Interesting early production Colt Model 1892 New Army Revolver. This is one of the only Model 1892's we've ever come across in its earliest form without the safety block device. It's an early commercial model with nickel finish, checkered hard rubber grips, and a target front sight. Serial number is in the 10,000 range which dates its production to 1893...the first year the 1892 was commercially available.
The 1892 was an improvement over the Model 1889...ordered by the US Navy but not the Army...as it had cylinder stops....something lacking in its predecessor. The first 8,000 Model 1892's were ordered by the US Army and all went well for a while until someone figured out that the gun could be discharged with the cylinder slightly out of position. The Army quickly notified Colt of the potential problem and Colt quickly came up with a solution. A small device was installed under the cylinder latch which obstructed the hammer until the latch was fully closed and locked in position. The Army had the Springfield Armory and Colt install the new devices on all its 1892's with the exception of 200-300 which slipped through the cracks. Starting in 1893, Colt began to offer the Model 1892 on the commercial market. Serial numbers for the civilian 1892's started at 10,000. During the Army's call for a solution to the latch problem, or perhaps just before it was noticed, there were about 2,000 commercial model 1892's that slipped out the door. 2,000 is the number I've heard from other collectors so this isn't cast in stone. My guess is these were around the 10,000-12,000 range. Once Colt came up with the improvement, the new device was installed on all the later Model 1892's....above the 12,000 range. We recently had an 1892 in the 14,000 range that did have the safety block.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Excellent with 94% original nickel with most of the loss confined to the gripstraps. Looking at this revolver closely, I believe this Colt went back to the factory just after the turn of the 20th century for a rebuild as there is a small "5" on the left side of the trigger guard...possibly indicating the workman who performed the work. The barrel has the 1884, 1888, and 1895 patent dates indicating this barrel was installed sometime after 1893. It also has a target front sight which is unusual. The latch was also replaced as it is unnumbered and has an early 20th century borderless checkering pattern. Curiously, Colt never installed the safety block device during the rebuild. Grips are the original checkered hard rubber with the prized "1892" dates. Nice mechanics with a Fine+ bore. A very rare Colt 1892 DA Revolver with a circa 1904-10 era rebuild.