This is a really nice example of a 1st Generation Colt SAA Revolver that's still showing a lot of original finish. It has a true pre-1898 antique serial number in the 174,000 range which dates its production to the year 1897. It's not often that we find 19th century Single Actions that stand out as nicely as this one. It just has a great look to it and very little age in the form of brown patina. Normally, they're very well worn. If we had to guess, would estimate it was carried regularly in a holster for about a decade of its working life...long enough for the corners and edges to silver...and then carefully oiled and put away. Configuration: Caliber .38 WCF with standard 4-3/4" barrel, blued/case color finish, and checkered hard rubber grips. All matching numbers which include the frame, trigger guard, and backstrap. Sub-assembly numbers on the loading gate and inside of the frame are also matching.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Fine Plus Condition with 50% original case colors on the frame. The case colors range from faded and mousy to bright in the more protected areas. Barrel retains 80% original blue and 65% on the ejector housing. The cylinder has 90% bright original blue in the flutes and about 40-50% thin fading original blue on the circumference. Backstrap and trigger guard retain 40% original blue but has it where it really counts...on the profiles, around the frame, and all along the bottomstrap...with just the grip areas of the handles worn to an honest silvery gray. Hammer has nice checkering and hints of case colors. The screws are all in Excellent Condition showing 50% original nitre blue overall. Trigger shows 60% original nitre blue on the profiles. Original checkered hard rubber grips appear to be the factory originals and are in Very Good Condition with good checkering and clear rampant Colt logo on each side. Excellent fit to the metal. no cracks or repairs...but one tiny chip (sliver) at the leading edge of the lower corner of the left panel. The mechanics are Excellent. Bore is Excellent...bright and shiny with sharp rifling. A wonderful example of the Colt Single Action and easily the best we've had on the site over the last five or six years.