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Discussion Starter #1
I've got an older (1903) 7.5" SAA in pretty nice overall condition. I also have a real set of Ivory grips, purchased separately.

In my "Bucket List", I'd like to have a nice "Colt Quality" and "Colt Certified" refinisher and engraver (It'll be a family heirloom) that I can trust this work to?
 

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I've got an older (1903) 7.5" SAA in pretty nice overall condition. I also have a real set of Ivory grips, purchased separately.

In my "Bucket List", I'd like to have a nice "Colt Quality" and "Colt Certified" refinisher and engraver (It'll be a family heirloom) that I can trust this work to?
I would never engrave or refinish any quality antique Colt. Especially a family heirloom. If I want a new-looking Colt SAA, then it would be best to buy a new one.
 

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I've got an older (1903) 7.5" SAA in pretty nice overall condition. I also have a real set of Ivory grips, purchased separately.

In my "Bucket List", I'd like to have a nice "Colt Quality" and "Colt Certified" refinisher and engraver (It'll be a family heirloom) that I can trust this work to?
I think most, if not all, good SAA 'smiths & "restorers" will refuse to refinish a nice 1st gen. They will refinish one that has already been refinished or otherwise changed from original configuration. I'd suggest you find a decent 1st gen that has already been reblued, or had the caliber changed, and use that as a project gun. Then in 100 years it will be a family heirloom.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK, so that seems a resounding "NO!!!" on refinishing & engraving a 1st Gen original SAA.... Now, what's the current situation regarding original elephant ivory 2-piece grips? I've had those for many years, coated in mineral oil. Can they now be sold? Did DJT reverse the BHO ban?
 

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hang on to your ivory, cause you'll never be able to replace it.

1. Is the 1903 SAA something that has been in the family already? or was it purchased just for this project of creating a 'family heirloom'?
2. a. If it was purchased just for this project, then has it already been refinished or is it in original condition?
b. If it is already a 'family' gun, find another to use.
3. If it was bought just for this project and has already been refinished, then have at it.
 

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I agree with Pthfndr985 - especially if the gun was bought for this project and does not have any family history. I would contact Nutmeg Sports. They do engraving for Colt and do great work. Here is a before and after close-up of my 1916 SAA (it had already been “converted” with 2nd gen barrel and cylinder when I bought it). The engraver on mine was Jerome Harper. I believe Nutmeg can also fit ivory if you own it - the main restriction is sales between states. (Verify with them though.)

Good luck!




QUOTE=Pthfndr985;3063895]hang on to your ivory, cause you'll never be able to replace it.

1. Is the 1903 SAA something that has been in the family already? or was it purchased just for this project of creating a 'family heirloom'?
2. a. If it was purchased just for this project, then has it already been refinished or is it in original condition?
b. If it is already a 'family' gun, find another to use.
3. If it was bought just for this project and has already been refinished, then have at it.[/QUOTE]
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The SAA was purchased 30 years ago, when SAAs were relatively reasonably priced ($300). It's about 75%, original finish; I'm not sure about the grips. I've shot it very little, with moderate .45 LC loads. It's not a family heirloom. Nonetheless, I've decided not to do anything to it; instead, I'll look for another "candidate" to turn into a factory heirloom. Too bad the "rattiest" SAA I have is also historically significant---it's an Artillery with frame serial# 5989---you can find it in Kopec, Mallory and Cochrane.... it was used in the Nez Perce War.
 

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Shared info and pics are always appreciated!
Welcome

Vic
 

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The SAA was purchased 30 years ago, when SAAs were relatively reasonably priced ($300). It's about 75%, original finish; I'm not sure about the grips. I've shot it very little, with moderate .45 LC loads. It's not a family heirloom. Nonetheless, I've decided not to do anything to it; instead, I'll look for another "candidate" to turn into a factory heirloom. Too bad the "rattiest" SAA I have is also historically significant---it's an Artillery with frame serial# 5989---you can find it in Kopec, Mallory and Cochrane.... it was used in the Nez Perce War.
Look around for a 2nd gen Commemorative. Most are butt ugly, and cheap. Nice guns to refinish and engrave.
 

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Prowbar said:
Look around for a 2nd gen Commemorative. Most are butt ugly, and cheap. Nice guns to refinish and engrave.

IMO exceptionally well founded advice. If you are engraving, the finish (or caliber or barrel length for that matter) doesn't matter. I've rebuilt half a dozen 2nd Gens now to guns I really like. Any of them would be a nice foundation for a family heirloom. I had a few guns built just for that reason and used NIB 3rds. When I do I again it won't be with a 3rd Gen gun.

This thread shows some fun options that the OP might find interesting.

https://www.coltforum.com/forums/single-action-army/365451-easily-had-2nd-gen-guns-making-grips.html
 

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It’s your pistol. If you want to have it refinished and engraved you should do it! Especially if it’s going to stay in your family. I have my granddads 1903 SAA that survived a fire but was in poor shape so I sent it back and had it refinished many years ago. It’s a beautiful pistol with colt custom grips. I haven’t regretted it once
 

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It’s your pistol. If you want to have it refinished and engraved you should do it! Especially if it’s going to stay in your family. I have my granddads 1903 SAA that survived a fire but was in poor shape so I sent it back and had it refinished many years ago. It’s a beautiful pistol with colt custom grips. I haven’t regretted it once
That is different. For one, yours probably lost all of its finish in the fire. Refinishing a Colt SAA that still has plenty of original finish is a crime.
 

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It’s your pistol. If you want to have it refinished and engraved you should do it! Especially if it’s going to stay in your family. I have my granddads 1903 SAA that survived a fire but was in poor shape so I sent it back and had it refinished many years ago. It’s a beautiful pistol with colt custom grips. I haven’t regretted it once
You can also have your original, numbers matching 1965 GTO turned into a beach buggy but why? What we're suggesting is it's not necessary, it's counter intuitive, you'll lose money and another vintage GTO/SAA will be lost. One of the lessons around here is "it's only original once".
 

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Well if it were me...
keep yours as it is...
and if u really wanted a engraved one...
keep yours and buy another one
or sell yours and use the funds to buy one
and if u really want one engraved...
find one that is already engraved
or buy a newer one and have that engraved by a quality engraver
Anytime u take a older firearm and modify it to your taste
Remember this ...most times that money will not be recovered...
Just my 2 cents
I took a damaged barrel early Ruger Blackhawk and made myself 44mag 4 5/8" gun...
so i know the costs of going against the grain...
but that is what I wanted and was willing to do all the work and it took 17 months and it is still not done
God Bless,John

You can do anything u like
But most of us here have learned the hard way and with these old Saa's
They are getting harder to find and if the work is done 1000%... any hopes of added value are long lost

Sent from my SM-S727VL using Tapatalk
 

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You only live once. If getting it engraved makes YOU happy and you plan on keeping it in the family anyway, then do it. I totally understand what the Colt Collectors are saying but sometimes it's not about collecting.
 

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I say go for it. What the world needs is another engraved refinished Single Action. I have no idea why but everyone thinks having engraved guns is special. It seems there are more of them then original condition guns. Look how few posts we get on good condition first generation single actions. Now count all the "look at my engraved Colt" threads. Give me a good honest gun any day.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I've already decided to keep the 1903 7.5" .45 SAA as is, in original condition.

Now, I'll look into starting with a 2nd Gen SAA .45 LC "Commemoratives" as an "empty canvas" for an engraving job, probably by Nutmeg.

What, if any, 2nd Gen "Commemoratives" came in "Gunfighter" barrel lengths? Which came in other barrel lengths, and is it worth the price to "relocate" the front sight...plus re-doing the barrel address?

I'm just asking for opinions....
 
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