Colt 3rd Gen Single Action Army SAA P1856 Nickel 5 1/2″ .45 Revolver, 1994

SOLD FOR: $2,525.00

WOA#: WY240323WM031

Make: Colt

Model: Single Action Army, 3rd Generation

Serial Number: S08951A

Year of Manufacture: 1994 (

Caliber: .45 Colt

Action Type: Single Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder

Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY .45”. The top of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. Co. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.”. The left side of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19, 1871 / JULY 2, 72 JAN. 19, 75” and with the “Rampant Colt” logo. The underside of the frame at the grip frame is marked “S08951A”. The left side of each portion of the grip frame is marked “S08951A” under the grip. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle and the left rear with “0”. The front face of the cylinder is marked “951” and the rear “45”. The rear of the loading gate is marked “951”. The inside of each grip panel has “8951 / N” hand-written in blue ink.

Barrel Length: 5 1/2”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a quarter round blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a square groove in the top strap.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece smooth walnut with silver-colored Colt medallions. The grips have no notable wear or damage, only light handling marks. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Excellent condition.

Type of Finish: Nickel

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 10 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 98% of its metal finish. The finish is generally strong throughout. There are a few scattered minor marks, most notable is a thin scratch on the loading gate. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in Excellent condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly and smoothly. This revolver’s cylinder has a fixed bushing. The lockup produces very little play on all six chambers. The trigger is crisp. We did not fire this revolver. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This revolver comes in a two-piece blue cardboard Colt box with serial-matching cardboard sleeve, an assortment of factory paperwork including manual, and its original sales receipt. Please note, the blue flock tray in the box is not original to the box.

Our Assessment: In 1974, Colt quietly discontinued production of the single Action Army; this would be the second time they discontinued production of this glorious revolver. Luckily, the loyal fans of the SAA would not need to wait long as colt would bring back the SAA in 1976 as the “3rd Generation”. Changes were made but the basic SAA was the same, i.e. three standard barrel lengths of 4 3/4”, 5 1/2” and 7 1/2”, finishes of full nickel or blue, with color case hardened frame, and grips of hard rubber.

Some changes were incorporated in an effort by Colt to keep prices down. One new change was a pressed-in cylinder pin bushing instead of the removable ones used in 1st and 2nd Generation cylinders. Also, the ratchet at the rear of the cylinders was re-shaped, which also necessitated a different shape on the rotating hand. And for some unknown reason, the pitch of the barrel’s threads was changed from the 20 threads per inch (TPI) as used on 1st and 2nd Generation SAAs to 24 TPI for these new ones. Toward the end of 2nd Generation production Colt had begun using some investment cast parts, but the frames continued to be forged. The introductory caliber for 3rd Generation SAAs was .45 Colt, but .357 Magnum came along by the end of 1976.

Everyone should have a Colt Single Action Army, and this would be a beauty to add to any collection. Manufactured in 1994, this revolver has a beautiful nickel finish with a 5 1/2″ barrel and chambered for the original .45 Colt cartridge. This revolver is in Excellent condition, appearing to have seen more time in the included box than out. The gun is more than suitable for addition to a collection, but it would also make an attractive “BBQ Gun” or could be used in Cowboy Action Shooting competitions. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Colt 3rd Gen Single Action Army SAA P1856 Nickel 5 1/2" .45 Revolver, 1994
Colt 3rd Gen Single Action Army SAA P1856 Nickel 5 1/2″ .45 Revolver, 1994