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Doc, Never, Ever, Ever buy anything from a seller on Gunbroker that is sold "as is". If he truly had two rare guns with rare grips, why would he not allow at least a three day inspection? As is on a purchase as large as this should be your sign to back away from it. Caveat emptor my friend. If you buy it and there is an issue with the guns, you are stuck with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Doc, Never, Ever, Ever buy anything from a seller on Gunbroker that is sold "as is". If he truly had two rare guns with rare grips, why would he not allow at least a three day inspection? As is on a purchase as large as this should be your sign to back away from it. Caveat emptor my friend. If you buy it and there is an issue with the guns, you are stuck with them.
I agree with your assessment. The seller is within driving distance to me, so I wouldn't even consider purchasing site unseen. Thanks for the reply.
 

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I am not confident that these have an original 'period' Colt finish.

Or, some of me suspects that these were low mileage, crisp examples, which have been expertly re-Finished, sometime recently.

I am seeing sanding or grinding marks, rather than the usual for the day degree of Polish...and, the finish to my Eye appears a lot more 'Black' then I would expect from COLT DAs of that time period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am not confident that these have an original 'period' Colt finish.

Or, some of me suspects that these were low mileage, crisp examples, which have been expertly re-Finished, sometime recently.

I am seeing sanding or grinding marks, rather than the usual for the day degree of Polish...and, the finish to my Eye appears a lot more 'Black' then I would expect from COLT DAs of that time period.
The finish is just so hard to fully evaluate without seeing in person. I agree it seems dark, certainly compared to the my Bankers. The markings are sharp though, so wouldn't that make a re-finish less likely? Possibly a factory refinish. I still think the grips are suspect as well. When pearl was special ordered, would Colt have labeled the inner portion with the serial number, like so many other examples?

J
 

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You guys kill me with the way you want to point out all the negatives,,, The fact of the matter is this pair of fine guns are clearly being handled with white cotton gloves in the photos,, doesn't that count for something ? ;) Not just every gun warrants the white glove treatment. When you get to the level where you can recognize subtle little clues like this you are well on your way to successful gun collecting.

J.F.
 

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I do not believe either one of these Bankers have been refinished. There are a lot of variances in color and shading in different individual's photographs. These are pretty decent pictures. They would have been preferable if they were taken outdoors, but they are decent. I think the finish on these guns would look quite different if the pictures were taken outside in diffused natural light. Then, throw in shutter speed and light settings - some folks understand and use them and some folks, like me, don't understand how to use them

Every single stamping on these two revolvers is crisp and show no evidence of a refinish, to me. There's even a tiny spot of rust at the base of the front sight pedestal on one of them, or perhaps grease. The hammer sides show very, very slight discoloration or spotting which is commensurate with ageing of that brushed steel, but they are very compatible with the finish of the guns.
I can't really comment whether the pearl stocks are factory non medallion or after market but you have to agree they were absolutely expertly fitted to these two guns.

In many collectable firearms posts on many websites, a gun is presented and so often somebody says "it's refinished", whether it has been or not. It's almost a sure bet somebody will say it. I have done so myself on occasion, and been wrong too. There are guns that are obviously refinished, but there are some that are so borderline one really couldn't tell without an in person examination.

John, to play devil's advocate for a moment - the seller using cotton gloves is not proof that the guns are genuine. They only prove the owner thinks the guns are genuine and has respect for collectable high condition firearms. He may be mediocre at evaluating refinished firearms, although I doubt this is the case.

I think we all can agree you don't pay 7K for a set of guns that are sold "as is". This alone would prevent me from buying the guns if I had the money, even if they came with factory letters. You can't tell if there are any mechanical issues from pictures, or the word of a seller who won't offer an inspection period for such expensive items.
 

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I always considered as-is to be the norm for auction style sales. When did return privileges on auction sales become the norm? Are auction houses now allowing returns or is this unique to Gunbroker auctions?
 

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I believe the .38 is correct, however the blue on the ejector star "ratchets" (not sure of the term) on the .22 (picture 11 and 22) is evidence of a re-blue IMO
 

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No opinion either way on the refinish. That said, no mention or picture of letters confirming the pearls are original to the guns, if I was asking $7500 for a pair of Bankers I would spend $140 for the pair letters. Also in the pictures of the 22, does the ejector star appear to have a green cast to the bluing or is it just me. As to the white gloves maybe the holder is a just a big fan of "The Butler".
 

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No opinion either way on the refinish. That said, no mention or picture of letters confirming the pearls are original to the guns, if I was asking $7500 for a pair of Bankers I would spend $140 for the pair letters. Also in the pictures of the 22, does the ejector star appear to have a green cast to the bluing or is it just me. As to the white gloves maybe the holder is a just a big fan of "The Butler".
Good eyes for you and Elliot, Mike.
That greenish cast could easily be a thin coating of oil and the cylinder pictures shot as very slightly different angles. Even if the exterior surfaces of the guns were presented dry for the photos. I think it's safe to say that a collector's gun would have been oiled around the ejector shaft, or the hand, cylinder stop, the frame around the edges of where the crane rotates open and closed, etc. etc.

I must agree with you that if I had a potentially expensive set of Colts I wanted to sell I would definitely get the letters as part of the package.
 

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I know if I were buying these.. Because of the fakes out there.. I wouldnt touch it without a letter for that kind of cash. But thats just me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm pretty much in agreement with all opinions at this point. W/o letters, its a lot of money to spend for a gamble. So many of these types of examples, whether represented maliciously or not, end up being something other than what was thought. As previously stated, it is very difficult to say on the finish due to photography and lighting. I am going with original finish strictly based on the crispness of the markings. The barrel markings are also correct for the time line on the serial numbers. For me, I don't know that the grips really change the game much for these examples. At the end of the day the ultimate question is real or not real? And, do you want to gamble. It would be great if an expedited letter from Colt didn't take so long these days. In reference to a previous comment about already being lettered, I agree, with pieces that have the potential to hold such value and significance you would think the seller would have already had letters.

J
 

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I do not believe either one of these Bankers have been refinished. There are a lot of variances in color and shading in different individual's photographs. These are pretty decent pictures. They would have been preferable if they were taken outdoors, but they are decent. I think the finish on these guns would look quite different if the pictures were taken outside in diffused natural light. Then, throw in shutter speed and light settings - some folks understand and use them and some folks, like me, don't understand how to use them

Every single stamping on these two revolvers is crisp and show no evidence of a refinish, to me. There's even a tiny spot of rust at the base of the front sight pedestal on one of them, or perhaps grease. The hammer sides show very, very slight discoloration or spotting which is commensurate with ageing of that brushed steel, but they are very compatible with the finish of the guns.
I can't really comment whether the pearl stocks are factory non medallion or after market but you have to agree they were absolutely expertly fitted to these two guns.

In many collectable firearms posts on many websites, a gun is presented and so often somebody says "it's refinished", whether it has been or not. It's almost a sure bet somebody will say it. I have done so myself on occasion, and been wrong too. There are guns that are obviously refinished, but there are some that are so borderline one really couldn't tell without an in person examination.

John, to play devil's advocate for a moment - the seller using cotton gloves is not proof that the guns are genuine. They only prove the owner thinks the guns are genuine and has respect for collectable high condition firearms. He may be mediocre at evaluating refinished firearms, although I doubt this is the case.

I think we all can agree you don't pay 7K for a set of guns that are sold "as is". This alone would prevent me from buying the guns if I had the money, even if they came with factory letters. You can't tell if there are any mechanical issues from pictures, or the word of a seller who won't offer an inspection period for such expensive items.
What I said earlier about the cotton gloves,, was purley meant to be a joke. I was just trying to say how handling a gun with white cotton gloves means absolutely nothing zero! It kills me when people put on the white gloves in front of the camera to handle a old used gun like its the "Hope Diamond". People want to create the illusion they have something in their hands that warrants special care,,, I call BS using the white gloves. I say if you have something that good,, throw away the white gloves take some decent pictures and offer three day inspection. Get you tale in gun business and walk the walk.
 

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Good eyes for you and Elliot, Mike.
That greenish cast could easily be a thin coating of oil and the cylinder pictures shot as very slightly different angles. Even if the exterior surfaces of the guns were presented dry for the photos. I think it's safe to say that a collector's gun would have been oiled around the ejector shaft, or the hand, cylinder stop, the frame around the edges of where the crane rotates open and closed, etc. etc.

I must agree with you that if I had a potentially expensive set of Colts I wanted to sell I would definitely get the letters as part of the package.
I would say if the guns would letter with pearls, we would be all be looking at the letters.

John
 

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I am by no means a expert in this matter but there are a few things that would have me running for the hills.#1 If you have a set of "Rare" Banker's with Colt MOP grips that you are selling I would forget the white gloves and have pics of BOTH LETTERS Prominently displayed for buyer to view.Verification of the alleged facts would lend credibility to the presentation.#2 The 350 dollar 1960 Cobra I bought came with a 3 DAY INSEPCTION and NON Firing Return Policy these "Rare" guns are being sold AS IS with no return policy and he is expecting a 7k bid. This Auction is giving me a warm "Dirty Harry" moment.You are asking the buyer,"Do You Feel Lucky Punk......Well Do Ya? ". NUFF Said
 

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Hello, I own the two Bankers Specials and I removed them from the auction because of the inspection issue. Not because the buyer would not be happy but for all the hassle of shipping ,insuracne, transfer, and Gun Broker fees. I am going to get the both lettered because I am not the original purchaser of them to see what configuration the were in when they were new. I am very confident that they have NOT been refinished and the finishes are consistent to both guns. I will be relisting them in the future when the factory letters are received. i am not offended by the opinions and suggestions it is very understandable when dealing with that amount of money. I am open to any questions and or other suggestions pertaining to the two bankers Specials, you can never learn or know too much.
 
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