North American Auction Company
Live Auction

Legends of the West: Western & Native American Sale

Sat, Sep 23, 2023 11:00AM EDT
Lot 234

Custom Colt New Service .45 Long Colt Revolver

Estimate: $1,700 - $2,300

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$30,000 $2,500
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
Custom Colt New Service .45 Long Colt caliber revolver. This interesting revolver with serial number 100949 was manufactured by Colt in the middle of World War I and shipped to Canada. At that time, officers were required to purchase their own sidearms. Canadian proof marks are still evident on this Colt, revealing some of its earlier history. At some point after this, it was returned to the U.S. and completely rebuilt to its current state. Now called “Texas Barbeque Guns,” in years past such arms were often seen on the hips of Texas and Arizona Rangers as well as Border Patrol agents. They were usually reserved for special events like parades and civic events. During the early and mid-20th century, revolvers ruled the day, and auto pistols were rarely seen holstered in Law Enforcement circles. The officers were justly proud of their handguns and many had special plated and embellished revolvers put aside for special occasions. Obviously, this is such a revolver. The Colt New Service was introduced in 1898 and to this day remains the largest frame side swing cylinder double action revolver ever turned out by the Colt New Haven factory. It was never made in small calibers and .45 Colt was considered the standard chambering for this big and powerful revolver. This example with custom 5 ½” barrel has been totally rebuilt and specially finished. The frame and barrel have been flawlessly plated in mirror-bright nickel, of which all remains today. It is accented with brilliantly gold plated cylinder, hammer, trigger, ejector rod, cylinder release and lanyard swivel, of which, like the barrel and frame, nearly all the finish remains. The barrel is clearly caliber stamped “45 L Colt” and there is a service or possibly badge number “C 328” on the frame and cylinder. The action locks tight and the bore is excellent. The grips are a synthetic stag with medallions which were very popular especially during the 1950s. Once placed in a low cut holster, these revolvers created quite a visual effect. Later, when auto pistols replaced revolvers in the 1980s-1990s, embellished handguns became popular in the Southwest as “Barbeque Guns.” Law enforcement officers, Rangers, Border Patrol agents and civilian firearms enthusiasts frequently hosted barbeques in which attendees displayed their “specially embellished” handguns in fancy tooled holsters. In many areas and especially the Southwest, this practice continues to this day. This is a fine example of a very early such handgun with great World War I history and later exhibition history. Beautifully, professionally customized and plated, this Colt must have been very impressive in the old “Revolver Days” and now holds an honored position as representing a time when big, fancy, expensive revolvers were cherished and proudly displayed. Serial Number: 100949. This firearm qualifies as a Curio & Relic firearm, and requires FFL Transfer or NICS Background Check.

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