This is a near perfect example of a Colt Model 1895 Double Action Revolver in caliber .38 Colt. Appearance-wise, this DA is stunning but the photos, which seem to make every speck of dust appear as a blemish, hardly do this example justice. Features are a standard 6" barrel with blued finish, fire blued appointments, and checkered hard rubber grips. Antique pre-1898 serial number is in the 74,000 range. Made in 1896 for the civilian market.
Learning all the different models of New Army & Navy DA Revolvers Colt introduced from 1889 up to 1903 can be quite confusing but here are some basic simple variations. For starters, these early Colt DA's were the forerunners to the modern Double Action Revolvers with swing-out cylinders that are still being manufactured today. While relatively primitive compared with modern designs, by 1894/5, Colt had made several improvements from its predecessors like models 1889 and 1892...i.e. dual sets of cylinder stops and a hammer safety blocking device that keeps the hammer from cocking when the cylinder is not locked into the frame. Patent dates on the barrel include the 1884, 1888, and 1895 patent dates, which is correct for the Model 1895 Civilian DA. Rampant Colt logo is located on the up part of the grip panels and rear left corner of the frame. While DA's that were sold to the US Army had wooden grips: http://www.antiquearmsinc.com/colt-1894-new-army-navy-double-action-revolver-saa-rac-us-army-model-1892.htm, this revolver is identical to the 1895's that the US Navy and US Coast Guard: http://www.antiquearmsinc.com/colt-1895-da-revolver.htm were ordering during the 1890's with the checkered hard rubber grips. There were also a significant number of civilian 1895's privately purchased by US Army officers and National Guard units that saw action in Cuba and the Philippines during the Spanish-American War. See following links: http://www.antiquearmsinc.com/colt-1895-da-span-am.htm and http://www.antiquearmsinc.com/colt-da-74th-reg.htm.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Excellent++ approaching Mint condition. All the edges are very sharp...I doubt this Colt was fired more than a few shots, cleaned, and put away. Aside from small areas of flaking along the edges of the frame and losses along the straps, the blue on this gun shows very little signs of any significant wear. The frame has 98% strong vivid original blue. Barrel and cylinder are 99.5% original blue. Even the front face of the cylinder and all six chambers show all their original blue virtually intact. The only significant area of loss are the gripstraps which have 35-40% strong original blue with the balance of loss due to flaking. Trigger retains 95% fire blue. Hammer has 97% strong vivid fire blue across the top and back while the sides still retain 99.9% of their original bright polish. Screws show 85-95% original fire blue overall. Checkered hard rubber grips are perfect...very sharp with perfect alignment to the metal straps. The action functions like new. Bore is Mint! One of the better Civilian Colt New Army & Navy revolvers we've had in some time.