SAA shipment date vs year of manufacture
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    SAA shipment date vs year of manufacture

    Hello, everyone, I appreciate the help with this. I recently purchased a Colt SAA (serial #357629) from a distant relative who is serving as the executor of her uncle's estate. The uncle had some cool Colts, and I grabbed this one. According to the Colt website, if I'm reading things correctly, the pistol was manufactured in 1940. I ordered a certificate from the Colt historian, however, that states that the SAA was shipped in 1954. That seems like quite the gap. Can someone educate me? I'm new to Colt SAA collecting. What am I missing? Again, thanks for the help.
    victorio1sw and Rick like this.

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    I am surprised that you would be getting any letter at all, with shipping date. Colt SAA's in this late serial range would have been in that last (Stolen) Shipping Ledger that covers 1934 and later.

    What you may get is a letter composed from assembly records, giving Caliber, Bbl length, and Finish. However, if the gun had to be modified in order to make a final sale, then the description in such a letter will be outdated (and wrong).

    We do know that Colt SAA's from the 357xxx serial range were often sold or shipped very late, when compared with the estimated manufacturing year. I seem to recall that the last one in stock sold in the 1970's.
    Last edited by victorio1sw; 02-07-2020 at 04:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by victorio1sw View Post
    I am surprised that you would be getting any letter at all, with shipping date. Colt SAA's in this late serial range would have been in that last (Stolen) Shipping Ledger that covers 1934 and later.

    What you may get is a letter composed from assembly records, giving Caliber, Bbl length, and Finish. However, if the gun had to be modified in order to make a final sale, then the description in such a letter will be outdated (and wrong).

    We do know that Colt SAA's from the 357xxx serial range were often sold or shipped very late, when compared with the estimated manufacturing year.
    Okay. Thank you! (I'm learning things already. Brand new to Colt collecting.) So, if I hear what you're saying correctly, nothing about what I said previously,(i.e. the 1940 manufacture and the 1954 shipment date) would surprise you. Is that correct?
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    The frame was manufactured in about 1940. I would still request a "Colt Letter", as some info may be better than none. Also there is a slim chance that somewhere Colt may have your serial number. This happened recently on a factory engraved Colt SAA that normally would be another "lost shipping record" gun.

    I have a Colt SAA 38 Spcl x 7-1/2" blue #35728x. It retains 99% original blue, including the face of the cylinder (where the partial SN is located). This would be among those lost shipping record SAA’s during 1934-44. Assembly records show that it was assembled on 11-29-1940 as a 357 Magnum & Moved to shipping room on 12-6-1940. No doubt, prior to eventual sale and shipment, this gun was changed to 38 special as proven by that matching cylinder SN. Interestingly, there is no thread relief cut under the topstrap, a feature of the strengthened 357 design, so it likely was intended to be a 357 as the assembly records indicated.
    Last edited by victorio1sw; 02-07-2020 at 04:58 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by victorio1sw View Post
    The frame was manufactured in about 1940. I would still request a "Colt Letter", as some info may be better than none. Also there is a slim chance that somewhere Colt may have your serial number. This happened recently on a factory engraved Colt SAA that normally would be another "lost shipping record" gun.

    I have a Colt SAA 38 Spcl x 7-1/2" blue #35728x. It retains 99% original blue, including the face of the cylinder (where the partial SN is located). This would be among those lost shipping record SAA’s during 1934-44. Assembly records show that it was assembled on 11-29-1940 as a 357 Magnum & Moved to shipping room on 12-6-1940. No doubt, prior to eventual sale and shipment, this gun was changed to 38 special as proven by that matching cylinder SN. Interestingly, there is no thread relief cut under the topstrap, a feature of the strengthened 357 design, so it likely was intended to be a 357 as the assembly records indicated.
    Very interesting. Thank you. And just so I'm not missing anything.... the "colt letter" you reference above is the Archive Letter, right? Or is there another I'm not aware of?
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    The “Colt letter” IS the Colt Archive Letter and you said you already have that.
    Last edited by Blackjack33; 02-07-2020 at 05:48 PM.

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    Yes the archive letter which as said, would be a long shot. You very desireable Sa is whats commonly referred to as the pre-war, post-war. Manufactured before but not shipped until after.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yelljack View Post
    Very interesting. Thank you. And just so I'm not missing anything.... the "colt letter" you reference above is the Archive Letter, right? Or is there another I'm not aware of?
    The Archive Letter and Colt Letter are the same, as you have surmised.

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    I can't tell you guys how much I appreciate your input here. I'm sure it's basic stuff to you, but I know next to nothing about these pistols. I only knew enough to know that this one (and the other I bought with it) were worth a little something. So... thank you guys! Here's a picture...
    IMG_3470.jpg

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    That's an outstanding Colt Yelljack. It's worth more than a little something. :-)
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