I picked up this early Colt SAA today. This is the earliest .44-40 I have had. By serial number (455XX) the .44-40 was made in mid-1878. Most references stated that the .44-40 was introduced in 1878. However, it is believed serial number 38704 (1877) was the first commercial gun. The gun has matching numbers, including the cylinder. The barrel has been shortened during the period and the sight was removed in recent years. The gun has a fairly crisp barrel legend and a strong "44" under the barrel, but lacks the barrel etching. Since there is no evidence of the barrel etching, it may pre-date the etching. It has the ".44 CF" on the upper frame part of the trigger guard. The round extractor rod head is broke off. The hammer and several parts are replaced and the gun has been cleaned. The fellow I got this from had been shooting it, but he felt he needed something more modern. I, of course, agreed and obliged him with a 9mm.
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