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Thread: Colt. 45 Patent 1871, Need some serial number help

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    Junior Member Jgish71 is on a distinguished road

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    Colt. 45 Patent 1871, Need some serial number help

    Good Morning,

    I was told this would be the place to go to hopefully get some answers. I am looking at purchasing a Colt .45, patent 1871, with a serial number that is 136XXX. Inspector initials are DFC. All numbers on the weapon are matching, my main concern is that the two serial numbers that are on the trigger guard/action only have the 6XXX, not the full 136XXX. I haven't seen any other Colt SAA made around the 1891 time frame that has a partial serial number stamped on it like this. Obviously, I am concerned it's a fraud. Any one have any insite into this?

    Thanks,

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    Senior Member coltsixguns is on a distinguished road

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    Good closeup pictures might help us help you, but as far as my experience has gone is that on a 136,xxx range single action that you will see the whole complete number on the frame and triggerguard and buttstrap. Pay close attention to the style of numbers and make sure they match exactly on every location. Of course this doesn't mean that every location hasn't been renumbered.

    U.S. marked guns are one of the most faked single actions that you will come across.

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    Senior Member hwjhfs is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jgish71 View Post
    Good Morning, serial number that is 136XXX. Inspector initials are DFC. Thanks,
    RAC inspected guns in the 136XXX range, not DFC. We neep photos.

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    Junior Member Jgish71 is on a distinguished road

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    Thanks guys, when I get home I'll snap some pictures of it and put them up. Thanks for the responses.

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    Junior Member Jgish71 is on a distinguished road

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    Ok fellas, here are the pictures I was able to get. DFC is on the frame and the cylinder. Please take a look and let me know what you think.
    Attached Images

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    Senior Member 84cadillac is on a distinguished road

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    Here is some study information Subtle changes in the Colt Single Action Army, a photo essay There should be serial numbers and inspectors initials on the barrel under the eject housing. Also there may be inspectors initials on the rear face of the cylinder.

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    Luke 22:36

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    Supporting Member Jim Martin is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jgish71 View Post
    Ok fellas, here are the pictures I was able to get. DFC is on the frame and the cylinder. Please take a look and let me know what you think.
    Have you taken it apart yet?I was looking @ the position of the hammer @ 1/2 cock & it looks like your 1/2 cock notch on the hammer may be broken.

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    Senior Member hwjhfs is on a distinguished road

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    I think you have a civilian gun that someone added the US and the DFC to it. There also should be "RAC" (for this serial number) on the periphery of the cylinder along with a "P" and those will be behind a flute just as the serial number is. See if there is a "P" on the cylinder. DFC guns usually had a small letter "g" below the serial number on the triggerguard and the backstrap and RAC guns would have a "K" in those places instead of a "g". As the other poster said, pull off the ejector housing and there should be a "P" along with "RAC" on the bottom of the barrel. The serial number would be there regardless of civilian gun or military gun. I still believe you have a civilian gun with the DFC and US applied to the frame. If the faker would have used "RAC" instead this may have been harder to solve. Also, the periods after the u and s appear to be round; Colt did not use round periods on these guns. It also has been refinished furthering my belief it is a fake. See if there is a letter "K" stamped in the hammer slot. Lots of things out of place on this gun. By the way, those are a nice pair of old ivory grips; worth a few bucks on their own.
    Last edited by hwjhfs; 12-24-2012 at 10:13 AM.

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    Senior Member coltsixguns is on a distinguished road

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    One saving thing is that you haven't put any money in this one yet. (I hope)

    I think you've got a single action with multiple issues that don't add up.

    It appears to have been "browned" which the amateur fakers love to do. Generally speaking, the brown has no likeness to a natural patina.

    In that serial range, a 3 line patent date is correct for a civilian or U.S. single action not a 2 line address as yours shows.
    Either it's an earlier frame that has been renumbered with a later serial number or the U.S. and patent dates have been reapplied. I've got a "real" 133,xxx range U.S. and the patent dates on it are the usual 3 line.

    I believe the serial number on the frame and TG and BS to be original so that indicates that the patent dates on the frame and the U.S. have been reapplied and the U.S. marking is probably spurious.

    DFC didn't inspect in that serial range so the initials above the serial number on the frame should be RAC with a 136,xxx range SN.

    The 6505 on the cylinder appears to be a restamp of at least the first 3 digits 650 Civilian models usually didn't have the serial numbers stamped on the OD of the cylinder in this range. So either it's been restamped if U.S. or spuriously applied if civilian.

    One way to know if it started out in life would be to check with colt and see if they will tell you if that serial number started off as a U.S. or civilian.

    If the serial number started out as a U.S. then you have one that's been played with and / or restored.

    If the serial number started out as a civilian then you have one that someone tried to make more valuable by turning it into a U.S. but did a fairly poor job while doing it in the attempt to catch someone with absolutely no experience in the attributes of that serial range.

    The grips are ill fitting and don't look like they would fit any other single action in any other serial range very well so you can't ascribe much value to them.

    Again, the good news is that you haven't spent your money on this one.

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    Senior Member Rick is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwjhfs View Post
    I think you have a civilian gun that someone added the US and the DFC to it. There also should be "RAC" (for this serial number) on the periphery of the cylinder along with a "P" and those will be behind a flute just as the serial number is. See if there is a "P" on the cylinder. DFC guns usually had a small letter "g" below the serial number on the triggerguard and the backstrap and RAC guns would have a "K" in those places instead of a "g". As the other poster said, pull off the ejector housing and there should be a "P" along with "RAC" on the bottom of the barrel. The serial number would be there regardless of civilian gun or military gun. I still believe you have a civilian gun with the DFC and US applied to the frame. If the faker would have used "RAC" instead this may have been harder to solve. Also, the periods after the u and s appear to be round; Colt did not use round periods on these guns. It also has been refinished furthering my belief it is a fake. See if there is a letter "K" stamped in the hammer slot. Lots of things out of place on this gun. By the way, those are a nice pair of old ivory grips; worth a few bucks on their own.
    I second what Keith said. This is a civilian that's been made to look like a US gun. MANY issues! If you're looking to buy US Colt single actions start with buying reference books. This gun has obvious ( to collectors) problems with authenticity. John Kopec's books will save you a LOT of money!


 

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