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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was not real happy nor greatly disturbed to see evidence of factory rework. There is no star or "&" on the TG. But using some strange small numbering dies, the barrel, cylinder, and ejector housing have the same last 3 digits of the main serial number. The barrel and gate were stamped with a small square, which I have seen on factory refinished Colts (don't know what it means, though). No rework numbers anywhere else, because they used the main SN and gate ass'y numbers as is. I have never seen this before. Always seen in the past, each major part was assigned a rework number that has nothing to do with the original SN.

But then when I called for the factory shipping records this past Friday, it got a little more interesting.

Shipped twice:

1st to Browning Bros (Ogden or Salt Lake, UT) 41/c, 7-1/2", Blue, SNL, on 11/7/1904, 3 Guns.

Returned 6/15/1909 and Shipped to Simmons Hdwe (assumed St. Louis, MO) 3/18/1910, 1 Gun, same configuration.

That 2nd shipment explains why the left TG has both the VP proof and the W inspector. Neither one of these TG stampings were being used in 1904, but they both were by 1910.

Just what happened here, I don't know. I really don't know if Browning Bros returned this gun after 5 years, or someone else did. It sat in Colt's inventory for 9 months, then they refinished it (or just partially refinished it), and sold it as a new gun? I do suspect that it was essentially just "shop worn", because there is very little (if any) evidence of a 2nd polishing on any of the parts.

Anyway, a little different and interesting. I'm not decided yet on what to do about the busted grips. One past owner’s first and last name is scratched inside the left grip, so I may look for a matching right side replacement.

The gun has been carefully cleaned since these pics were made, so a few blemishes have disappeared.

The "bright-sides" 2nd Gen hammer that came with this gun has been replaced with an of-the period rebuilt hammer and trigger. The gun sounds like a loud clock when cocked now!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
More pics again...

The barrel address is the proper one for the original 1904 manufacture, so was not re-rolled. There is no evidence of re-applying any markings. However, as mentioned earlier, the left TG was "updated" with the "VP" proof and "W" inspector. That 1910 period "W" may have over-stamped an original inspector 3 or 5 (of the 1904 period).
 

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Victorio, there at one time was a fellow that could repair that broken grip. I haven't heard of him in some time so do not know if he is still active or not. Maybe another forum member will remember him. May have been Furr or Farr??
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Victorio, there at one time was a fellow that could repair that broken grip. I haven't heard of him in some time so do not know if he is still active or not. Maybe another forum member will remember him. May have been Furr or Farr??
Many THANKS for the suggestion. I repair my own HR grips. That left grip was slightly bowed inward, and it is now straight and flat on the backside. The chipped area has been prepared for chip repair tonight (it is a two stage process). I found a matching right grip that fits as well as any will, and it won't require any size reduction.

I will submit new pics when the grip work is completed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The rework numbering we are most familiar with ( three digits with a B or N ) seem to have been used in the 20's and 30's.
Maybe before that, the numbers on your 41 were the protocol at Colt?
Yes, I have owned or have data sheets on many types of reworked Colts. Most are like you mention, but there are several other ways in which these guns were handled at Colt. I gave a presentation on a 1925 shipped Colt SAA that was returned for engraving (probably circa 1925-33) several months ago in this forum. It was treated much as you describe with 1322N on most parts.

But I have also seen refinished Colt guns that have the TG star, and some added Colt stampings, but no rework numbers. Others just have a few parts serial numbered that shouldn't be (for the period). I have lots of data on these, and tried to initiate interest in a collaborative study (published in a TGCA magazine), but there was no interest.
 

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The reworked guns are a mystery to me. There is no real good information on them as far as what marks mean and when they were used. The gun in my avatar is a Custer range Colt that has the star on the right side of the trigger guard. Kopec said the back 1/2 of the gun was all original. I am certain the hammer was replaced. The front toe of the butt has been slightly beveled which was started after the gun was made. It still has the original numbered grips. No telling what was done when it went back. While it it is of interest to us today I don't think anyone doing the work thought anyone would care over a hundred years later.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The reworked guns are a mystery to me. There is no real good information on them as far as what marks mean and when they were used. The gun in my avatar is a Custer range Colt that has the star on the right side of the trigger guard. Kopec said the back 1/2 of the gun was all original. I am certain the hammer was replaced. The front toe of the butt has been slightly beveled which was started after the gun was made. It still has the original numbered grips. No telling what was done when it went back. While it it is of interest to us today I don't think anyone doing the work thought anyone would care over a hundred years later.
Several years ago I asked Beverly at Colt if she knew of some standard procedures used in reworking guns. She really hadn't seen anything like that. Maybe it would have been in the Special Order shop. At some time the xxxN or xxxB was a standard practice, a TG (Star) meant something specific, and so did a TG (&). I have several reworked Colts where the cylinder pins and ejector heads were numbered for re-use, while most were probably trashed and replaced. There had to be standards as to which used parts were acceptable to re-install.

There is another interesting situation that Colt sometimes dealt with. A Colt SAA was returned with the frame SN filed off. Several years ago I saw a factory engraved SAA that went to the factory like that for what must have been a total rework. Colt stamped some unusually big numbers on that frame, plus (I think) some alphabet letters. Again, there had to be some standard procedure that was followed.
 

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Back in 'the good old days' companies used to 'lend' items like guns to stores for display purposes in order to attract buyers for the product. I assume Browning Bros. was a big retailer at the time. I guess when the 'display gun' had seen a lot of handling, the Colt representative probably had the store send the gun back to Colt. Of course, Colt had to make it look like new again before selling it.
 

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Back in 'the good old days' companies used to 'lend' items like guns to stores for display purposes in order to attract buyers for the product. I assume Browning Bros. was a big retailer at the time. I guess when the 'display gun' had seen a lot of handling, the Colt representative probably had the store send the gun back to Colt. Of course, Colt had to make it look like new again before selling it.
I kind of doubt that Browning Bros., an established store that stocked and sold I am certain many Colt SAAs, would need a display gun when they had many for sale and had sold many in the past. The Colt SAA was a well established, well known gun at that time, I don't think it needed an introduction.
 

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John, I can understand your reasoning but In my younger days, I recall that some of the bigger gun stores where I lived seemed to get special demo's from big distributors/manufacturers. On the other hand, the smaller gun stores did not get such perks. I have seen many Colt Archive letters on SAA's that indicated the gun was 'first shipped to store A and was later shipped to store B.' I am guessing that the word 'shipped' might mean the SAA was there on consignment. If I wanted to sell a nice SAA, I would favor having it on consignment to a big seller as opposed to a smaller seller.
 

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John, I can understand your reasoning but In my younger days, I recall that some of the bigger gun stores where I lived seemed to get special demo's from big distributors/manufacturers. On the other hand, the smaller gun stores did not get such perks. I have seen many Colt Archive letters on SAA's that indicated the gun was 'first shipped to store A and was later shipped to store B.' I am guessing that the word 'shipped' might mean the SAA was there on consignment. If I wanted to sell a nice SAA, I would favor having it on consignment to a big seller as opposed to a smaller seller.
Who knows? But this was an era of the highest SAA production, Colt was selling all they could make. I doubt they would have to put guns from the factory on consignment with gun shops. It was part of a shipment of 3, they certainly would not send 3 "demonstators". 5 years is a long time for a high activity gun shop to have a gun sitting around. There is probably more to this story, and the explanation would be interesting.
 

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johnh, Your knowledge of what Colt was doing during that period is interesting, but that does not make it 'The way it was.' Of course, my theory is nothing more than a theory.

As you said, there is probably more to this story. We both just presented our thoughts. There is no need to argue about it.
 

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johnh, Your knowledge of what Colt was doing during that period is interesting, but that does not make it 'The way it was.' Of course, my theory is nothing more than a theory.

As you said, there is probably more to this story. We both just presented our thoughts. There is no need to argue about it.
I am not saying the way it was. I am saying the way, in my opinion, it probably wasn't. And supported my opinion. It is a strange circumstance. I have had several reshipped guns, and each time they were reshipped in a different configuration. Strange. Having a different opinion and stating why is not an argument. I like hearing opinions different then mine, makes me think. Sometimes I change my opinion based on other peoples thoughts or experience.
 

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When looking for information on my 44 rimfire I found some good information in a very good book on the rimfire series. It stated that many went unsold and were returned and some times twice. They were reshipped to someone else hoping to sell one. Unfortunately there is no record on my gun's serial number.
 

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I often wondered if Colt ever supplied 'cutaway' samples of their guns like the SAA to their large vendors. If they did, I wonder if they did that as a free sample or if they charged the vendors for them.
Of course, people like Tommy Roles/Acevedo could make them for collectors. Colt even started selling the cutaway SAA's in their 3rd gen production.
 
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