Colt Artillery Model Case Study or "My Initiation Fee" for this hobby
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    Colt Artillery Model Case Study or "My Initiation Fee" for this hobby

    I purchased this Artillery Model revolver with problems over 20 years ago when I was far more green when it comes to these. The price I paid for it would easily have purchased an Artillery Model revolver with a Gold Seal letter of approval, although those were not available then. At that time, Mr Kopec would have stated that this revolver was 100% correct. As I got better at this sort of thing, I would pull this revolver out and find additional fault(s) with it. Perhaps I was overly critical, as in starting to think the revolver was a complete dud, so I took the plunge in 2014 and sent this one to Mr Kopec for evaluation. He had already seen it before at least once, which immediately should raise a red flag, especially when it did not come with a letter. (I'm sure the letter that originally came with this revolver lined the bottom of someone's cat litter box rather nicely some time ago!) Even being green at the time, I did question the stocks, in that they did not look right, refinished and perhaps reshaped at the left side top and junction with frame and backstrap. I fell for this one because I had seen few before, and it had case colouring and a 4 digit frame serial number and a barrel with an italic barrel address. I will also state, in hindsight, the business I bought this from in Northern Virginia is now closed for some time and developed a shady reputation over the years, so whether they sold it "as is" or were responsible for alterations remains unknown.

    As awful as it was that I paid for this one, and what it turned out to be, I consider that to be "tuition". It actually has made me proceed with caution and probably has saved me more later than what this one cost me by overpaying for it. Right now, I haven't lost anything on it as I haven't tried to sell it, so that's the silver lining in the storm cloud.

    It's not a complete dud, there are a few positives. Some I could not have known even today as Mr Kopec had the benefit of having seen it before and identifying differences that are not evident to someone with this advantage.

    Feel free to comment, and you can pick this one apart as much as you like!

    In a bit, I will comment on what I now note and what I see if looking at this one today, with more experience, and then I will post John Kopec's letter for all to see and learn from.
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    Last edited by mrcvs; Today at 05:11 AM.

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    Colt Artillery Model

    And more photographs...
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    Last edited by mrcvs; Today at 05:13 AM.

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    As a collector we have all been there. We have also had valuable lessons learned. Maybe not all of us . Most of us quickly sell our missteps and move on. Out of sight out of mind. Kudos to you for keeping yours and continuing to learn.
    cloverleaf, SHOOTER13 and mrcvs like this.

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    And more photographs of some particularly problematic areas that will be more readily apparent when John Kopec's letter is posted. The last photograph is a good example of what is not just wrong with this revolver, but others that have been messed with, First Generations, both Civilian and Military. I cannot state definitively that this photograph can be used in the evaluation of ALL Colt Single Action Army revolvers as some third generation production has been questionable over the years.
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    Last edited by mrcvs; Today at 05:15 AM.
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    Looking forward to John Kopec's letter and his evaluations on your Artillery Model.

    This is a good case study for all whom seek knowledge will undoubtedly learn a lesson.

    .
    Last edited by SHOOTER13; 12-02-2019 at 01:08 PM.

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    I would like to comment even before you post the Kopec letter that since Artillery Models were assembled by most likely more than one person, the fit of all Artilleries will vary. In particular, I suspect that as the assembling-from-parts process progressed, it became exceedingly more and more difficult for assemblers to create 'near perfect' fits. Therefore, to me, if you or Kopec object to the fit of the ears of the backstrap to the frame, my comment would be, "How do you prove that was not just a poor fit by the assemblers?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by saintclair View Post
    I would like to comment even before you post the Kopec letter that since Artillery Models were assembled by most likely more than one person, the fit of all Artilleries will vary. In particular, I suspect that as the assembling-from-parts process progressed, it became exceedingly more and more difficult for assemblers to create 'near perfect' fits. Therefore, to me, if you or Kopec object to the fit of the ears of the backstrap to the frame, my comment would be, "How do you prove that was not just a poor fit by the assemblers?"
    Correct! I cannot prove this definitively to be the case, but I would certainly prefer to see a much better fit of the ears of the backstrap to the frame. At the very least, the fit evident in my photograph would be troublesome on a First Generation Colt Civilian or Cavalry Model revolver. Another telling sign with regards to my particular revolver is the soft edges of the backstrap near the ears as the 90 degree angle courses from horizontal to vertical.
    saintclair and Rick like this.

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    When you get tired of it, let me know. I'd be more than willing to take it off your hands. I love guns that are altered or not perfect. I feel better about shooting them, and certainly my wallet likes them better too.
    saintclair likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bighipiron View Post
    When you get tired of it, let me know. I'd be more than willing to take it off your hands. I love guns that are altered or not perfect. I feel better about shooting them, and certainly my wallet likes them better too.
    Funny you should say that. This Artillery Model revolver might actually be fired later this week with black powder at the Rod & Gun Club. It's a fine example that can be used for this very purpose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcvs View Post
    Funny you should say that. This Artillery Model revolver might actually be fired later this week with black powder at the Rod & Gun Club. It's a fine example that can be used for this very purpose.

    Richmond Rod and Gun club? Please say yes haha
    mrcvs likes this.


 
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