National Firearms Museum benefactor Horace Greeley enjoyed widespread notoriety as a nationally renowned collector of fine Colts, especially the diminutive General officer's semi-automatic pistols, and even wrote the standard reference book on these sidearms. Less well known were the finely embellished Colt single action revolvers that Mr. Greeley commissioned from the world's best engravers to mark memorable achievements and events.
One special Colt Single Action Army revolver, fitted with factory gold medallion ivory grip panels, is mounted with a finely carved set of gold paratrooper wings inset into the backstrap and bears the unique serial number H.G.I.V. Another equally distinguished Colt six-gun in counterpart is overlaid with a number of South Seas motifs, from a native thatched hut inlaid in electrum (a blending of gold and silver) with a nearby golden manta ray spread over the side of the receiver, and is serial numbered HG-4th. While animal species are frequent subjects for many engraved arms, the golden manta ray embellishment represented on this special revolver is considered to be the only example known in modern engraved Colts.
Several Greeley Colts now grace the National Firearms Museum's Artistry in Arms exhibit and other galleries, thanks to the generosity of Margaret Greeley. Following in her late husband's philanthropic path, Mrs. Greeley's gifts have permitted the museum to illustrate some of the finest products ever brought forth by Colt.