Nice example of a fairly scarce Colt Model 1889 Revolver. The first 5,000 of these went to the US Navy...which were almost all later rebuilt to become Model 1895's. This one is an early Civilian 1889 in the 9,400 serial range and was made in the year 1890. It features a six inch barrel, nickel finish, checkered hard rubber grips. Offered in .38 Colt and .41 Colt, this one is chambered in .41 caliber.
The grandfather to today's modern revolver, this Colt Model 1889 was the first Double Action Revolver built in America with a solid frame and a swing-out cylinder. Of the early Colt Double Actions, the 1889 was simplest and most elegant in terms of lines and styling...but the primitive nature of this design had its drawbacks which came at a price in terms of safety. The beautiful long flutes on the cylinder exist because the 1889 has NO cylinder stops. Instead its lock up depends entirely on the cylinder ratchet which really isn't "lock-up" as much as it is alignment between the chamber and the barrel. There is also no screw under the cylinder latch which reflects the fact that Colt had not yet developed a hammer safety block for when the cylinder wasn't locked in place. With large sales of the Model 1889 and 1892 going to the US Navy and Army, Colt quickly got up to speed with improvements to the design and by 1894, the last of the 1889's were assembled and production discontinued with only 31,000 units produced including the 5,000 ordered by the US Navy. Many of the later guns shared the same frames with the improved Model 1892 New Army which had cuts for the cylinder stops. Being an early 2nd year production...really 1st year production for the civilian market, this one is a pure 1889 with the early frame.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Excellent Condition with 65% original nickel on the frame, 90% on the cylinder, 90% on barrel with some scrape marks near muzzle (see photos), and 90% on the straps. The trigger and hammer show 50% of their original fire blue with good traces of blue on the screws. Excellent checkered hard rubber grips with the early plain style "COLT" monogram. No chips, cracks, or repairs with perfect fit to the straps. Barrel has early style barrel address with the 1884 and 1888 patent dates. Left side of barrel is marked "COLT D.A. 41" with rampant Colt monogram inside a circle on the left side of the frame. All sub-assembly numbers are matching throughout. Strong action with good timing and a good bore.