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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey y’all, I’m new to the forum but I was here to see if anyone would have any information on past owners of a gun I was passed down by my grandpa. It is 1900 SAA .38wcf with a 4 3/4 barrel. The serial number is 197880. As far as Ik my grandpas father bought it from a hitchhiker somewhere in texas in the 40s-50s. If any has any information in it I’d appreciate hearing it!
 

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Welcome! Colt can get you a letter stating where and when it was shipped when new. After that it would be a one in a million chance to find any information on a single random gun. With some good pictures we can tell if the gun is original or if it has been refinished or perhaps has any replaced parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome! Colt can get you a letter stating where and when it was shipped when new. After that it would be a one in a million chance to find any information on a single random gun. With some good pictures we can tell if the gun is original or if it has been refinished or perhaps has any replaced parts.
Thanks everyone! A few years ago we got the letter from colt. It says it was shipped to Simmons hardware company in St. Louis in 1900. I noticed there were some other threads where people had a list of serial numbers and past owners. Was hoping that there was some kinda of long shot info anyone had between 1900 and the 40s.
Trigger Wood Air gun Gun barrel Gun accessory

Revolver Trigger Air gun Wood Tin

Air gun Wood Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory

another thing I was wondering: on the letter from colt it says the finish is “blue”. Now I know about blued guns, is that what it was referring to. If so is it completely worn away except those small dark patches on the cylinder and some other spots on the gun. Thank you all for your wisdom :)
 

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That's a nice looking gun! It is nickel plated so it has been refinished at some point. It looks like it was a very good job because there is very little evidence of buffing or polishing. It looks like it says 38 WCF on the barrel which is 38 Winchester Center Fire also known as 38-40. The nickel is worn to a pleasing patina and has been on the gun for a long time. Most modern plated guns have more of a chrome look. The patent dates and rampant Colt on the frame are nice and sharp. good pictures of the barrel marks would help a little in determining how much it was polished. This one is one of the best polishing jobs on an early refinished nickel gun i have seen. I would say it was done by Colt but it does not have the star on the trigger guard that usually goes with a Colt refinish. Check the front of the cylinder for a number probably 3 digits and maybe a letter. Also inside the grips on the sides of the straps may be a matching number. This would indicate a Colt refinish. The grips are real mother of pearl aka oyster shell. Be careful with them as they are brittle and prone to crack. It most likely had black hard rubber stocks when new. If you have some more pictures showing the details we would love to them. It is a very nice and interesting gun. Simmons hardware was a large retailer and bought many Colts for resale. It is a very common destination.
 

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By the way blue would have been a color case hardened frame and hammer with the remainder of the parts blued.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's a nice looking gun! It is nickel plated so it has been refinished at some point. It looks like it was a very good job because there is very little evidence of buffing or polishing. It looks like it says 38 WCF on the barrel which is 38 Winchester Center Fire also known as 38-40. The nickel is worn to a pleasing patina and has been on the gun for a long time. Most modern plated guns have more of a chrome look. The patent dates and rampant Colt on the frame are nice and sharp. good pictures of the barrel marks would help a little in determining how much it was polished. This one is one of the best polishing jobs on an early refinished nickel gun i have seen. I would say it was done by Colt but it does not have the star on the trigger guard that usually goes with a Colt refinish. Check the front of the cylinder for a number probably 3 digits and maybe a letter. Also inside the grips on the sides of the straps may be a matching number. This would indicate a Colt refinish. The grips are real mother of pearl aka oyster shell. Be careful with them as they are brittle and prone to crack. It most likely had black hard rubber stocks when new. If you have some more pictures showing the details we would love to them. It is a very nice and interesting gun. Simmons hardware was a large retailer and bought many Colts for resale. It is a very common destination.
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here ya go. I didn’t see any numbers anywhere. I’m a little confused as to what the original finish looked like?
 

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I don't think Colt would have washed out the letters and numbers that way but still a nice looking job. While the markings are partially removed they do not show the typical buffing marks which ruin a gun for many of us. Most aftermarket nickel jobs look terrible. This gun is later then yours by a good bit but yours was finished very similar to this when new.

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Welcome to the Forum from (northern) South Texas!
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Your Granddad left you a really nice looking 120+ year old Colt and your Great Granddad had good taste in guns and calibers.
Since it was originally shipped to Simmon's Hardware, the trail from St. Louis to your Great Granddad will probably remain a mystery. No matter, it is still a family heirloom and a nice gun.
 

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Hello and welcome to the Colt Forum from West Virginia. Glad you have joined us all here. You are lucky that a letter was available. I too have a 1900 Colt SAA in 32/20 in nickel and a 4 3/4 barrel as yours. When I sent for a letter from Colt they said there was no records on their files for it. By the way….. Nice looking gun you have there. Thanks for sharing it with us.
 

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Nice old, refinished gun you have there P16. And a great family story to go with it! Congrads. The 38-40 was the then "new" magnum caliber of the day and very popular in 1900. In fact the most popular caliber by 1903 and 2nd most popular in 1900. Colt made 11,000 SAA guns in 1900. And 1900 was one of the better years for quality from Colt. In all of the 1st Gen production Colt made 38,240 SAA guns in 38-40. between 1878 and early 1950s.

Although this one is in 45 and not 38-40, this is how your gun looked when it left the Colt factory. Serial number on this one is #1975XX. It was shipped to
George Tritch Hardware Co., Denver CO, July 18, 1900.


Below is a 1901 38-40 that I still shoot a lot. Finish is well worn but original. The factory rubber grips have been replaced with bone.

Serial #-2084XX
Caliber-38/40
Barrel length-4 ¾
Finish-Blue
Stocks-not listed
Shipped to- Richards Conover, Kansas City, MO
Date-Apr-1901

 

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The screw nearest the Rampant Colt on the left side of the frame is not correct for the gun. I suspect that when the gun was being nickel plated, the plater lost the screw and made one from another screw. The head appears to be depressed instead of being domed.
 

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As far as Ik my grandpas father bought it from a hitchhiker somewhere in texas in the 40s-50s.
Texas gun? Simmons was a major wholesaler for Colt firearms. They would and did ship to anyone, pretty much anywhere. Easy enough from the original shipping destination to imagine the gun ending up anywhere including Texas. Some antidotal info for you. 38-40 was a very popular caliber in 1900. A good many lawmen on the Southern border used the 38wcf. Nickel and pearl were also a very popular combination in that same border areas, back in the day. Nice piece of history you have there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The screw nearest the Rampant Colt on the left side of the frame is not correct for the gun. I suspect that when the gun was being nickel plated, the plater lost the screw and made one from another screw. The head appears to be depressed instead of being domed.
It seems as if it could of been an original screw but someone nearly rounded it out using the wrong size screw driver. Thanks for the insight!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Texas gun? Simmons was a major wholesaler for Colt firearms. They would and did ship to anyone, pretty much anywhere. Easy enough from the original shipping destination to imagine the gun ending up anywhere including Texas. Some antidotal info for you. 38-40 was a very popular caliber in 1900. A good many lawmen on the Southern border used the 38wcf. Nickel and pearl were also a very popular combination in that same border areas, back in the day. Nice piece of history you have there.
Wow very interesting, thank you! That could be very possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Here are some pics of the holster and belt. Seems that someone with the initials HLC owned this gun at one point, or atleast the holster. The note was from my grandpa so that clears up a few pieces of info that I got wrong regarding the years :) enjoy
Outerwear Sleeve Waist Wood Grey

Wood Artifact Font Pattern Fashion accessory

Font Art Ink Writing Paper

p.s. what does “type of stocks: not listed” mean on the authenticity paper?
 
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