3rd generation serial numbers
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  1. #1
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    3rd generation serial numbers

    I have much interest in Colts 3rd generation Signature Series revolvers. Have owned several since they came out I decided to sell a few off but wondered just how many were actually made. Certainly did not want to sell off the 1861 Navy only to find out later they only made 33 of them! But the data just isnt out there, so I decided to start a project. Using the auction sites I looked at and wrote down the serial for each revolver that I found. Then, subtracting the highest number from the lowest I would at least have a 'minimum number made' number. I do realize that Colt supposedly started the serials at the number the second generation ended with, but I wanted to SEE the actual number on a gun.
    A few notes before I present the data here. First of all its amazing to me how many dealers, interested in a sale, put such incredibly poor quality photos up. So many I could not get a clear view of the gun let alone the serial. Also, the number of sellers that post ONE photo. Really? You want me to shell out hundreds of dollars for an item I cant hold and I can only see one side of the gun? Third, its amazing how long some of these auctions are up. I get the same serial number for a certain model over and over. Its just been there for sale at a ridiculous price forever (feeding my beef about GB having free relists for eternity). Finally, its amazing how careless some are with regard to which model they are trying to sell. Suffice to say if I am in the market for a 3rd gen 1862 pocket police I certainly will miss the one that is listed as a model 1861 Navy.
    Okay...enough of my observations. Here is what I found, so far. Data is Model, high number, low number, and the difference.

    Colt Walker: 9509-6430=3079
    1849 Pocket: 343244-340469=2775
    1851 Navy: 34304-29982=4322
    1860 Army: 225103-215542=9561
    1861 Navy: 45827-43408=2419

    The other models do not have enough data yet to give a meaningful number.
    I assumed the 1851 Navy and 1860 would be about the same, but so far that is not the case.
    Realize my numbers may be WAY OFF. This is only a list of serial numbers posted on the major auction sites over the past 2 or 3 years. For me there is nothing etched in stone about this, but it was the only way i could even get a smidgen of data about production numbers.

    Hope some find this interesting.
    rayb likes this.

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    I have a Signature Series 1847 Walker with a serial number of 9813 which is a bit out the range you show.
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    Colts 3rd generation Signature Series revolvers

    Hi dandak,
    Seems a worth while project for the research into Colts 3rd generation Signature Series revolvers. I'm sure members will respond and it will be used as a record in the future. Sorry I have not got a Colt 3rd generation Signature Series revolver in my collection, but I wish you well on your project which will be of interest to me, good luck.
    Kind regards,
    ALSS.

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    My signature Walker is 4213 which must have been one of the earliest produced and would add a sizable 2,127 each to your total.

    My 1949 pocket 342414, which would also add 830 to your total for that model.

    While in the Russell book, he has no specific numbers, he does mention that in some of the early paperwork he read concerning the signature models that a projection of 2500 each was listed. He goes on to say that from personal observations, he doesn't think that some models reached that number, but that other
    models such as the Walker far surpassed it. He doesn't mention any other specific models except the Walker.

    I've read on this forum that all the production numbers were mysteriously lost after Colt ended the license agreement with Colt Blackpowder Arms. I'm assuming the ending of this agreement was not amicable, which may in part explain why these numbers disappeared. It could also be that Colt Blackpowder did not strictly adhere to the specific limits they were supposed to. Who knows?

    Cheers
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    I like the Sig Series even though I don't have any yet. There were a lot of models and/or variations that were never made in the 2nd Gens. Top of my list to get would be a Military Model 3rd Dragoon cut for shoulder stock. I also look at the auctions and try to record anything different or unusual. The 1861 Navy does not show up very often. The Pocket Navy and Pocket Police seem even more rare.
    I have seen the following:
    1851 Navy with round, silver plated trigger guard.
    1860 Army nickel, cut for stock.
    1860 Army electroless nickel or stainless steel, cut for stock.
    1861 Navy steel trigger guard and backstrap, cut for stock #45919
    1861 Navy, full blue, cut for stock #45xxx.
    arguswilliams likes this.

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    Thanks all. Forward_Observer your 1849 is within my serial range listed.
    Based upon what I see at local gunshows over the years, I would list the Signature Series models encountered (standard models) as the 1851 by far first, then the 1860, then the walker, next the 1849, then the dragoons, the 1862 pocket navy, the 1861 Navy, and finally the 1862 Pocket Police. Of course, the first one I got rid of (in 2000...17 years ago...yikes!) was the 1862 Pocket Police!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dandak View Post
    Thanks all. Forward_Observer your 1849 is within my serial range listed.
    Based upon what I see at local gunshows over the years, I would list the Signature Series models encountered (standard models) as the 1851 by far first, then the 1860, then the walker, next the 1849, then the dragoons, the 1862 pocket navy, the 1861 Navy, and finally the 1862 Pocket Police. Of course, the first one I got rid of (in 2000...17 years ago...yikes!) was the 1862 Pocket Police!

    Sorry for the mix up, I didn't fully notice that your numbers had the highest serial number listed before the lowest and my dyslexia took over at some point.
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    I'm new here and really appreciate the info I've received that I couldn't find on other boards. I've been shooting BP since 2012 but Italian reproductions. I've recently started collecting Colts. I recently purchased a 3rd gen Signature Series 1860 original box matches the gun serial number of 49SR. I hope that helps your research dandak, and if anyone knows where a serial number of 49SR comes from, I'd sure like to know.

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    Jetchinger - I found a couple of Second Gen Colts for my collection at Simpson Firearms. Best deal I could find on NIB Colts.
    Modern Black Powder, Simpson Ltd
    For those who would want a Second Gen Pocket Police he has a couple - $500 being the cheapest. An 1861 Navy $600. The ones I bought were either unturned and still in the packing grease or or cocked a couple of times but that's all. They are basically brand new in the box. But no 3rd gen.

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    Thanks for the info on Simpson Firearms, hadn't heard of them before.


 
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