Thoughts on Early Civilian
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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on Early Civilian

    Whats your analysis of this SAA?




















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    It is interesting that the barrel has two different serial numbers on it. Also, that ejector rod housing is not of the same vintage
    as the barrel/gun. A correct e-rod housing would have a stud on it that would fit into the alignment hole in the barrel.
    The nickel finish looks pretty old. I can't comment on its originality.
    hwjhfs, scribbler, ei8ht and 3 others like this.

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    Additional comment: I once owned an old SAA that appeared to have original nickel finish, but the
    Colt letter said it was shipped to Hartley & Graham as a blue/CC gun. Most exerts who viewed my
    SAA felt that H&G had probably refinished the gun to fit an order from a customer.
    With your, gun a company like H&G could have changed barrels in order to match an order from
    a customer. That might explain the dual numbering on the barrel.

    Likewise, they may have switched e-rod housings. Who knows?
    ei8ht likes this.

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    Looks to me like someone swapped the barrel and then stamped it to match the frame.

    Notice it was done so the number could be partially seen with the ejector housing mounted....you would never know without pulling the housing that it had been restamped...and why would you pull it if the "correct" number is partially visible?????

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    I also am unable to comment on the originality of the nickel finish, but, if I had to guess, I think it is a very old renickel. If the barrel has been swapped out at some point, at least it was swapped out with a barrel appropriate to the frame. The frame number is 20201, and italic barrels, like this firearm has, were in use until approximately serial number 22,000.
    Abwehr and gogodaddy like this.

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    Early military barrels sometimes had their serial number partially visible above the housing, or completely exposed above the housing. The "P" on the barrel indicates previous government inspection. As others have said, probably a condemned barrel used on a civilian frame but numbered to match. I have seen that as well and it is original factory work.

    JP

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    Quote Originally Posted by jplower View Post
    Early military barrels sometimes had their serial number partially visible above the housing, or completely exposed above the housing. The "P" on the barrel indicates previous government inspection. As others have said, probably a condemned barrel used on a civilian frame but numbered to match. I have seen that as well and it is original factory work.

    JP


    that makes sense as I cant see someone like H&G renumbering it back in the day, who cared back then about matching numbers?

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    That is interesting, that they would put a military barrel on a civilian frame. I guess we do not customize as much as we think. They have been doing it a long time.

    Quote Originally Posted by jplower View Post
    Early military barrels sometimes had their serial number partially visible above the housing, or completely exposed above the housing. The "P" on the barrel indicates previous government inspection. As others have said, probably a condemned barrel used on a civilian frame but numbered to match. I have seen that as well and it is original factory work.

    JP
    .45 or More!

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    I can't say for sure about the nickel finish other than it looks original, but easy enough to confirm with a letter.

    However, other than the finish, I believe this gun could be completely original as it left the factory including the barrel and ejector rod housing! The gun is numbered in the transition serial range from studded housing to non-studded. The use of rejected military parts on civilian guns is well known and well documented by Kopec and others and as Dave posted above.

    Just because the barrel is drilled for a studded housing, doesn't mean the factory was obligated to use one. The non-studded housing works just fine and by Colt changing to non-studded housings, confirms they didn't feel the stud was needed nor justified the extra cost. Recognize, newer parts, for example non-studded housings, were often dumped into bins on top of older parts and why all parts updates we see in the books always happen over a long transition period with only very approximate serial number ranges provided for the change, and that often overlap as is the case for the housing change:

    Studded (or dowel) housings seen as late as #21,500
    Non-studded housings seen as early as #20,500

    Obviously these "round" numbers are just educated guesses. Your gun could actually reset the 20,500 # to a new low of #20,201! This happens all the time as more guns are observed; remember, most of the books were written a long time ago.

    Again, a letter might help sort this out, especially if this gun shipped later than its serial # might indicate which would support the use of the later non-studded housing.

    Yes the market is loaded with fraudulent guns, we know that. But all too often we hear of "unusual" guns being passed up due to skepticism and our lack of knowledge about variances in some features only to find later we missed out on a rare or a new milestone gun not yet documented.

    The most knowledgeable collectors all admit that it takes truly investigative and deductive reasoning beyond just what the books say that lead to successful skill in the "collecting art".

    Bottom line, your gun has no other hints of Tom foolery and I may be going against the tide, but I think it's completely righteous!
    Last edited by Hondo44; 08-14-2016 at 11:01 PM.

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    I pretty much agree with Hondo44 on this one. Really nice looking SAA.

    Best regards,
    My opinion is free, and worth every penny of it.


 
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