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MODEL 1873 COLT SINGLE ACTION REVOLVER – CATASTROPHIC BLOWN CYLINDER – REMAINING CHAMBERS STILL LOADED – VERY EVOCATIVE RELIC WHICH TELLS ITS OWN STORY:  As you can see from the photos, the last functioning day of this Model 1873 Colt Single Action Pistol’s service life did not end well…..and likely the same could be said for the shooter if the details were known.  He was lucky if he didn’t lose some fingers, and quite possibly his entire hand. 

When the revolver was fired, there was a catastrophic failure either due to a blocked bore or a sympathetic chain fire between the cylinder chambers, resulting in two chambers on the right side of the cylinder blowing out.  The top strap was fractured, losing a section about 3/4" long, and a small section of the barrel at the muzzle being blown away.  The force of the explosion upset the barrel as well, bending it in a slight downward angle which appears to have happened when the top strap fractured and the force drove the barrel forward and down.    

The bullet and remains of the cartridge case are still present in one of the blown chambers and two of the chambers which can be seen on the left side are still loaded.  I assume the chamber at the top of the cylinder has been fired as that is what caused the failure, and there isn't enough of the bottom chamber visible to know if it is loaded or not.   

Relic firearms which are still loaded as this one is, are actively sought in the belief that a loaded relic is indicative that it was lost in battle, or during some confrontation or engagement.   

This Colt lay where it fell for many years before it was recovered, resulting in heavy corrosion eroding away some of the iron.  The condition is well illustrated in the photographs below.  Unfortunately, none of the serial numbers are legible.  The shape of the cylinder notches suggest that this is an early production Single Action, and it may very well have been one purchased by the US Army.   

The location of the pistol’s recovery is unknown, as is the history since it was recovered.  Unfortunate, as this Colt was quite possibly lost in the heat of an engagement, and if the recovery location was known, that information might clarify at least some of the history of this relic.  Still and all, there is no doubt that this historic Colt Single Action “was there”, and it will make a very evocative addition to your collection of Western Frontier artifacts.  (1017)  $2150





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