Colt Single Action Army - "The Gun that Won the West"

Colt Single Action Army -

Bass Reeves carried two “Peacemakers” during his days as a U.S. deputy marshal. When Colt first released this revolver, around 1873, the company called it a “Strap Pistol.”

Officially, today, this “six-shooter” (which has been around for more than 140 years) is known as the “Colt Single Action Army.” It is also called the "Equalizer."

The initial purchase price, for one Peacemaker, was $13.50. That sale price included a screwdriver since the weapon, from time to time, had an issue which needed fixing. Writing for Guns Magazine, Mike “Duke” Venturino describes the screw-tightening problem:

That item [a screwdriver] was a necessity because another inherent trait of the Peacemaker is that the six screws that hold the trigger guard and back strap to one another and to the frame will loosen up. Carrying them on horseback speeds up the process immensely.

Colt, the maker of this revolver, calls it “The Gun that Won the West.”  Why? Here’s Colt’s description:

Introduced in 1873, no Colt revolver has earned greater fame than the Single Action Army®, The Peacemaker®. In design and performance, in line and form, no more sculptural and practical Colt has ever been created. Movies serve as constant reminders of the role this equalizer played in winning the West.

Large numbers of knock-offs and look-alikes have never been able to replace the real Colt. Records on the SAA Revolver are a Who's Who of action-oriented Americans of the late 19th and early 20th centuries including Buffalo Bill Cody, Theodore Roosevelt, Judge Roy Bean, Pawnee Bill Lilly, Captain Jack Crawford, Pat Garrett and General George Patton.

The U.S. National Archives has a photograph of General Patton with his “Peacemaker.” It has an ivory handle. Curators at the Archives use these words to describe the image:

Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, U.S. Third Army commander, pins the Silver Star on Private Ernest A. Jenkins of New York City for his conspicuous gallantry in the liberation of Chateaudun, France...", 10/13/1944

What type of ammunition did owners of the Peacemaker use? This image depicts ammo from the 1870s.


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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 23, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

Media Credits

Image of the Colt Single Action Army®, online via Colt's Manufacturing Company.


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"Colt Single Action Army - "The Gun that Won the West"" AwesomeStories.com. Feb 23, 2015. Feb 17, 2019.
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