William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s Black Powder Colt Single Action Army “Frontier Six Shooter” Revolver with Factory Case
PREMIERE Firearms Auction December 4th, 5th, & 6th
Rock Island Auction Company – -(AmmoLand.com)- This Colt Single Action “Frontier Six Shooter” Revolver and extremely rare factory case was once owned by Buffalo Bill Cody.
The revolver is accompanied by a letter from firearms expert Greg Martin. The letter states that Greg Martin obtained this revolver from Julia Cody’s (William F. Cody’s sister) personal collection of Buffalo Bill artifacts.
The revolver was subsequently sold at auction on March 18, 1988. Also included with the revolver is a Colt factory letter that identifies it as a caliber .44-40 Colt Single Action Army Revolver with blue finish and 7 1/2-inch barrel that was shipped to Hartley & Graham in New York, New York, on October 24, 1882.
The revolver has “COLT FRONTIER SIX SHOOTER” acid-etched on left side of the barrel in an oval panel. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the elongated block letter address: “COLT’S PT. F. A. MFG Co. HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.” in a single line.
The caliber designation “44” is stamped on the underside of the barrel in front of the cylinder pin. The left side of the frame is roll-stamped with the Colt “three dates in three lines” patent markings. “44 CF” is stamped on the left front trigger guard bow. The serial number: “775243” is stamped on the bottom of the frame, trigger guard, backstrap. The partial serial number, “7234” is stamped on the side of the cylinder. The inside of the loading gate is stamped with the assembly number “1990”. A “B” sub-inspection mark is stamped on the rear face of the cylinder.
The revolver is fitted with a one-piece, varnished grip. The Colt mahogany, American style case is lined with blue felt. The case has three compartments grouped around a central cartridge block drilled for fifty .44-40 W.C.F cartridges.
Very good plus. The revolver has traces of original blue with the balance having been lightly cleaned and has a crisp smooth, silver-gray patina. The backstrap has a fine stippled finish, which is contemporary with to the revolver but is not factory work.
The revolver has a hand-made cylinder pin that appears date from the period of use. The backstrap screw is an old replacement. The Martin letter states that the revolver appears to be original with the exception of the cylinder pin and backstrap screw. Grips are good with a small chip on the toe and upper edge at frame and a few minor dings. The faint markings “03/WCP” are stamped on the upper portion of both sides of the grip at the junction of the backstrap and the frame. The significance of these markings is unknown but they may be property or inventory markings associated with the Wild West Show.
The action is tight but the hammer will not hold at half-cock. The case is in good overall condition with a repaired chip above the right hinge and a notch above the key-hole that was apparently used to open the case. The case lining is faded and shows moderate to heavy wear. The lining has compression marks, scattered oil stains and some edge-wear on the case partitions.
This is a solid example of the very desirable 1882 production Colt Frontier Six Shooter revolver with extremely rare Colt Single Action Army factory case that can be traced directly to the sister of one of America’s most famous western figures: Buffalo Bill Cody. ( See RIA Auction for Exact Condition Details)
Auction Estimate: $50,000 – $70,000
Rock Island Auction Company announces the next Premiere Firearms auction to be held at their facilities in Moline, IL. The huge success of our previous sales proves that people are investing in what they know: firearms are solid investments that hold value through economic downturns.
Investing and collecting opportunities abound at Rock Island’s fantastic Premiere Firearms Auction December 4Th, 5Th, & 6Th. At a time when the stock market changes daily, gun collectors are seeing the worth of their investments.
Hard assets are the place to invest your money and gun values continue to rise. This auction has firearms for every level of collecting and investing from Colts to Winchesters and the hundreds of high quality sporting arms. Rock Island’s continued sell through rate of over 97% proves that items that come to RIAC are for sale and now is your chance to make a solid investment.
Rock Island Auction Company has been solely owned and operated by Patrick Hogan. This company was conceived on the idea that both the sellers and buyers should be completely informed and provided a professional venue for a true auction. After working with two other auction companies, Mr. Hogan began Rock Island Auction in 1993. Rock Island Auction Company has grown to be one of the top firearms auction houses in the nation. Under Mr. Hogan’s guidance the company has experienced growth each and every year; and he is the first to say it is his staff’s hard work and determination that have yielded such results.