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LOT 1196
Nickel-Plated U.S. Contract, John T. Cleveland Sub-Inspected, Colt Single Action Revolver with Factory Letter - Serial no. 35200, 45 Long Colt cal., 7 1/2 inch bbl., nickel finish, antique ivory grips. The included factory letter states that this revolver was delivered to the U.S. Government Inspector at the Colt plant on February 13, 1877. The letter lists the finish as blue but does not identify the barrel length or type of stocks. The revolver has a nickel-plated finish on all components except the hammer and trigger and is fitted with
a one-piece grip. The “J.T.C.” inspection mark of Ordnance Inspector John T. Cleveland is stamped on the underside of the barrel, bottom of the frame above the serial number and on the side of the cylinder. Small “P” proof marks are stamped on the underside of the barrel and on the side of the cylinder. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the second style “Condensed Block Letter” barrel address. The left side of the frame is stamped with the Colt “Three-Line/Three-Date” patent markings followed by the “U.S.” property mark. The assembly number “1135” is stamped on the inside of the loading gate. The full serial number “35200” is stamped on the bottom of the frame, trigger guard and back strap. The cylinder is stamped with the partial serial number “5200”. All the serial numbered components match. The barrel is not serial numbered. The ejector rod has the correct “bullseye” head, and the hammer spur has elongated, bordered, checkering. U.S. Contract Single Action revolvers with nickel- plated finishes are found throughout the Single Action serial number range; the greatest concentration is between serial number 121194 and serial number 14377. “A Study of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver” by Kopec, Graham and Moore identifies only two “J.T.C.” sub-inspected revolvers, serial number “34189” and serial number “35556” with nickel-plated finishes. It has generally accepted the U.S. contract Single Action Cavalry Model revolvers with nickel-plated finishes issued to the states under the Militia Act and subsequently re-sold to Colt by the states. Colt had the “buy-back” revolvers nickel-plated to distinguish them from U.S. contract guns and re-sold them on the commercial market. Some of these nickel-plated revolvers were fitted with one-piece antique ivory grips. Some authorities believe that some Colt Single Action Cavalry revolvers were nickel-plated for
issue to Indian scouts.
CONDITION: Very good. The revolver retains 80% of the period nickel-plated finish. The plated finish is flaking at the muzzle, the front of the frame and on the left side of the frame around the hammer screw, on the cylinder and the loading gate. The hammer has been refinished with niter blue. The markings have been lightly polished before the revolver
was re-plated but remain clear. The action is crisp, but the hammer will not hold at half-cock. The grip shows moderate wear and is in good condition and has a mellow
patina with some pronounced yellowing on the left side. The grip butt has the usual hairline cracks. There is one noticeable chip on the lower right side of the grip,
and the butt and a shallower chip on the right side of the grip strap. This is a good
looking example of a scarce nickel-plated “J.T.C.” sub-inspected U.S. contract Single
Action Army revolver in a configuration believed to have been
issued to Indian Scouts.
Estimate: 7,500 - 12,000

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