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  1. #1
    Junior Member brainman is on a distinguished road

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    1883 Single Action Army info?

    Hello All,

    I was given an SAA that I'm told belonged to my great-grandfather who was a Texas Ranger. I'd like to know what you guys think of the gun. I haven't yet ordered a Colt letter, but I intend to.

    The serial number is 100xxx, which makes it 1883 as far as I can tell from proofhouse.com. I'm assuming it's a nickel finish that is nicely engraved and which is in very good condition. Mechanically, it's totally sweet, locks up tight, timing looks correct, trigger is great. I'm told it's a .44-40, but there aren't any caliber markings on the barrel. It has the patent markings (Sept.19.1871, July.2.-72, Jan.19.-75) and the top of the barrel is engraved with Colt's PT.F.A.MFG Co Hartford CT USA, though that's kind of hard to see. It also has my great-grandfather's initials inscribed in one of the grips and on the handle. colt 5.jpgcolt 4.jpgcolt 3.jpgcolt 2.jpgcolt 1.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kid Sopris will become famous soon enough

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    This is a fabulous treasure...NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. Texas Rangers have always been proud of the firearms and have been known to embellish these historical tools back to the beginning of Texas. I would carefully and cautiously say that don't be surprised if you find out that the revolver was engraved after it left the factory, and at that time it may have been re-nickeled or silver plated.

    I would be very interested in the information provided by the Historical Archives, BUT it should be followed up with Local history and pictures of your grandfather if at all possible.

    Thank You for sharing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Old-Colts is on a distinguished road

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    First off, I do not know much about nickel or engraved Single Actions, but it appears to me that the gun was refinished and prior to the time it was refinished it was engraved because the markings and the engraving have both been softened due to buffing prior to it being refinished. The engraving might be factory, so I think I’d consider getting a letter on the gun to know how it was originally shipped from Colt. Someone that knows prewar engraving might be able to shed more light on the engraving's originality.

    Single Actions of the period that this one was manufactured did not have the chambering stamped on the left side of the barrel, it would have been on the left front or rear trigger guard or rear frame flats. If it is chambered in 44-40, if the buffing didn’t removed the stamping it should be 44CF I believe.

  4. #4
    Senior Member coltsixguns is on a distinguished road

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    Factory letter is defintely the way to go.....I see a lot of attributes that makes me think factory engraving then I also see a few things that make me think "soft" or "period" engraved.

    The gun has been refinished but still well worth lettering let alone the Ranger connection.

  5. #5
    Senior Member oakridge is on a distinguished road

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    In the serial number range of this gun, the 44-40's had the etched panel Colt Frontier Six Shooter on the barrel. Of course the shallow etched panel could easily be obliterated if the gun was later refinished and engraved. Original factory engraving that I've seen left the etched panel intact, just like they did with caliber markings on the barrel.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Texas Man is on a distinguished road

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    Thanks for showing the Grandfathers gun. Could You give Us more infarmation about him with his name? The Old Colt looks just like the ones carried during the 1870s thur the 1920s and later by the Rangers. Many had Ivory or Pearl grips added during that period and engraving as show on Your gun is the kind found most often on Ranger guns. Many of the Old Ranger guns show heavy use from years of being in the weather and dusty Texas days. Ofter the front edge of the barrel will show wear from hoster use and filing of front sights was common as well. The 44-40 was used by many as the same ammo could be used in their 1873 Windchesters.
    I have a set of 44-40 SAA with 7 1/2 inch barrels that have Ivory grips with a carved steer head and a Ruby set in the steers eyes that show heavy use from bgeing carried from 1897 thur 1918 on the Mexican Border for years and they also have the orginal double Heister gunbelt and holsters with them.




    holsters

  7. #7
    Supporting Member Jim Martin is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old-Colts View Post
    First off, I do not know much about nickel or engraved Single Actions, but it appears to me that the gun was refinished and prior to the time it was refinished it was engraved because the markings and the engraving have both been softened due to buffing prior to it being refinished. The engraving might be factory, so I think I’d consider getting a letter on the gun to know how it was originally shipped from Colt. Someone that knows prewar engraving might be able to shed more light on the engraving's originality.

    Single Actions of the period that this one was manufactured did not have the chambering stamped on the left side of the barrel, it would have been on the left front or rear trigger guard or rear frame flats. If it is chambered in 44-40, if the buffing didn’t removed the stamping it should be 44CF I believe.
    Another place the cal. marking was on the under side of the bbl. where it screws into the frame-u have to remove the base pin to see if it's there,the #'s are very small.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mushinto is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by brainman View Post
    ... The serial number is 100xxx, which makes it 1883 as far as I can tell from proofhouse.com. ...
    1884.
    ML

  9. #9
    Supporting Member Rio is on a distinguished road
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    In the last photograph the barrel looks too long to be 4" and too short to be 5". Perhaps it has been cut from 7"?

    Rio

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rick is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rio View Post
    In the last photograph the barrel looks too long to be 4" and too short to be 5". Perhaps it has been cut from 7"?

    Rio
    You are probably correct. Although the engraving seems to terminate properly at the muzzle, it may have been shipped with a 7 1/2" barrel for engraving outside the factory at which time to fill an order, the barrel may have been cut.


 

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