Help Re buying and pricing an Ainsworth or other Colt Cavalry
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Thread: Help Re buying and pricing an Ainsworth or other Colt Cavalry

  1. #1
    rbs
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    Help Re buying and pricing an Ainsworth or other Colt Cavalry

    I am interested in buying my first Colt Cavalry, hopefully one inspected by Ainsworth with all the appropriate original marks and parts that has not been "refreshed" or "restored" but that needs to have little or none of its original case coloring or bluing. I have read what appear to be the relevant sections of "Kopec's" Cavalry & Artillery Revolvers and A Study of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver, reviewed a number of the very interesting posts here and looked at a number of Ainsworths being offered for sale. Doing so has given rise to the following pricing question as to which I would appreciate your thoughts: What is a reasonable price to expect to pay for an Ainsworth accompanied by a Kopec letter confirming that it is "right" in that it bears all its original parts and markings, has not been "refreshed" and may bear little or no original case coloring or bluing?

    So far --usually not accompanied by a Kopec letter -- I have seen purported Ainsworth marked SAA's for sale at prices ranging from perhaps $2,500 or so to well in excess of $50,000. Accordingly, I would be most appreciative in learning what you think is a reasonable current price range for an Ainsworth with a Kopec letter confirming that it is in the condition described above.
    Should you have any suggestions as to other factors that should be considered in purchasing an Ainsworth of other Colt Cavalry, please also include them in your reply.

    Thanks for your time and thoughts.

    rbs
    WVCOLT and 2horses like this.

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    My WAG is between $6K to $15K if not related to Little Big Horn.

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    If as you describe, with no original finish, but "as right", as described by John Kopec, I would guess, as long as not from the "prime" fifth lot shipped to the Seventh Cavalry (serial numbers 4516 through 5521), you "probably" can't go wrong at $5000 and are likely okay up to $7500. If from the Custer Range, a substantial premium would be warranted.

    Photographs would help to fine tune these numbers and possibly revise upward. Also, if the letter predates the Gold Seal of approval, the use of superlative adjectives by Mr Kopec, or lack thereof, might enhance or detract from the value of this Cavalry Model.

    Note my figures are conservative as there are no photographs or actual letter. You might possess what is easily a 5 figure gun.

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    Be very careful. There are numerous fakes out there. Some are good and many not so good. A Kopec Letter is a must. If you buy get a good money back guarantee until the Kopec letter arrives. It takes about 2 weeks including the time in transit. The price of a brown or gray gun will vary a good bit depending on the crispness and or wear. Make sure all parts look aged together. Kopec's book may be your best friend. Remember not all dealers are honest and auction houses often do not give a thorough description. I know I sound negative but this can be a very costly mistake. For a full 7.5 inch barreled gun that is aged but not abused 5000 to 15000 may be the range. 2500 says something is very wrong.
    This all started with one gun!
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    The $6K-$15K estimate sounds right. The part of the country where you buy the gun may also influence the price. Another factor is who owned the gun. A well documented gun assigned to a U.S. Cavalry unit during the Indian Wars will likely cost you more money. An identical Colt SAA with militia markings will probably cost less.

    Rusty Edwards
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    I recently had the same idea, I wanted one nice Ainsworth cavalry, with a "good" Kopec letter and one that had a better than average chance that it was actually assigned to a cavalry unit. Many of the cavalry models ended up assigned to State militias and never actually saw Indian Wars service. If you stay below serial number 8000, you are pretty safe but I would recommend getting the lowest serial number Ainsworth that you can afford with the Kopec letter. My goal was to find one shipped in the first 2000, which would have been in late 1873. If you watch the auctions, there have been some in this range and they can be somewhat affordable but this varies based on condition, unit details in the Kopec letter and other factors. I found one last year in the 14XX serial range with the "good" Kopec letter, for around $7500 all in. The hardest part is staying patience waiting for the right one to come along.
    MrRush, mrcvs, Ruster and 2 others like this.

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    Im looking right now also!!
    I'm a Horse guy, have horses, and collect Cavalry guns, Civil War etc.
    Cavalry Colts are very pricey.
    Don't blame u a bit for wanting one also!
    Im starting now with an ARTILLERY COLT.
    They start at 3500.00 low. And go up.
    From what Ive experienced so far.
    Still looking also!
    Just my FYI, for you!
    Good Luck!
    These guns are so AWESOME!

    Sent from my SM-J727V using Tapatalk
    Rick Bowles likes this.

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    For What's It's Worth

    For what's it's worth, I paid $6K for this 1883 Cavalry Revolver. Kopec gave it a silver-level accreditation. It's in great condition for its age.

    Rusty Edwards

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruster View Post
    For what's it's worth, I paid $6K for this 1883 Cavalry Revolver. Kopec gave it a silver-level accreditation. It's in great condition for its age.

    Rusty Edwards
    Worth it! That looks like the perfect Colt to me.

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    The gun above looks good as far as the metal goes but the grips pop out immediately as not having a single stain, dent, ding, or scratch. I have 2 Ainsworth guns neither of which is totally correct. One is the Custer Gun pictured in my avatar and the other is one of the original nickel plated Cavalry Models. There are previous threads on both of them. I would like to have a gun like the OP wants but I never go looking for one, I just wait until it comes to me.

    The Custer Gun has a Replaced barrel and ejector assembly but is otherwise all original. The nickel plated gun has a cut barrel and a set of aged ivorys I pout on it. I do have the original grips for it.

    IMG_4750.jpg IMG_3144.jpg
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    This all started with one gun!
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