1903 Colt Single Action Army Revolver

Value (2006) | $1,500 Auction$2,000 Auction

GUEST:
This pistol is one my grandfather found out on his ranch and he had a man named Brigham Hamilton with him. And this man was a member of Butch Cassidy’s gang at one time.. And this Brigham Hamilton told us that the pistol, when they used to ride down this trail, they’d have several pistols in their saddlebags because the pistols in their holsters would fall out when the posses were chasing them. And since this was so close to their hideout, he figured this gun belonged to somebody in Butch Cassidy’s gang.

APPRAISER:
And when was this, that he found this pistol?

GUEST:
About 1920.

APPRAISER:
1920?

GUEST:
Yes. This is a picture of Brigham Hamilton with Butch Cassidy that we had found in a book. That would be Brigham Hamilton there.

APPRAISER:
On the left?

GUEST:
And of course, Butch Cassidy is on the other side. And so we made a copy of it and got my grandfather’s story so we’d have it always.

APPRAISER:
Okay. That's a very interesting story. As you know, Butch Cassidy was one of the famous bank and train robbers in the 1890s out here in the west. The pistol you have is a Colt single action Army revolver. It was first produced starting in 1873, and actually a production went all the way through just before the second world war.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
And your pistol’s in fairly good condition. There seems to be a carving over here on the grip, and it appears to be some initials. I can’t quite make them out. Do you think you know what they are?

GUEST:
It looks like my grandfather’s initials to me. You know, there's a JAM on it.

APPRAISER:
With the story and everything else, I think it was a really interesting gun. I did some research on it, though, on the gun itself, because it’s a serial number 252,000 range, and the gun was actually manufactured in 1903.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
So actually, unfortunately, your story probably is not correct.

GUEST:
Oh.

APPRAISER:
The reason I know this is that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid departed for South America in 1901.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And the last recorded raid of the gang was in July of 1901.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
So. But as such, I still feel at auction this revolver would bring about 1,500 to 2,000 dollars.

GUEST:
Okay. Wow.

APPRAISER:
If the story was correct, I would have said that the gun could probably have been worth five thousand and upwards.

GUEST:
Oh, wow.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Bonhams, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Appraised value (2006)
$1,500 Auction$2,000 Auction
Event
Salt Lake City, UT (June 24, 2006)
Period
20th Century
Material
Metal

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