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 LOT 1113
Very Fine Documented London Shipped Colt Black Powder Single Action Flattop Target Revolver in .450 Eley with Special Order Metford Rifling, Factory Letter and Case - Serial no. 130259, 450 Eley cal., 7 1/2 inch round bbl., blue finish, hard rubber grips. Offered here is an antique black powder frame Colt Single Action Army Flattop Target Revolver that letters in .45 Boxer, a desirable caliber that has bemused Colt collectors for decades. In “The Official Record of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver 1872-1895” on page 46 the authors wrote, “An interesting fact became evident when comparing listings in the Colt ledgers with copies of the actual invoices found in the Connecticut State Library. The designation ‘Eley’ or ‘Boxer’ was used interchangeably. Revolvers listed in .45
Eley in the record ledger may be listed on the shipping invoice as .45 Boxer and vice versa.” The authors accounted for a total of 275 SAA .450 Boxer/Eley Flattop Target Revolvers falling in the 1-164100 serial number range and out of the 275 units 230 had a blue finish and 7 1⁄2 inch barrel like this example (page 405). In the 1880s the .450 became a popular short range target cartridge. The accompanying factory letter states the revolver was shipped to Colt’s London Agency, London, England, on September 9, 1889 with a 7 1/2 inch barrel in .45 Boxer, blue finish, Metford rifling, and hard rubber stocks. This was a 12 gun shipment. “Forty-one
of the target revolver shipped to London in 1889 were assembled with Metford rifled barrels,” stated the authors of “The Official Record of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver 1872-1895.” The authors continued, “Metford rifling seems to have been utilized primarily on revolvers in the larger calibers, most notably .45 Colt and .45 Boxer. C.F. Lowe and Walter Winans had both conducted experiments and determined that Metford rifling greatly reduced powder fouling and thereby
shooters featured this type of rifling” (223-
224). Metford rifling is a form of rifling with
equally spaced lands and grooves, and is the
most common pattern of rifling used today.
The barrel has the one-line Colt Hartford
address on top and “450 ELEY” on the left
side. The frame has the three-line patent
date marking on the left side. London proofs
are on the underside of the barrel ahead of
the cylinder pin and on each cylinder flute.
The rear cylinder face is marked “45B” for the caliber. The
revolver is fitted with target sights. Matching serial numbers
appear on the frame, trigger guard, and back strap. The case
contains the following accessories: three cartridges of .450
Eley, Dixon & Sons oiler, screwdriver, and cleaning rod.
CONDITION: Very fine, retaining 75% original blue finish with thinning to brown and high edge wear on the balance. The front strap and butt are a mix of original blue finish and smooth gray patina. 60% original case colors remain on the hammer. The slightly undersized replacement correct period grips are fine with “PP” lightly hand marked twice on the bottom, some chipping on a high edge, and overall crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. The case is also very fine with minor handling/storage marks and typical high spot wear on the lining. The paper Colt London label is mostly complete and legible. A very fine representative example of an antique Colt London Agency shipped Single Action Flattop Target revolver with factory documented special order Metford rifling.
Estimate: 7,500 - 12,000
 108 increased accuracy. Most of the target revolvers ordered and/or used by these two

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