UNIQUE & INTERESTING COLT SAA REVOLVER; POSSIBLE TEST OR PROTOTYPE FOR THE 32 COLT CARTRIDGE
Cal. 32 Colt
It is widely known amongst collectors that the Colt Manufacturing Company was not one to waste parts. This centerfire / rimfire crossover SAA could possibly be a prime example of the frugality Colt was known for from day one. Frame appears to be from the rimfire S# range, however this SAA was manufactured to accept centerfire cartridges and has never been altered.
44 Rimfire production began in 1875 and ceased in 1887. Colt first began producing SAAs chambered for the 32 Colt cartridge in 1887 with a final production total of only 192 revolvers. .22’s in the .44 rimfire serial range were factory altered in 1888 (as referenced in Book of Colt Firearms by Wilson 1971 publication) within serial range #1639 to #1892.
Colt serial number #1597 served at that time as a newly discovered SAA specimen in the .32 Colt cartridge range, which would pre-date the published serial number records, and as such could well be the first .32 Colt specimen tested in 1887. Bbl. 7 1/2″ with elongated block bbl. address, rifling appears to be of the narrow lands found in black powder rifling. Left rear side of trigger guard frame marked “22 CAL” as is sometimes encountered in rimfire SAAs. Case hardened hammer has early elongated deep cross hatched checkering on spur & cone type firing pin. Hammer slot marked “C”. Matching numbers on frame, trigger guard frame & butt. Bbl. & cyl. unnumbered with rear of cyl. bearing the mark “R”. Loading gate marked with assembly number “516”. Frame marked with first type “2 date/ 2 line” patent date. Unnumbered 2 piece hard rubber eagle pattern grips.