This is an early Colt Model 1895 Double Action New Army Navy Revolver. The 1895 was the followup to the Model 1889 and Model 1892. Its primary improvements over its forerunners were its dual sets of stop notches on the cylinder (the original 1889 simply relied on the cylinder ratchet with no stops) and the hammer block safety (the 1892 lacked this) which blocked the action when the cylinder was not locked into the frame. It's in the military caliber, .38 Colt but a commercial gun with 4-1/2" barrel, checkered hard rubber grips, and blued finish. Serial number is in the 79,000 range and was built in 1897. In terms of configuration (barrel length, caliber, and finish), this is the same style Model 1895 Colt that Wells Fargo purchased to arm its guards and couriers. Being the shorter barrel length, it has the short three line barrel address on the top just ahead of the frame. Last line contains the 1884, 1888, and 1895 patent dates. The tip of the cylinder pin is intact...these are often lost. A quick way to tell whether or not an 1895 Colt is early is by looking at the tip. If it's smooth, then it's early...later ones will be checkered. Left side of the barrel is stamped "COLT. D.A. 38" with a rampant Colt inside a circular border stamped on the left shoulder of the frame behind the hammer. Note the early style "COLT" motif grips...the earliest pattern of several styles of checkered hard rubber grips used throughout the Colt DA production.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Excellent with 85% original blue on the frame, 95% on the barrel, 80% on the cylinder, and 20% blue remaining on the grip straps. Hammer retains 80% of its polish on the profiles and 80% fire blue on the top. 50% fire blue remains on the trigger and 80% on the screws. Checkered hard rubber grips are Excellent with sharp checkering and no chips, cracks, or repairs. The action is in nice working order. Bore is Fair with no rings or bulges...but the rifling shows a good deal of use. All in all, a nice example of the Model 1895 which are getting difficult to find with antique pre-1898 serial numbers.