This is a First Contract Colt US Army Model 1894 Double Action Revolver with standard 6" barrel, six shot cylinder, in .38 Colt with walnut grips. The 1894 was an improvement over the US Army Model 1892 in that it was equipped with a device that blocks the hammer when the latch was not fully engaged locking the cylinder in place. The first contract of 3,000 guns were numbered from serial numbers 60,000 thru 62,999. This particular gun is in the 60,000 range. According to Best's Book on Colt DA's, Colt had delivered all 3,000 Model 1894's from the first contract by the end of April 1895. It is interesting that these Colt DA's were introduced into service in the last days of the western frontier and was the US Army's main issue handgun when war broke out with Spain over Cuba and the Philippines in 1898. Of course, the Colt Double Action was a great design but its .38 caliber cartridge was found to be insufficient at stopping the Moros in the Philippines a couple of years later at the turn of the 20th century. Today, these 1894's are a bit of a challenge to locate in original unaltered condition. Many were upgraded in later years to the Model 1901 with the addition of a lanyard ring on the base of their handles and were refinished and re-marked by Colt. Even in World War One, Remington Arms refurbished thousands of DA's for issue to the US Navy. That said, this one has never been altered or refurbished and is still wearing its original finish.
Overall, it is in NRA Antique Fine Condition with 50% Faded/Light Original Powdery Blue mixed with a smooth brown patina which forms the balance of surface areas. The hammer and rear face of the hammer show just traces of original fire blue. The grips are in Very Good Condition Overall with faint but visible large early cartouches in the rectangular/oval sided borders. Bottom of left grip has the correct Ronaldo A. CARR (RAC) sub-inspector stamp. RAC's can also be found on the left side of the frame, barrel, and cylinder. Like the Model 1892, the last four digits of the serial number form the assembly numbers on various parts. These assembly numbers are matching on the inside of the frame, swing-out yoke, cylinder, barrel, latch, and right side plate. Also like the Model 1892, these early 1st Contract 1894's only have the 1884 and 1888 patents on the top of the barrels and were built just before the March 1895 patent date was added to the address. This is confirmed in Best's Book as well. The mechanics cycle in both single and double action modes. Bore has a minor spot or two of pitting but semi bright and Good Plus Overall. May clean to Very Good. Nice untouched example of an early 1st Contract Model 1894 Revolver.