Over the 4th of July I was able to aquire a very old beat up Black Powder gun. A dug relic. The previous owner said he got it years ago from an antique store in New Mexico and it was in a shadow box that had a lot of real neat old west relics. He didn't give me the details of the other relics but he did say there were some rare silver dollars and a gold indian head coin in there. Anyway, he was more interested in the relics than the old gun. So now its mine!
We believe it was dug in the southwest. Coming from an antique store in NM, that would make sense. The rust is very similar to dry dessert type dug relics that I've handled in the past. Obviously, shes seized up tighter than a drum. There are NO rounds in the cylinder. Too much rust and pitting to make out any roll marks on the barrel. I compared the cylinder chambers side by side with my 3rd. gen 45C, and i believe this has a 45C cylinder. You will also notice that the backstrap has a nice bend to it.
Serial #...….I can just make a few #s on the frame. Looks to be 1353xx? If this is the case, then the gun is from 1890. It could be 1553xx, which would put it at 1894. I know the first # is NOT a 2. That would make the gun 1902, and that would be impossible due to the base-pin screw retainer. What do you guys think the Serial # looks like? (see below)
There's nothing I can read that would give me even a guess as to what the number might be. Better photos are necessary for sure. Neat relic.
My goal is to clean this up the best I can. As of 1:30pm today, after carefully brushing away as much surface rust as possible with a tooth brush, I started an Electrolysis bath. My goal is to reveal that serial #...and maybe some barrel markings. I ordered a gallon of Kroil and it should be here by weeks end. I'd like to get the cylinder out and tear it down as carefully as possible. If possible. I will clean everything as best as I can, put it back together, and build my own display for it. Should be a fun little project! And if I can reveal that Serial #, I'll order a letter for it just for fun.
Keep in mind this is a BP frame so the SN would be under 164,100.
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All SAA Colt work; Action Work, Tune-ups, Barrel Rotation for Accuracy, Custom grips, Cylinder fitting. Coltsmith: Bill Fuchs
Thats a cool relic! I would have left it like it is. Be careful with the electrolysis. If you leave it a little too long, there wont be much left of the gun. I doubt that you will ever be able to remove any of the screws including the base pin screw. Next time, try soaking it in some Evapo Rust. That will remove the surface layer and neutralize the other rust. Then, spray a coat of satin clear lacquer on it. That will preserve it for many more years for display.
Last edited by hearsedriver; 07-09-2019 at 06:42 PM.
"Go ahead, skin it! Skin that smokewagon and see what happens".
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Any theories on how the backstrap got bent? I like to think the guy was in a gunfight, ran out of ammo, emptied the shells, and then when he reached in his pocket he realized he was out of rounds. So he flipped it around grabbing the barrel and then beat his adversary to death with it. Thus bending it. And then being bent and out of ammo, he ditched it before his adversaries friends showed up.
Or…..it fell out of a Cowboys holster and got trampled by the back foot of his horse. And the guy didn't even know it was gone until he got back to the ranch....But that's not as cool.