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 "Mother, I wanted to be a preacher, but from this hour on, I'm making a vow to God that I will pursue outlaws relentlessly and bring them to justice."
- Frank Hamer - "I'm Frank Hamer" by John Jenkins and H. Gordon Frost
LOT 1116
Rare, Historic Austin, Texas Shipped Factory Engraved Antique Black Powder Colt Frontier Six Shooter Single Action Army Revolver Documented as the Reported First “Old Lucky” Belonging to Legendary Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, the Man who Led the Posse that Killed Public Enemy Number One Era Outlaw Couple Bonnie and Clyde with Factory Letter - Serial no. 153189, 44-40 WCF
cal., 5 1/2 inch round bbl., silver finish, pearl grips. This revolver’s enticing history begins immediately when
it was originally shipped from the factory to Austin, Texas, retailer W.B. Walker & Co. There are few firearms that exude the character, grit, and style of the American frontier like the Colt Single Action Army revolver, and perhaps no other state personifies the Wild West more than Texas. The SAA found itself almost immediately popular as a sidearm upon its release in the mid-late 1800s, and that popularity continued well into the 20th century among those with a desire for unwaveringly reliable firepower. This example was manufactured in 1893, and certainly shows a certain flair that is often associated with the “Wild West”, having the look of a gun that is not hard to imagine in the hand of a flamboyant Texas gunslinger.
The accompanying factory letter states that this SAA was shipped to W.B. Walker & Co. (address unavailable) on February 10, 1894, with a 5 1⁄2 inch barrel in the highly desirable .44-40 WCF caliber, nickel finish, pearl grips, and factory engraving. This was a single gun shipment. (The letter also noted a second listing for this serial number for a SAA in .44-40 caliber with a 4 3⁄4 inch barrel and blue finish shipped to J.F. Schmelzer & Sons Arms Co. in Kansas City, Missouri, on November 11, 1893. This second entry obviously does not reflect this revolver.) After the Civil War, Jackson, Mississippi, native William Bailey Walker moved to Austin, Texas, circa 1871 and became one of the proprietors of P. Thompson & Co. By
1877, the partnership dissolved and Walker along with his brother James opened W.B. Walker & Co. The name of the business was later changed to W.B. Walker & Sons to include his three sons.
As a factory engraved example, this Frontier Six Shooter is certainly one of the rarer and more highly sought after SAAs. In the chapter devoted to engraved SAAs in the seminal work “A Study of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver” the authors laid out statistics that without a doubt make this SAA a true rarity in Colt collecting. Out of the engraved 1st Generations surveyed approximately 15% were chambered in .44 WCF (the vast majority, 65%, where in .45 caliber). The embellishment displays the characteristics of patterns associated with Colt Master Engraver Cuno Helfricht and his shop. Helfricht spent
his nearly 50 year career exclusively with the Colt firm (1871-1921). During his tenure with Colt, Helfricht saw the transition from percussion to cartridge firearms and a rapidly growing market for engraved firearms. At the height of the firearm engraving fad, Helfricht oversaw a shop of six engravers. By the turn of the century, experts believe that Helfricht did most of the work himself
with the help from one to two assistants. Helfricht’s successor’s included famed Colt engravers Wilbur Glahn and William Gough.
The revolver’s historical significance goes beyond its rare factory engraving and highly sought after Texas shipment as revealed to the world in 1986, some 90 years after the revolver left the Colt factory, when
the Raymond Brown collection was sold at auction in Texas. As described in the provided Tom Keilman & Son Auctioneers catalog: “Born of pioneer, Texas hill country stock, Raymond Brown’s forebears fought with General Sam Houston and other Texas heroes in the Texas Revolution. Raymond Brown is a 5th generation Texan and very proud of Texas History and his heritage.

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