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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to all! I was advised to come here for some information on a SAA I just picked up from a coworker. I'm curious to know what value the membership here would place on it, as well as getting some insight on a few specific things I've noticed about the gun.

It's a SAA, s/n 353503, with 7 1/2" barrel. The original grips are missing, replaced by ivory ones crafted by my coworker's father. The numbers match, with the exception of the loading gate, stamped "490" over "489". I assume this is a mistake in the manufacturing process. "490" is also stamped inside the frame under the grips near the serial number. I also noticed "03" marked on the end of the cylinder, very small, and I've not been able to find any explanation online for that. My coworker told me that his father had the cylinder re-blued at some point, and possibly the whole gun. I'm not an expert on finishing, but all the edges are sharp and square, screw holes are very sharp, and the markings are sharp. The one thing I don't detect is the "crater" effect around the markings. I can't feel any on the case-hardened area, either, though. I was told that it hadn't been shot in about 50 years, so whatever work was done was done a long time ago. I trust the info I got, other than some doubt as to how much refinishing may have been done.

So there it is...thanks in advance for any info you guys may have!


 

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The gun looks great. The Ivory Stocks are worth $500+. Looks like the barrel legend kinda fades out as you go towards the front of the barrel. Could indicate a re-finish. Could be the photo. Even with a refinsh I bet that is still $2500 worth of SAA. Be interesting to read what some of the hardcore Pre-War SAA guys have to say.
 

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From the distance I can't say for certain and photos are generally hard to say without a doubt but it sure does look good to me.

The loading gate should match that number on the back of the frame you were talking about and having the last 2 digits of the serial number on the back of the cylinder is correct. The case colors look good to me and perhaps the cylinder is refinished but can't tell from the picture. Nothing like a good old on hands inspection but it sure doesn't jump out as a totally refinished gun as far as what I can see. The stock pin has probably been driven out so you can put 1 piece grips on it. Not too late to letter so you should be able to get the specs and shipping point from colt archives on a factory letter. If it letters with rubber stocks and you want to get it back to fully original a super nice set (to match a super nice single action) of original prewar hard rubber grips would cost you $200 to $250 from anyone who knows what they are selling.

Value? I'm going to say on the surface a minimum of $5000 upwards if everything is correct and original. If the cylinder has been refinished then somewhat less depending on how badly it hurts the value in the eyes of the buyer.

Looks like another nice single action comes out of the "bush". :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow, thanks for the info, everyone. :D

I'm definitely going to get the letter from Colt and see how it was configured. It'd be awesome to have it back in its original state. 2-300 bucks would be well worth it, IMO.

If anybody is near Houston, I'd be thrilled to get a hands-on expert opinion.

Oh, and the marking on the barrel does fade a bit towards the front sight. It's still got a nice, crisp look to it in person, though. I'll post a few more photos later just for grins.
 

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PaulL
I'd like to welcome you to the forum too. That is a beautiful SAA. I really like Ivory stocks, thanks for sharing that nice gun with us. From the serial # given it's a smokeless era gun, are you going to shoot it? If so we'd love to hear a range report about it.
Thanks.
Frank
 

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Wow, thanks for the info, everyone. :D

I'm definitely going to get the letter from Colt and see how it was configured. It'd be awesome to have it back in its original state. 2-300 bucks would be well worth it, IMO.

If anybody is near Houston, I'd be thrilled to get a hands-on expert opinion.

Oh, and the marking on the barrel does fade a bit towards the front sight. It's still got a nice, crisp look to it in person, though. I'll post a few more photos later just for grins.
I'm in Devers, which is between Liberty & Beaumont on Highway 90. I'd be happy to evaluate your gun for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm in Devers, which is between Liberty & Beaumont on Highway 90. I'd be happy to evaluate your gun for you.
I grew up in Dayton, so I know exactly where you're at. Shoot me a PM with your number and I'll give you a call. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
More photos...




End of barrel - little wear here, but not much




Serial number




Left side of frame- curious to know what the markings are all about here




Detail of markings on barrel




Right side of barrel




Right side of frame




Detail of "03" on cylinder




Detail of "490" stamped over "489"




Some wear on back of frame

 

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Discussion Starter #10
PaulL
I'd like to welcome you to the forum too. That is a beautiful SAA. I really like Ivory stocks, thanks for sharing that nice gun with us. From the serial # given it's a smokeless era gun, are you going to shoot it? If so we'd love to hear a range report about it.
Thanks.
Frank
I do plan to shoot it, but I'm going to wait until the guy I got it from can go with me. I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes. My money says it's a tack driver, but we'll see... :D
 

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Just gorgeous! In my opinion the gun is what you were told. Original finish except the cylinder is reblued and of course the Ivories. Wonderful gun (and pictures). Welcome! Oh, the little VP on the left trigger guard is the Colt proof mark and the inspectors number is above it.
 

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On the picture of the back of the cylinder where you were showing the last 2 digits of the serial number...........is it clean or some kind of grease and dust build up? It should be as pretty blue and smooth as a baby's rear end. You may even be able to see some milling circles on it. I saw one flute that appeared to be washed out like it was buffed some but in the photo the color of the blue looks to match. Comparing the rest of the gun to the cylinder out in some bright daylight might tell the tale.

Those case colors are wonderful......if you want a shooter let me buy you a new 3rd for that prewar and I'll even kick in some extra cash. :)

Seriously.....you take a chance of losing condition by shooting it much and condition is money...you've got a nice gun there!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The finish on the back of the cylinder doesn't look as smooth as the sides or the rest of the gun. It looks kind of like a very fine bead blast. Definitely a little rougher to the touch.

As far as shooting, I'm thinking 5-6 shots and I'll be satisfied. It's been shot at some point at least that much, so I doubt I'll hurt it too much. I'm going to have to convince my wife to let me get a Vaquero or something to get the single action fun out of my system. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I just wanted to throw out a big thanks to everybody for the information and to Hugh (swamprat) for coming by and taking a look at the SAA in person. Hugh, I didn't know you were a celebrity around here... :D

Thanks!!
 

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PaulL

When you raise the hammer on the Colt SAA never lower it from half cock or the so called safety notch. Always bring it to full cock then carefully lower the hammer. If you lower the hammer from any but the full cock position you will cause the locking bolt to lower against the cylinder before it's in the lock position & is between the locking notches in the cylinder. This will cause a drag line on the cylinder when it's turned to the locking position as the locking bolt will drag across the cylinder before it reaches the locking notch or.
When you bring the hammer to half cock to load you can load one, skip one, & load 4. Bring the hammer to full cock, then lower it. If this is done correcty it will have the hammer lowered onto the empty chamber & be a safe way to carry the gun loaded. You can practice with empth cases or dummy cases if you have them.
I hope I'm not too vague with this description.
That is a really nice Colt, congratulations & thanks for sharing with us.
Enjoy!
Frank
 

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+1 on Frank V's comments. If you do shoot the gun, make sure you gently clean it. The older charcoal blue is more fragile than modern gun bluing. The case color is somewhat fragile, too. I would also avoid using a holster, because that will wear the finish. That's a beautiful gun!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just ordered the letter on this one from Joe Canali at Colt. He says 120 days turnaround, and then I'll have another piece of info on it. I found out where the original owner lived, so it'll be cool to see if it went to a dealer in that city/state.

I just hope it didn't get sold to Texas, or I'm gonna have to make swamprat an offer on those Alamo grips... :eek: ;)
 
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