Lot 14    

Colt Single-Action Army Revolver Presented to General Thomas H. Ruger as Superintendent of West Point,
2009, Spring Firearms Sale, April 29th
.45 caliber, 7.5" barrel, serial number 1504. German silver front sight, early italic barrel address, two-line patent markings on left side of frame; with an obviously incorrect.22cal stamped on frame at rear of trigger guard. Varnished deluxe burled walnut grips. Blued barrel, ejector, cylinder, backstrap, triggerguard and trigger. Hammer and frame are case colored. The revolover is housed in a mahogany factory casing that is partitioned and lined in purple velvet with wood cartridge block holding 56 original cartridges. All cartridges unspent.

This lot is further accompanied by a January 7, 1874 letter on Colt factory letterhead to Ruger as Superintendent of the United State Military Academy at West Point, from W.B. Franklin, Colt Firearms Vice President :

My Dear General, I have intended to send you one of the new Army pistols for a New Year's gift, but I could not get it ready until yesterday, when I sent it to Gen. K.O. Tyler of New York, to be sent from there to you. I hope that you will be able to give it a good test and develop all of its weak points, which however I hope are few. Certainly Your Friend, W.B Franklin


We interpret Franklin’s admonition for Ruger to “give it a good test” to be a sort of inside joke from one friend and seasoned vet to another. Both Franklin and Ruger had been career military men, thoroughly familiar with the arms of the Federal government. For Ruger to have missed the stamping .22cal would have been inconceivable. In addition, at the time of the gift, the U.S. Army Quartermaster had just signed a contract with Colt for 3,000 of the new single-action .45 caliber pistols.



More than likely Ruger never fired the revolver; it appears to be in untouched condition. An outstanding, and historically important weapon.



Provenance:  
Descended directly in the family of General Thomas H. Ruger


Condition:  
Barrel and ejector rod housing retain ca 97% original blue with some light wear at left side of muzzle and scattered very light pinprick-size brown spots. Cylinder finish is a pleasing mixture of blue thinning to brown. Backstrap and triggerguard retain ca 95% original blue with some very minute flaking. Frame and hammer retain ca 98% original case color. Grips retain most of the original varnish with some tiny nicks on the bottom. Top of case lid has an age crack. Left side of case has some dings. Case still retains most of the original finish. The heirs pried the lid open to find what was inside. Since they did not have a key, there is evidence of their actions. The top latch pulled way and could be easily restored. The interior is in excellent condition. The outline of the revolver shows and the hammer has cut into the lining. The outline of the cartridges can be seen inside the lid.
Sold: $143,750.00
Price includes
Buyer's Premium
      Ask a Question

All Images

Two Springfield Trapdoor Bayonets,
Lot # 383 - Two Springfield Trapdoor Bayonets,
one with scabbard and leather frog and marked NGP. The other is missing scabbard. > Item Details
German Potsdam Musket,
Lot # 90 - German Potsdam Musket,
.70 caliber, 41" round barrel. Wood stock with brass furniture. > Item Details
Indian War Era <i>Th and Th Infantry Section Camp Custer</i> Photograph,
Lot # 467 - Indian War Era Th and Th Infantry Section Camp Custer Photograph,
7.5" x 43.5" photograph of an active Camp Custer. The Th was the ambulance corp for the North Russia Polar Bear Division. > Item Details
Smith & Wesson First Model, 2nd Issue Revolver,
Lot # 547 - Smith & Wesson First Model, 2nd Issue Revolver,
.22 caliber, 3" barrel, serial number 87676. Rosewood grips. > Item Details
Model 1873 First Model Springfield Carbine,
Lot # 120 - Model 1873 First Model Springfield Carbine,
.45-70 caliber, 22" barrel with no proofs and square barrel tenon, original first type '73 carbine rear sight, pinned front sight, serial number 42431. First style lockplate with coarse knurled hammer and 1873 dated lockplate, front band with no stacking swivel. Long wrist short comb stock. First t... > Item Details
Double Barrel Percussion Combination Rifle/ Shotgun,
Lot # 222 - Double Barrel Percussion Combination Rifle/ Shotgun,
ca .42 caliber rifle barrel, 16 gauge shotgun barrel, brass patchbox and inlay, tang target sight. > Item Details
<i>Collins & Co 1941</i> Machete,
Lot # 482 - Collins & Co 1941 Machete,
21.5" blade with ricasso stamped Legitimus Collins & Co. Made in U.S.A. No. 128 1941.Leather scabbard with tooling with scrolls and stamped Collins & Co. Legitimus. > Item Details
Springfield Experimental .30 Caliber Rifle,
Lot # 62 - Springfield Experimental .30 Caliber Rifle,
.30 caliber, 32.5" barrel with .25" shoulder at receiver, rear unmarked as made, shortened Buffington rear sight. Front sight a milled ramp with pinned blade insert. Receivers and breechblock have positive cam actions. Walnut stock and handguard. Sling swivels on middle band and triggerguard. A to... > Item Details
<i>United States Infantry in 1895</i> Lithograph by F. Achbert,
Civil War M1850 Foot Officer's Sword Belonging to Colonel Thomas H. Ruger, 3rd Wisconsin,
Lot # 17 - Civil War M1850 Foot Officer's Sword Belonging to Colonel Thomas H. Ruger, 3rd Wisconsin,
31.5" blade, marked at ricasso F. Hostler, Solingen. Etched panels with military motifs on both sides of blade. Brass knuckle bow and pommel. Shagreen and brass wire wrapped handle. Leather scabbard with brass bands and carrying rings. This was one of the swords General Thomas H. Ruger used during h... > Item Details
Horstmann Militia Sword,
Lot # 9 - Horstmann Militia Sword,
28" blade with single fuller, brass knuckle bow and pommel. Fluted bone handle. Blade marked at ricasso Horstmann and Company. Blade has some military etchings. > Item Details
Nazi Armband and Large Nazi Flag,
Lot # 503 - Nazi Armband and Large Nazi Flag,
red wool armband with eagle badge and enameled party pin marked D.V.G. Westmark Lothr. Large red cotton flag mearuring 132" x 39". > Item Details
Pair of English Flintlock Brass Blunderbuss Pistols by <i>Raper</i> of Leeds,
Lot # 311 - Pair of English Flintlock Brass Blunderbuss Pistols by Raper of Leeds,
ca 1830s. 7" brass octagonal-to-round barrels signed Raper Leeds with Birmingham proof marks. Barrels are fitted with spring bayonets, released by a sliding catch on the tang. The locks are flat with rounded tails and with safeties. Both with throated cocks (one broken at the throat and the lower ja... > Item Details
* Colt Officer's Model Target Revolver,
Lot # 247 - * Colt Officer's Model Target Revolver,
.38 caliber, 7.5" barrel with target sights and flat top frame, serial number 538111. Checkered backstrap, blued finish with checkered walnut grips and Colt medallions. > Item Details
Pair of American Eagle Pommel Bookends,
Lot # 588 - Pair of American Eagle Pommel Bookends,
triangular wood blocks with brass eagle head inserted into each block. > Item Details
1861 Tower Percussion Rifle and Bayonet,
Spanish American War Officer's Insignia Lot,
Lot # 422 - Spanish American War Officer's Insignia Lot,
pair of false embroidered third infantry collar devices with attachment loops on reverse. Pair of individual U.S.V. collar letters, also with loop. Blue enameled third division fifth corps badge with pin on reverse. > Item Details
Civil War Archive of John Williams, 34th & 36th O.V.I., Piatt's Zouaves,
Lot # 106 - Civil War Archive of John Williams, 34th & 36th O.V.I., Piatt's Zouaves,
archive includes a post-war manuscript account, a Model 1816 .69 caliber musket, two tintypes of Williams, and a GAR metal identification tag. The archive also includes a manuscript account written by John Williams after the war. This account, A Brief History of My Army Life as I Saw it, undated, i... > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: