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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just in time for Christmas I found a Peacemaker Buntline 22 on Guns America. From the s/n (G106XXX) I believe it was made about '76 or so (my Wilkerson book with the dates is 800 miles away just now). It came with the mag cylinder, original box (missing the end flap) and paperwork. It appears to me to be unfired - a condition which will not last too much longer - and is, in my estimation a real beauty.

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click on pics to enlarge
 

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Nice!
As per proofhouse.com the g series model of 1975 began with serial G117xxx , so yours may be a late 1974 model. Only way to be absolutely sure of that is a Colt letter thru Colt Archives. Colt made two serial lines in 1974 , both the L prefix and G prefix serials at the same time. They dropped the “L” serial line later in 1974 (speculation that it looks too much like the number 1)and continued with the “G” serial prefix.
Value has really gone up on these Peacemakers and New Frontiers- although Peacemakers remain most popular, both are quality made 22’s .
 

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Do our collectors actually get Archive letters on these common 22'?
In the sense of the average one or two peacemaker/new Frontier owner..the non-collector.. no matter how many, I’m guessing almost never would they desire an archive letter. It makes no difference really what year or original configuration of the gun. Just current condition which is very likely all original too.
In the collector realm, there are several instances where a letter would , or will be necessary to prove the original configuration. Specifically, if one has or wants to purchase a 4-3/4” barreled “ G series “ ( includes Peacemakers and NF’s ). This barrel length was only offered in 1971, and then was changed to 4.4” (little shorter) for the entire remainder of production. So, a 4-3/4” barreled gun should have a 5 digit serial number corresponding with first year production. Even so, any length barrel from the first year (or any year ) production could be swapped out with a 4-3/4” and there are currently reproduction labels for the correct box readily available on eBay. A NIB or LNIB 4-3/4” Peacemaker will carry a significant premium.. I have seen the bidding get into the “how bad do you want it” level in a few auctions.

Also, when Colt made the permanent barrel length change from 4-3/4” to 4.4” , they continued to write 4-3/4” on the box labels for some time after, and it adds confusion for some gun sellers and buyers. Sometimes a seller may advertise a gun as 4-3/4” barrel because the box label says it is, even though it’s the much more common 4.4”. A letter can be a clarifier sometimes. I quickly learned in looking through auction photos, if the barrel is flush even with the ejector housing, it’s 4.4”. 4-3/4” sticks out just a little farther. Colt eventually did put 4.4” as barrel length on the box label for the short barreled guns, but didn’t right away.

The other scenario is for the staunch collector, and I have been there myself, where one is collecting an example of each configuration produced. This would not only concern the barrel length, but also the single and dual cylinder guns. All of the G series were barreled for 22LR and 22 magnum, so all are rollmarked the same. So one might pay a premium for a rare single cylinder Peacemaker, whereas it could just be missing the extra cylinder. An original box label can prove the original configuration, if one is sure of the label authenticity, but a letter is better, and certainly is the only way if the original box/box label is not present.
So i’d Say the label is not required in the way it may be to assure originality and authenticity of a bright stainless Python ( whichever the one is that’s fake finished quite often) , but it’s important in the collector realm. I own many G series without letters. My core group that complete the configuration collection do have letters.

Notice the barrel lengths with extra cylinders and identical barrel lengths in factory original single cylinders. Some examples were easy, and some came premium priced-
Some people collect baseball cards .. some .. Colts. :)



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All in what’s your fancy. I don’t know that we can know for sure the extent of Buckspen’s entire Colt 22 collection, but I know mine pales in comparison to say the least.
 

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I wanted to also mention to the OP, ColtSAAG , in case you notice some of these G series guns are in a white styrofoam/ faux wood boxes and your styrofoam is tan colored. The tan colored styrofoam coincides with 1974 made guns usually. 1974 is when colt switched from the “brown lift top” box to the styrofoam/ faux wood sleeve, and the first ones were tan. The earliest we’re tan and the faux wood sleeves were sort of pinkish hued brown color. By 1975 I think styrofoam was white, sleeves were more brownish.


Also, the long barreled Peacemakers are a joy to shoot. ..

Merry Christmas

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wanted to also mention to the OP, ColtSAAG , in case you notice some of these G series guns are in a white styrofoam/ faux wood boxes and your styrofoam is tan colored. The tan colored styrofoam coincides with 1974 made guns usually. 1974 is when colt switched from the “brown lift top” box to the styrofoam/ faux wood sleeve, and the first ones were tan. The earliest we’re tan and the faux wood sleeves were sort of pinkish hued brown color. By 1975 I think styrofoam was white, sleeves were more brownish.



Also, the long barreled Peacemakers are a joy to shoot. ..

Merry Christmas

View attachment 454890

I just realized I misstated the s/n. It is G136XXX, not 106XXX. Sorry, my bad!
 

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The New Frontier I purchased in 1976 has a six in barrel but the box says 7.5 and is the correct box. As long as humans are involved there's a chance something might get messed up. The nice thing is that it gives us all some interesting things to talk and speculate about and the historians something to disagree on.

And that is a great looking Buntline. What a nice find. I saw one a few months back at one of our shows and thought it would be a fun gun to have. I look forward to hearing how it shoots.
 

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Do our collectors actually get Archive letters on these common 22'?
I have lettered most of my Peacemaker .22 and New Frontier .22 revolvers. I find the information given in the letters interesting but, with one exception, most would consider it trivial and not worth the money. The exception is a consecutively serial numbered pair of New Frontier .22 Buntlines that were shipped to a gun shop in Oklahoma City in 1973. They were shipped together and remain together to this day.

- -Buckspen
 

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My first explanation became so wordy that I held it to just the G series guns.
With K series.. the nickel Scouts.. many were factory pairs in a wooden display case. Initially Colt paired them up consecutively serialed. I learned much from Buckspen’s posts and Wilkersons book about those guns. For times sake and labor, Colt eventually sent out non-consecutive sets of display boxed nickeled Scouts. The combinations of 22LR/magnum , 22LR only and 22magnum and barrel lengths is a bit mind boggling, but some combinations are rare and a few are really low production. Archive letter is necessary to authenticate a non-consecutive factory set from a “put together” set. I’ve seen some sets sell well over $2K.
I have collected what might be considered a starter group - the more common sets of nickel Scouts like a 4-3/4” 22LR and 4-3/4” 22magnum pair. It gets expensive real quick. I have forgotten some of what I had once stuck up in the noggin, but recall that combinations involving nickel buntlines are $$$ and $$$$
 

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Mine are not peacemakers but they are very early Scout frontiers Q and F serial numbers 1957 and 1959-1960. And a new frontier with a G serial so I am not sure when that one is from but since the NF was made between 1970-1977 I am going to guess early 70’s with a serial in the 83000 range.
 

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In Don Wilkerson's book ("Colt Scouts, Peacemakers and New Frontiers in .22 Caliber", Walsworth Publishing, 1993) he lists on page 79 the possible combinations of sets of nickel (K serial numbered) Frontier Scouts and Buntline Scouts in .22 LR and .22 Magnum. There are ten possible different sets. I have all but one of the ten, so I believe that all of the sets were produced, although some must have been in pretty low numbers. It is interesting to note that Wilkerson says the P serial numbered '62 Frontier Scouts and Buntline Scouts were also produced in these ten different set combinations. Production must have been far fewer than the nickel sets because they are much harder to find. Of the ten possible '62 Scout sets, I have only four and it has taken me many years to find those four.

- - Buckspen
 
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