May 18, 2022 Extraordinary Firearms
Search By:
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/18/2022
3 skeletonized or cut-away pre-War Colt Single Action Army revolvers produced by the Colt factory are known. 2 of these revolvers were presented to the U.S. Ordnance Department as gifts from Colt. The first of the 3 guns, serial number 15407 was martially marked and presented by General W.B. Franklin U.S.A (Ret.), Colt's Vice President & General Agent to Lt. Colonel James G. Benton Commanding Officer of the U.S. Ordnance Dept. on March 12, 1875, expressly as a gift for the National Armory Museum. The second was a later "civilian" model, serial number 330968, and is now part of the Colt collection of the Connecticut State Library. The third skeleton or cut-away revolver being offered in this lot is the only 1 of 3 to be in private hands and has been in respected Colt Collector Dick Burdick's collection for the past 38 years. This revolver was made up for the Ordnance Department, by Colt, using non-serial-numbered components, including the frame. It is believed to have been an add-on revolver to the 400 repaired SAAs which were shipped to the Ordnance Dept. on January 31, 1896. This revolver was shipped without charge and thus not counted. Mr. Kenneth Moore, well-known co-author of the definitive book "A Study of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver" in his analysis of this revolver, found the entry in Colt's ledgers showed there actually were 401 revolvers delivered on January 31, 1896, while the ledgers accounted for only 400 as being repaired on this date. The entry for the 401st revolver was accounted for by 6 dashes (------), being the typical way Colt entered "No Serial Number". Mr. Moore concluded that this special skeletonized revolver, without a serial number was this entry. Skeletonized revolver serial number 15407 was manufactured during the Indian War Cavalry revolver era and has a 7 - 1/2" barrel, while this unnumbered example was manufactured during the Artillery production, Spanish-American War era and has a 5 - 1/2" barrel. Other than barrel lengths the remaining features, most notably the patterns for the cut-outs showing internal mechanism and functions of the 2 revolvers are near identical. Our subject revolver is finished blue with case hardened frame and hammer. 5 - 1/2" barrel. Chambered in .45 LC cartridge. 1-piece oil-finished walnut grips. Barrel features an 11/16" wide cut-out located approximately 1/2" from the muzzle, exposing the bore and rifling. Left side of frame has multiple cut-outs exposing the barrel threaded to the frame, cylinder pin locking screw, trigger sear, and all functions of cocking and locking the cylinder into fire position. 2 cut-outs on left side of grip exposes hammer roller against the mainspring and the mainspring mounting screw. Cut-outs in the trigger guard provide an additional view of the trigger sear. Colt inspector mark "O" found inside the hammer slot. No assembly number found on loading gate or inside bottom of frame. 2-line, 3-patent dates found on left side of frame. 6-point star found on right side of trigger bow, indicating return to factory for some type repair. Barrel has a 1-line block letter address with "Co." (including period) and R.A.C. ordnance sub-inspector stamp for Rinaldo A. Carr. As expected, no "P" proof is found on barrel or cylinder. The barrel address along with the R.A.C. sub-inspection mark dates the barrel from 1900-1902, or early 1903. Knowing the revolver was delivered in 1896, the subject of factory return/rework is reasonable to conclude included replacement of the barrel. This revolver was featured in the September 1991 issue of Rampant Colt Magazine with an article by Kenneth Moore. It is also pictured on page 155 of the book "Cavalry & Artillery Revolvers, a Continuing Study" by John A. Kopec and H. Sterling Fenn. It is also pictured on color plate XXIX of the 30-year anniversary edition of "A Study of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver". This is a remarkable Colt revolver and piece of Colt history, however, what is equally as remarkable is the level of research conducted by Dick Burdick and Kenneth Moore which ultimately led to the conclusions stated in this description. Accompanying this rare Colt revolver is 48 pages of original letters and other documents mostly between Dick Burdick and other well-known Colt authorities/collectors spanning an 8-year period of research from 1984 to 1991. Most of these letters, 34 of which 23 are handwritten and from Kenneth Moore. It is an exhausting and relentless quest of discovering the facts pertaining to a beloved Colt Single Action Army revolver they knew was something special. CONDITION: Excellent overall with approximately 50% original blue remaining. The frame shows strong traces of original case color with the balance being a grey patina. Action is tight and crisp. Bore, as to be expected is unfired. Grips are excellent showing little wear. This should be considered a unique opportunity to acquire not only an exceedingly rare (the only 1 of 3 currently in private hands) version of the Colt Single Action Army revolver as much as a piece of Colt history. PROVENANCE: From the Dick Burdick collection. -MKS-
Barrel Length
5 - 1/2"
.45 Long Colt
FFL Status
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $18,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium:
Estimate: $35,000 - $70,000
Number Bids: 2
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
Email A Friend
Ask a Question
Have One To Sell

Auction Notepad


You may add/edit a note for this item or view the notepad:  

Submit    Delete     View all notepad items