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Discussion Starter #41 (Edited)
Rusty, how do I submit a gun and what kind of provenance do you need? .
Please send me a email if you have a 1st Generation Colt SAA revolver that you feel should be added to the registry. I'm always looking for additional guns that were owned/used by well-known people (lawmen, outlaws, soldiers, Indian Agents, actors, etc.), guns that were owned/used by military units, movie/TV prop companies, mining companies, stage & express companies, etc., guns having an interesting or unusual background, or those connected to an historical event (like the Johnson County War). Just knowing where your gun was shipped, i.e., Brown's Hardware Store in Kansas City, will not get it added to the list.

As for provenance, I need information that substantiates the gun was owned/used by a particular individual, military unit, etc. Examples include Colt Letters (showing the gun was shipped to a well-known individual like Bat Masterson), Kopec Authentication Letters, information published in a book, magazine, or newspaper article, information from the Springfield Research Center, credible documentation from direct family members, engraved citations on the gun itself, information extracted from museum displays, etc.

Please contact me if you have a question.

Rusty Edwards
[email protected]
 

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..... Just knowing where your gun was shipped, i.e., Brown's Hardware Store in Kansas City, will not get it added to the list. ...
If i may Rusty, Id like to remind those who have a Colt letter showing shipping info that under the Historical Studies section of this forum there is a list of lettered 1st gen SAAs they can be added to. This would help the database immensely.
 

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I've enjoyed reading thru the list. Was hoping to find mine. It is in between two that you have listed, serial # 3516X. Would it be unusual for one in that era to not be marked U.S.? It is all numbers matching except has been converted to .38 special with Colt Parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #44 (Edited)
Thank you for your feedback.

Your Colt SAA revolver was made in 1877. Colt made 7,999 of these guns that year. According to contract information in "A Study of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver" by Graham, Kopec & Moore, the U.S. government acquired 1,003 SAA's during 1877. A much higher percentage (87.5%) went to the civilian market. Therefore, it would not be unusual to find a Colt SAA made in 1877 without the U.S. marking.

Rusty Edwards
 

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Hello Ruster,

Just to let you know that between number 48864 and # 49221 you have 5 serial numbers that do not follow the correct numeral sequence.
OK
 

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updating background on SAA #6828

Your list has our SAA #6828, issued to the 5th calvary during the Indian Wars prior to its time with the NY militia where it sat in rack 77. NY 77 is carved into the original walnut grips. Our grandfather purchased it for protection as a bank teller in 1915. Kopec has personally inspected it and it is is in unbelievable condition.
I failed to note that #6828 is in the series that MIGHT have been issued to the 7th in 1874....My Kopek letter states it was in the series that was issued to both the 7th and 5th but he leans more to the 5th....however that still means that is was carried by a trooper that tracked down and confronted the warriors who had participated in Little Big Horn. The men of the 5th met the warriors at the Battle of Slim Buttes after the horrendous 'Mud or Horsemeat March'..... After General Custer and 264 of his men died at the Battle of Little Big Horn, troopers of the 5th rode after the Sioux to avenge the deaths of their fellow cavalrymen. The punitive ride quickly became known as the Horsemeat March, one of the most brutal forced marches in American military history. Men and horses suffered from starvation, but they eventually caught up with the Indians. Under the leadership of Col. Wesley Merritt, a Civil War veteran, the 5th was instrumental in defeating the Indians at the Battle of Slim Buttes. It was the first significant victory for the army following Little Bighorn.
 

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I sent you a separate email but thought I'd make my first post to this thread. My father recently past away and he left what I believe is a 1st Gen SA Army .45 but want to confirm. The only number I see is 330178, directly in front of the trigger guard. It has ivory handles with no stamps or coins in the handle (i.e. smooth finish). Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Here's my email reply, which others may find useful:

I believe you have a 1st Generation Colt SAA made in 1915. The serial numbers of 2nd generation guns end with the letters “SA”, for example: 23345SA.


Here is the Colt web site that will confirm that your revolver was made in 1915:


http://www.colt.com/serial-lookup


You should consider requesting a letter from the Colt Factory regarding your gun. This letter will describe your gun when it left the factory, and will show where it was shipped. Here is a link that describes how to request a letter and what it costs:


http://www.colt.com/page/archive-services


I hope this information helps.


Rusty Edwards
 

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Just received my first Colt SAA, its 1898 sn 181711. My uncle surprised me with it over the weekend and I've been researching since! This is an awesome piece of craftsmanship. Taking it to gunsmith soon to have it checked out to see if it's safe to fire .. I'll never fire it but want to know if it's all in order.. the cylinder has a little slop so I'm sure it would need a little attention..
 

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Here is a link to my list of 1st Generation Colt SAA revolvers owned by famous Old West lawmen, outlaws, gunfighters, soldiers, and other noteworthy people.

UPDATED 7/3/2019

http://www.swshana.com/gun_website/Colt_SAA_SNs.pdf

BE SURE TO REFRESH YOUR BROWSER TO ENSURE YOU HAVE THE LATEST EDITION.

Rusty Edwards
That #33186 is mine. John Kopec referenced this SN in a recent article. It was discovered on a South Texas ranch in the early 1960's.

The most interesting factory letter provides details about this revolver's original purpose, and notes delivered to U.S. Gov't inspector at Colt's as one of 3 model guns on 2-13-1877. The other 2 SN's were 33191 and 33220. These three model guns were included in a shipment of 203 SAA's, and all were 45/c, BNL, Blue, & SNL. The Colt letter also mentions that this gun was returned by the Gov't for remodeling & re-shipped to the commanding officer at Manila, P.I. on 11-26-1901.

Included here is an OLD picture of that Colt SAA.
 

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I received my letter from the Colt Archives. Unfortunately there was nothing exciting or noteworthy in the history but I'm glad I requested the information - $100 well spent. Manufactured in August 1913, shipped a month later to a hardware store in St. Joseph, Missouri.
 

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Started a thread on this in the forum today before remembering this sticky. The 7.5", pearl handled .44 belonging to Hank Vaughan, serial numbered 146787, is on display at the Oregon State Sheriff's Association Museum in Salem, Oregon. I imagine the provenance is solid.

Thanks, Ruster, for the effort to gather and post the great info!
 

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Hi Rusty,

Just purchased my first Colt SAA. The Serial number is 14088. From your list it apperars to be in the range of guns purchased back by Colt from Virginia and resold. It is configured in 44-40 with a 4 inch barrel. It is stamped with DCF inspector initials on the frame and barrel. I am trying to figure out how a first year SAA is chambered in 44-40 and that may be answer. Is is possible that they bought back the gun the reconfigured it to fill an order. The barrel only has the inspectors initials stamped on it with a large letter "P" next to them. It is nickel plated. Any information you may have would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Dan Whiteford
 

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Discussion Starter #60 (Edited)
Here is a link to the UPDATED list of 1st Generation Colt SAA revolvers owned by famous Old West lawmen, outlaws, gunfighters, soldiers, and other noteworthy people.

UPDATED 1/28/2020

http://www.swshana.com/Colt_SAA_SNs.pdf

BE SURE TO REFRESH YOUR BROWSER TO ENSURE YOU HAVE THE LATEST EDITION.

Rusty Edwards
 
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