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Single-Action Revolvers

In "The Gunfighter: Man or Myth?," historian Joseph G. Rosa wrote of a young cowboy's disdain for the new double-action revolver in 1884: "Ain’t worth a row of beans. No man ’cept a tenderfoot wants that kind of thing. Give me an old reliable all the time. Ye see, a man that’s used to the old style is apt to get fooled, not pull her off in time, and then he’ll be laid out colder’n a wedge."

Cowpokes of the time were not the only ones to treat the newer technology with a mix of suspicion and trepidation. Accustomed to cocking their gun each time before firing, many others from badge-wearing sheriffs to black-hatted gunslingers preferred single-action revolvers as old reliables. Even today, in the minds of purists, single-action revolvers are the only option.

The most enduring symbol of the single action gun is the Colt Army Peacemaker, the revolver that ruled the American West perched on the hips of cavalry troops from 1873 onward. But there were many others. Among the most appreciated was the Remington 1875. Chambered for the U.S. Army's .45-caliber Colt ammunition, the 1875 was Colt's first foray into the metallic cartridge market.

In the 20th century, the Ruger Blackhawk became a popular single action revolver choice. More recently, the Italian-made Uberti 1873 Cattleman single-action revolver, patterned after the Colt, has gained a dedicated following, while the Old West-style Ruger Vaquero has come to be the preferred tool of cowboy action shooting trade. Single-action revolvers continue to have a loyal following among shooters and collectors alike.


Quick Facts

  • A Colt .45 Model 1873 single-action revolver with a distinctive stag horn grip owned by General George S. Patton sold for $75,000 at a June 2015 Profiles in History auction
  • A rare Custer Battlefield Colt Army Revolver that was given to Chief Two Moons, who appears on the U.S. Nickel coin, sold at a 2014 James D. Julia auction for $94,875
  • An engraved black-powder Colt single-action Army Revolver taken off the hip of slain bank robber Bob Dalton sold for $322,000 in a 2012 Rock Island Auction sale

Recommended Items at Auction

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Armi San Marco Schofield No. 3 American Single Action Revolver
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CDT
Armi San Marco Schofield No. 3 American Single Action Revolver
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $500- $800
$4501 Bid
Two Belgian Top Break Revolvers
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CDT
Two Belgian Top Break Revolvers
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $450- $750
$4001 Bid
Two Merwin, Hulbert & Co. Large Frame Single Action Revolvers
Jun 21, 9:00 AM CDT
Two Merwin, Hulbert & Co. Large Frame Single Action Revolvers
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$9000 Bids
Hopkins & Allen XL. Police Single Action Revolver
Jun 21, 9:00 AM CDT
Hopkins & Allen XL. Police Single Action Revolver
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $1,100- $1,700
$9500 Bids
U.S. Fire Arms Manufacturing Co. Single Action Army Revolver
Jun 23, 9:00 AM CDT
U.S. Fire Arms Manufacturing Co. Single Action Army Revolver
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $1,400- $2,250
$1,2000 Bids
Freedom Arms Model 555 Premier Grade Revolver in .50 AE
Jun 23, 9:00 AM CDT
Freedom Arms Model 555 Premier Grade Revolver in .50 AE
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $1,300- $1,800
$1,1000 Bids
Freedom Arms Model 1997 Revolver with Extra Cylinder and Box
Jun 23, 9:00 AM CDT
Freedom Arms Model 1997 Revolver with Extra Cylinder and Box
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $1,200- $1,800
$1,0000 Bids
Lefaucheux Pinfire Single Action Revolver
Jun 23, 9:00 AM CDT
Lefaucheux Pinfire Single Action Revolver
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $1,100- $1,600
$9500 Bids
A James Warner Pocket Model Revolver
Jun 19, 2:00 PM CEST
A James Warner Pocket Model Revolver
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €200- €300
€2000 Bids
A James Warner Pocket Revolver
Jun 19, 2:00 PM CEST
A James Warner Pocket Revolver
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €150- €250
€1500 Bids
U.S. Fire Arms Mfg Co. Custer Battlefield Single Action Revolver
Jun 23, 9:00 AM CDT
U.S. Fire Arms Mfg Co. Custer Battlefield Single Action Revolver
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $1,800- $2,750
$1,6000 Bids
U.S. Fire Arms Manufacturing Co. Single Action Army with Holster
Jun 23, 9:00 AM CDT
U.S. Fire Arms Manufacturing Co. Single Action Army with Holster
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $1,600- $2,500
$1,4000 Bids
A Whitney 'New Model' Pocket Revolver
Jun 19, 2:00 PM CEST
A Whitney 'New Model' Pocket Revolver
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €150- €250
€1500 Bids
Three Belgian E. Lefaucheux Pinfire Revolvers
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CDT
Three Belgian E. Lefaucheux Pinfire Revolvers
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $400- $700
$3500 Bids
Two Lucius W. Pond Single Action Spur Trigger Revolvers
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CDT
Two Lucius W. Pond Single Action Spur Trigger Revolvers
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $300- $500
$2500 Bids
Freedom Arms Premier Grade Model 83 Single Action Revolver
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CDT
Freedom Arms Premier Grade Model 83 Single Action Revolver
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $1,200- $1,800
$1,0000 Bids
Magnum Research BFR Single Action Revolver in .500 S&W Magnum
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CDT
Magnum Research BFR Single Action Revolver in .500 S&W Magnum
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $700- $1,100
$6000 Bids
Two Single Action Revolvers
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CDT
Two Single Action Revolvers
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $500- $900
$4500 Bids
Two Revolvers with Boxes
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CDT
Two Revolvers with Boxes
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $900- $1,400
$8000 Bids
Engraved Rocky Mountain Arms Casull Model A22S Revolver
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CDT
Engraved Rocky Mountain Arms Casull Model A22S Revolver
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $1,000- $1,800
$9000 Bids
Two Freedom Arms Belt Buckle Single Action Revolvers
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CDT
Two Freedom Arms Belt Buckle Single Action Revolvers
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $600- $900
$5000 Bids
Two Handguns
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CDT
Two Handguns
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $150- $350
$1300 Bids
US Fire Arms Manufacturing Single Action Army Revolver with Box
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CDT
US Fire Arms Manufacturing Single Action Army Revolver with Box
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$1,3000 Bids
US Fire Arms Manufacturing Cowboy Single Action Revolver
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CDT
US Fire Arms Manufacturing Cowboy Single Action Revolver
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $1,100- $1,600
$9500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Single-Action Revolvers


Rock Island Auction Company

Rock Island Auction Company

Czerny's International Auction House

Czerny's International Auction House

Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC

Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC