Design Your Own Colt Single Action

The Colt Custom Shop can assist you in designing and creating your one-of-a-kind heirloom, providing an array of options. Select the amount and style of scroll engraving, your personal design, figure and inscription, the material you want to use for inlays, and your choice of finishes. These finishes include Colt Royal Blue, Color Case Hardened, Charcoal Blue, Nickel, Hard Chrome, Gold and Nickel. Grip materials available are Walnut, Ivory, Mother of Pearl, Imitation Ivory, Sambar Stag and Buffalo Horn. Specialty materials, carving, checkering and scrimshaw quoted upon request.

To begin the ordering process of building your Custom Colt, contact the Colt Customer Service Department.


Select the location for the inscription, engraving, or inlay that you want on your firearm.

Custom engraving enhances the beauty of a historical revolver or the sleek lines of a new semi-automatic pistol.

Four levels of coverage are available:

  • Level A – one-quarter coverage.
  • Level B – one-half coverage.
  • Level C – three-quarters coverage.
  • Level D – complete coverage.

Level A produces the effect of delicate embellishment. Levels B and C offer engraving coverage that highlights specifically chosen areas of the firearm, such as the cylinder of a revolver or the barrel of a pistol. Level D, by covering the entire gun, creates a uniquely decorative showpiece for any collector.

Choose the grade and style of scroll engraving.

The Colt Custom Gun Shop offers several styles of engraving, each with its own unique features. Scrollwork is adapted to fit the size, shape and contour of every firearm.

Developed in the mid-19th century, this is the most popular engraving style for American firearms.
English engraving is more delicate than the American style, with tighter scrolls and finer shading.
Nimschke is named for the firearms engraver who helped create the American style. This design features rich scrollwork, a heavily punched dot background, fine edge curls and delicate borders.

Grades of Engraving

Three grades of engraving are offered:

    • Standard: basic American style, engraver not recorded.
    • Expert: master quality scroll work, engraver signed and recorded.
    • Master: intricate scrollwork with precious metal inlays, signed by the engraver and recorded.

Provide your personal design, figure or inscription.

Our engravers can personalize your firearm with an image, inscription, figure or design that has special meaning to you.

Some customers customize their guns with multiple images that collectively tell a story.

The options are limitless, bounded only by your imagination. Colt’s expert engravers can bring any idea to reality.

Specify your choice of finishes and select grips and the material for any inlay.

The Colt Custom Gun Shop can enhance your gun’s beauty and value with custom grips made from your choice of various materials, including Walnut, Rosewood, Buffalo horn, Ivory and North American Elk. Double diamond pattern are also offered.

Special grips can be produced to your specifications, including choice of metal, finish and decorative motif or symbol.

How to Commission your Own Custom Gun

Start by contacting Customer Service to describe your concept. Please note that not all firearms can be engraved, so please contact Customer Service before setting your heart on a customized gun.

Customer Service will help you interface with the Colt Custom Gun Shop staff. After we understand your requirements and specifications, the Custom Gun Shop will prepare a preliminary estimate that provides an approximate cost for the project. You then refine your specifications and request a formal quotation, for which we charge a small fee. The fee is applied to the cost of the project once it is started. The quotation process for a small project can be as simple as our quoting a price and you accepting it. On larger projects, it may entail extensive discussion with the customer, as well as sending sketches and photos back and forth before an accurate price can be finalized.

Once you approve the formal estimate, you will place your order through a local dealer who works with one of Colt's authorized distributors.

Special Editions

The Colt Custom Gun Shop can create custom Special Editions for organizations that desire to offer unique Colt firearms as presentation pieces.  Those who are privileged to receive Special Edition Colt firearms treasure them for a lifetime as well as the organization that arranged for such a timeless gift.

  An example of the signature Special Editions that the Colt Custom Gun Shop can create is the West Point edition shown here, which is stamped with a special rollmark and then machine-engraved and finished with a gold wash.  The West Point Special Edition, the design of which is modified for each class, is often purchased for presentation as a gift to graduating cadets.  Other special editions have been created for law enforcement agencies, sporting organizations and veterans’ groups. 

The History of Colt Engraving

Sam Colt began a heritage of elaborate embellishment and engraving of firearms that continues to this day, setting the standard for custom firearms finishing throughout the world. In the 1830’s, when Sam Colt invented the first practical revolver, he recognized the value of an exquisitely embellished firearm. Colt employed some of the finest engravers and craftsmen to decorate deluxe presentation pistols created for foreign dignitaries, monarchs and military officials. In 1839, Colonel Colt hired Waterman Ormsby, the creator of “cylinder scenes”, one of the most distinctive features on Colt revolvers. Beginning in 1854, Colt’s reputation for producing functional and beautiful firearms was enhanced by the artistry of Gustave Young, Carl Helfrecht, L.D. Nimshke , and other craftsmen whose skill and expertise he justifiably relied on. Custom engraving and other decorative touches brought aesthetic quality to a machine-made firearm that not only enhanced the appearance, but the overall value as well. Today, the Colt Custom Gun Shop continues the tradition of custom engraving that helped to earn Sam Colt his well deserved reputation.