall condition as refinished.
Type of Finish: Blue with Case Colored Frame
Finish Originality: Very little original finish remains.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is shallow erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 10% of its metal finish. Scattered compression marks are visible, commensurate with a pistol of this age and experience. The remaining finish and bare metal have developed a dark patina. The cylinder appears to have had cold blue applied to it many years ago and traces of that can be observed. The screw heads are only mildly deformed. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fine to Excellent condition as antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and the cylinder lock up has minor play. We did not fire this handgun. The old style main spring has no hammer roller channel which is typical of early production Single Action Army revolvers. The first style ejector tube has been modified so that the ejector rod and head are removable without being dissembled. The hammer checkering more consistent with 1880s production, but according to Kopec, is likely correct to the pistol.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol is accompanied by a letter of authentication from John A. Kopec, author, historian, collector and former President of the Colt Collectors’ Association. This pistol was pictured and discussed on pgs. 322 and 323 in “A Study of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver” by Graham, Kopec & Moore.
Our Assessment: This is a rare chance to own an unusual, documented Colt Single Action Army. The pistol was previously owned by former Colt Collectors’ Association Present and author Les Quick and is accompanied by an authentication letter sent to him by author and historian John A. Kopec. This pistol is an oddity because it possesses no markings on the left side of the frame, an error of omission by the Colt factory, whose responsibility it was to stamp the patent dates and “U.S.” markings on Cavalry pistols while they were in the polished “soft” state before finishing. This pistol was manufactured in 1874, during the second year of production and was sub-inspected by O.W. Ainsworth. Though the exact serial number could not be located in the archives, pistols which were produced during the same timeframe with neighboring serial numbers were issued to the 5th Cavalry as early as August 1875. If this pistol was issued with that lot of revolvers, it would likely have seen service in the Arizona Territory Apache Wars. The grips are later replacements and display the initials and a faint inspection stamp of Ordnance Sub-Inspector David F. Clark and the cartouche of Captain Frank Heath, who is associated with pistol of a much later serial number range produced in the 1880s. The first style ejector was modified to allow removal of the ejector rod and head without disassembly. The hammer checkering is more typical of later production models, but not unseen in earlier models and the main spring is the early style with no roller channel. The mechanics function perfectly and the metal surfaces are very well preserved, with 10% of the original finish remaining. The pistol is in Fine to Excellent condition and with the rare marking omission and letter of authenticity this is a one of a kind addition to a high end Colt collection.

Unique Ainsworth Inspected Colt Cavalry Single Action Army Revolver - Photographed in the Kopec Book!

Unique Ainsworth Inspected Colt Cavalry Single Action Army Revolver – Photographed in the Kopec Book!