Antique Hand Guns / Revolvers
ANTIQUE NIMSCHKE ENGRAVED COLT SAA
Colt Single Action Army Outfit from Miles City, Montana, Circa 1882
A true piece of Western lore is this Antique Nimschke Engraved Colt SAA. This fantastic “shootist” colt single action army comes with a Miles city marked belt and holster.
Although the actual history of this outfit is unknown, it truly is a piece of the western era. This is not a rig an average cowboy would have had, as it would have been a very expensive outfit in its time. This rig was most likely used by a law man or an outlaw, maybe both as each frequently operated on both sides of the law. The outfit shows decades of use and alterations that would have suited the needs of a shootist. Its many years in service shows in its much worn condition.
This antique Nimschke engraved Colt SAA was shipped to Schoverling, Daly & Gales, New York City in 1882, in the “soft” for engraving, per factory letter (included). The Colt SAA was engraved by Nimschke, nickel plated, and checkered ivory grips were installed. The engraving is identical to the sheriff’s model SAA, #80118, pictured in “The Colt Engraving Book“ (2nd edition) by R.L. Wilson, under “L.D. Nimschke”, page 342. That gun was also shipped to Schoverling, Daly & Gales in the soft.
The patent dates are completely worn away and the barrel address nearly the same with only “USA” vaguely showing. All serial numbers match and are still readable as well as the “45 CAL” on the trigger guard. The engraving is extremely worn on the recoil shields (nearly gone) and the cylinder engraving is very worn, but visible. The frame and barrel engraving, although worn, still shows nicely. The checkered ivory grips also show a great deal of wear and period repairs, but no major losses. Only about 10% of the nickel plate is left in protected corners and on the trigger guard bow.
The rest of the gun has gone to a dull grey metal color. The mechanics are good and the bore is good. All parts appear to be original except for some screws and the small “doughnut” head ejector rod is from a Colt 1877 double action revolver. The 7 ½” barrel has been cut down to 5 ½”. These changes would fit the needs of “shootist” requirements for quick draw and fast shooting. If we only knew by who and where.
The holster and belt rig is probably about 10 years later than the gun and did not come with it. Most dealers separate guns & holsters to sell individually for a greater profit. I try to put them back together as I did with this outfit. The style and look of the holster and belt fits perfectly with the gun and the use and wear is consistent with the gun as well. A more perfect match would be difficult to find. Both the holster and belt show the mark of “Al Furstnow, Miles City, Mont” with his early rectangular stamp. The holster stamp is readable, but only the outline shows on the belt. They have defiantly always been together and both decorated with the same spots.
The belt is 2 ¼” wide x 38” long with its original nickel plated buckle. The belt shows use, wear and some crazing, mostly on the cartridge loops. The double loop holster has a few holes punched for tie down thongs and a drain hole in the “Cheyenne” pattern plug. Both pieces match in color and all the original stitching in the holster is intact. The belt has 38 loops for .45 caliber cartridges, some being removed in the holster location and for re-locating the tongue billet. The loop stitching is starting to come apart, but the loops forward of the holster have been hand re-sewn, as seen from the back. The loops are fragile and I wouldn’t recommend putting .45 caliber bullets in them. The photos show 44-40 cartridges in the forward, re-sewn loops. There is a “HOP” stamped on the back of the belt??? The rig is dark brown in color and has been oiled at one time, but that probably helped save it.
A great old antique Nimschke Engraved Colt SAA with an outstanding makers mark belt and holster, from the early days of the Old West.
*Will not ship guns or any items with ivory to California, Washington State, New York, New Jersey, Oregon or Hawaii because these states have a total ban on ALL ivory sales – new or antique.
Clarks Antiques Firearms – Antique Nimschke Engraved Colt SAA – Price $15,000.00
Another fine engraved SAA is our New York Engraved Colt SAA