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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do any of the forum readers have a 1st Generation Buntline? I am interested in seeing what the rear sight looks like. If anyone has one of these and would be kind enough to post a photo of the rear sight (only) it would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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I believe you're going to find that they're the standard fixed sight - not that sillyassed thing that Turnbull's supplying on his dolled-up Ubertis.
 

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Pages 26-27 of "A STUDY" shows the special ladder rear sight on numbers 28811 and 28822, and the fold down globe front sight on 28822.

John Gross
 

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not that sillyassed thing that Turnbull's supplying on his dolled-up Ubertis.

If this is what you are referring to from Turnbull, it appears to be a good copy of the original pictured in the book I referenced above.

John Gross

 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, I have seen those. Without getting the book out; and just using memory, I think those ladder sights are for the flattop targets. I am interested in the sight groove in the top strap of a standard 12" buntline. Maybe I should say 12" Barrel SAA instead of "Buntline".
Pages 26-27 of "A STUDY" shows the special ladder rear sight on numbers 28811 and 28822, and the fold down globe front sight on 28822.

John Gross
 

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Thanks, I have seen those. Without getting the book out; and just using memory, I think those ladder sights are for the flattop targets. I am interested in the sight groove in the top strap of a standard 12" buntline. Maybe I should say 12" Barrel SAA instead of "Buntline".
Keith, Watcha got?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nothing Rick that I will ever be able to authenticate. A 140XXX, no letter, cut barrel with an 'abnormal' rear sight. Same sight as I have personally seen on a 145XXX 12" SAA, also a no letter gun. I am trying to determine if this rear sight is associated with longer than standard barrels in the 1890's period. I will attach a photo of the rear sight (I think I have done so before). Like I said, there is at least one 12" barrel SAA with the same rear sight configuration. Thanks
 

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Nothing Rick that I will ever be able to authenticate. A 140XXX, no letter, cut barrel with an 'abnormal' rear sight. Same sight as I have personally seen on a 145XXX 12" SAA, also a no letter gun. I am trying to determine if this rear sight is associated with longer than standard barrels in the 1890's period. I will attach a photo of the rear sight (I think I have done so before). Like I said, there is at least one 12" barrel SAA with the same rear sight configuration. Thanks
Interesting. When you say no letter, I assume there is no record.(?) Can't say as I've seen a rear sight like that.
 

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Rick:See if u can find a photo of a "pinched frame" colt,the rear sight on this colt from my memory is identical to the "pf' rear sight on this gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Yes, no record at Colt. It is a US overrun with all the inspections except the US on the frame. As I said, the 12" gun I have personaly had in my hand, that had the same rear sight, was within 5000 numbers of this one. It too was a no record gun. In Cochran's encyclopedia he shows a frame with no sight groove and attributes it to a factory error. I could accept the factory error on this one also IF I had not seen another just like it. Thanks.
Interesting. When you say no letter, I assume there is no record.(?) Can't say as I've seen a rear sight like that.
 

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Rick:See if u can find a photo of a "pinched frame" colt,the rear sight on this colt from my memory is identical to the "pf' rear sight on this gun.
Jim, The only pics of a pinched frame sight that I've seen are from above the top strap showing what I call the hour glass configuration. from memory I can imagine the hour glass from the hammer probably does look like Keith's sight.
 

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Rick:See if u can find a photo of a "pinched frame" colt,the rear sight on this colt from my memory is identical to the "pf' rear sight on this gun.
Jim, Only pic I recall of a pf is from the topstrap looking down. From memory I could understand the end of the "hour glass' shaped pf sight would be shaped like the sight on Keith's gun but the 'pinched" part of the sight narrows where Keith's is a 1/2 circle the whole length.
 

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Rick;Several yrs ago Cimmaron came out w/a "PF" replica maybe u could find an example there.Quite awhile back Smith Enterprises came out w/a Winchester buckhorn ladder sight,I had a little input into its design & suggested to Ron to use the same "U" groove in the slider that's on your gun because it's "kinder to old eyes" when lining up the front blade in the "U" instead of a "V" groove.I have the prototype of it on one of my rifles & have been using it successfully for many years.I also have one on my custom 32" oct.bbl 45/70 Marlin w/a 10 rd mag. capacity.
 

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As to what Jim Martin was saying about Cimarrons, here is an 1874 SAA U.S. on the left and a Cimarron "pinched frame" model SA from the mid 90's on the right. The view of the sight is a 'U' shape as you can see. When viewed from the top, it has the hourglass shape that Rick mentioned.


 

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On the pic I showed above of the Cimarron, when looking down the sight, it appears that the sight channel is wider than it is. It does narrow up where it "pinches" but it seems to be wider if that makes sense. It is easy to line up however. I don't know how accurate Cims are to originals though. This is not relevant to the original question however, sorry for that.
 

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Chafee,

Can you post a photo with the barrel pointing up at a 45 degree angle to show the pinched frame? The Cim. doesn't appear to be an authentic replication of a Colt pinched frame but I would like to see it clearly. The Colt pinched frame has a V notch in "the pinch" that looks like the US Colt on the left. But the V is 1/4" further forward of the hammer channel.

hwjhfs's photo shows a clear sight channel all the way to the front sight. There's clearly no pinch and no sight notch in the channel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here are more facts about the rear sight on my gun that started this thread.
1. Since it was originally on the line to fill a US contract, it would have had the "V" notch rear sight milled. (Viewed from the top you can still see traces of the "V").
2. The "V" sight was milled out to a full top strap groove later which is further evidenced by the top part of Carr's inspection letter "K" (in the hammer slot) missing.

Regarding the "no record" at Colt. It is my understanding that many no record guns are ones that did not go through the entire sequence of manufacturing. In other words pulled from the line for special handling and never put in inventory to be recorded later when shipped. The other gun I know of with the same rear sight is a 12" barrel. I can think of no other reason for an enlarged rear sight other than to pick up the front sight quicker and easier which MAY be an asset for a longer barreled gun. Since my gun had the barrel cut I do not know it's original barrel length. I was hoping to get information that there are more, longer than standard barreled, guns with the same sight which would establish the configuration of open rear sight with long barrels. I also think that this was not an option offered or else it would be known to the Colt SAA collecting fraternity, but more of a request from the purchaser to open up the rear sight. ?? I might add that the two guns I know of with this rear sight feature are within 5000 numbers of each other and were found separated by only 250 miles. Perhaps shipped together to the same destination??
 

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This from 'The Bible' of Colt Collecting - "The Book of Colt Firearms" - by Sutherland and Wilson - and found on page 249:

"Colt records indicate the true 'Buntline Specials' as from the serial number range of 28800 through 28830. The identifying characteristic shared by all these revolvers was the flat-top style of frame with the folding leaf sight. Serial records list (#28802 Colt family), #28803, #28805, #28806, #28807, #28809, #28810, #28811, #28812, #28815, #28816, #22818, #28819, #28822, #28823, #28824, #28826, and #28830. Barrel lengths vary from 10"(3) to 12"(1), to 16"(11); some specimens may have been produced in the 7 1/2" barrel length. Dates of shipment from November of 1876 to May of 1884. The major purchaser was B. Kitteredge and Company, of Cincinnatti. Calibers listed for the above guns are all .45 excepting two 2 in .44-40.
Two specimens were not identified as to caliber and two were not identified in barrel length. Some few revolvers were shortened in barrel legth by subsequent owners, and the authors consider such pieces as colorful reminders that a novel idea in gunmaking does not often meet with unanimous acclaim.

The story that Ned Buntline, the dime novel author, personally presented five of the long barrel Colts to Dodge City lawmen Wyatt Earp, Charlie Bassett, Neal Brown, Bat Masterson and Bill Tilghman, is considered by the authors as fiction. The source of the alleged event can be traced to Stuart N. Lake's fanciful biography, "Wyatt Earp, Frontier Marshal". Research has substantially discredited not only the Buntline presentation but much of the Lake-Earp book.

About half the total Buntline production is known to collectors, including one exquisite specimen in original condition complete with shoulder stock and custom-made holster (serial #28819). Serial # 28809 is displayed in the Connecticut State Library collection. Surprisingly, cylinder serial numbers sometimes are not matching."

The authors - R.Q. Sutherland and R.L. Wilson had full access to the Colt records and were amazingly thorough in their research and it shows in this publication and in the several that Wilson has produced.

Lake's accuracy has been in question a long time - largely due in part to the fact that much of what was written wasn't from Earp, himself - but from others.
 
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