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 LOT 121
The Finest Known 1891 Production Rinaldo A. Carr Inspected U.S. Colt Cavalry Model Single Action Army Revolver with Factory Letter and John Kopec Gold Seal Letter - Serial no. 137595, 45 LC cal., 7 1/2 inch round bbl., blue/ casehardened finish, walnut grips. Renowned Colt historian and author John A. Kopec recently had the pleasure of examining this “extraordinary revolver,” and he clearly confirms the originality of this “remarkable unissued condition” Cavalry Model in
his accompanying gold seal letter of authentication. “During our examination of this extraordinary revolver we have noted its remarkable unissued condition,” writes Kopec. “Without doubt there will be questions about the finish of this example being
‘too good to believe.’ These questions were all considered and verified using our ‘Control’ example #137578.” In the letter Kopec resolves eight points of concerns to erase any doubts about the revolver’s authenticity. These points covered the bluing, case colors, markings, and features. The feathering adjacent to the front sight and barrel stud were faint but found correct. The frame’s “unbelievable case-colors” were observed as “remaining near perfect” and “showing their ‘opalescent’ brilliance.” The U.S. frame marking had all of the hallmarks of a correct period die stamping: “The letter ‘S’ in the ‘U.S.’ frame marking shows no ‘hook’ at the base of this letter and was compared with one of our other ‘controls’ and found to be correct, also showing that the Ordnance Inspector had two styles of the stamping die ‘S’ in his tool box.” Furthermore, “the letters ‘U.S.’ show no disturbance of the case- hardened surfaces around these letters. This was found to be consistent with these areas of our two controls.” The barrel and cylinder feature blue finish consistent with Colt’s standard military blue finish. The leading edge of the ejector tube has the “arsenal applied bevel.” Finally, the revolver correctly has the letter “K”, the initial of Colt factory employee A. Kind who worked on the U.S. Cavalry Model contracts during the 1890s, stamped on several components. This was the first time Kopec examined the revolver as it was a “new listing” to his ongoing, decades long survey. Based on Kopec’s survey of surviving Cavalry and Artillery Models this revolver falls between no. 137592 which is a New York militia revolver and no. 137599 which is a Cavalry revolver.
But how did this Cavalry Model stay in such pristine condition some 130 years after rolling out of the Colt factory? We again turn to Kopec for the answer. His knowledge obtained from decades of diligently studying Colt Cavalry and Artillery Models is invaluable. This revolver was part of the final U.S. contract which consisted of 2,000 units. This revolver was included in the initial lot of 1,000 completed on February 16, 1891.

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