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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got no dog or money in this fight (I wish!) just wondering what you guys think?

The gun "surfaced" in 1995. I figure there is a good chance someone here knows the full story?



There's there is also a youtube video
 

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I was just getting ready to post the link.
I can't but help wonder what the closing price will be plus the additional buyer premium that Rock Island charges.
Many years ago I was actually able to handle one of Bat's Colt SAA. (This may be that gun) The owner of it, believed that it was one of Bat's personal guns and not given away or sold. It is rumored that Bat sold a lot of guns to tourist from the East. He based some of that on the fact that the butt was used as a hammer. Conjecture was from hanging wanted posters..
 

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Yes, it will be interesting to see what the final price is.
 

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It is well known Masterson ordered a number of Colts and sold many guns. I saw one a number of years ago with a letter at a gun show in Northern VA. Re-plated by the current owner who had ivory grips made for it, it was a joke. Asking price was $7,000. The gunsmith who re-plated it said he did what the customer wanted.
 

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I have seen it reported that he ordered 9 SAAs, this being the last. In 1888 he was dealing cards in Denver and his gun fighting days were over. Of course, the gun linked to that hand written letter would be of the most interest. A direct contact between the letter, in which he states the gun is for his own use, and the gun itself.

The factory letter shown is dated 2006. It would be interesting to know when the first factory letter was obtained on this gun. You would think that provenance would accompany the gun.

The factory letter lists the gun as blue. I will have to remember this when I get a gun that does not letter correctly and everyone tells me it can't be original because it does not letter properly.
 

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The more I think about the one that I was able to handle it had marks on the barrel. Not notches but more like scratches. The owner suspected it was from tightening barb-wire. Again speculating it was Bart's working gun and not one for resale.
Funny how many good memories I have surrounding family and guns. My deceased son was with me the day we saw the lettered Bart Masterson Gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So the famous letter is for 112737 and much earlier (not for this gun)? I was thinking barrel length "about the same length as the ejector rod is" as this gun's barrel is longer...or what does "about the same as" mean?
 

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The other item that struck me as a little odd was that the "original" belt and holster were with the revolver , but not the provenance as to who WBM was and no curiousity to even get a letter before the 1990s.
 

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Several of the Masterson ordered Colt SAA's are discussed in the book, The Official Record of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver 1873-1895, by Wilkerson and Hoyt. On page 149 the July 24, 1885 Masterson letter is shown and discussed. As Stavok mentioned, the Colts shipped for this order were 112737 and 112998. The "P.S" at the bottom of the letter added by Masterson said, "duplicate this order by sending two". Another interesting confirmation of the shipping date for these guns is the employee notation that can be seen at the bottom corner of the letter that states, "28.B Express COD Will forward Thursday July 30/85". Not all of the orders placed by Masterson have survived in the Colt historic files that are now housed in the Connecticut State Library. There is no question that the subject revolver is one that was ordered directly by Masterson, just that the original letter for this one has been lost. The interesting side note to all this is that there are only a few of these original Masterson Colts that have been found and there are several still out there someplace, perhaps one will show up at the Tulsa Gun Show this next weekend or even at a little gun show in Mesquite, TX?
 

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I saw that video last night. It seemed like forever before the presenter got through giving a rather lengthy history of who Masterson was and I could have done without that. Then he presented a copy of the rather well known letter that Masterson wrote to Colt's in ordering an SAA. More sideshow marketing by RIA. As others have pointed out the gun in question isn't the one from the hand written letter but was shipped to Masterson several years later.

I'm sure the gun will bring a nice final gavel price but the lead up and showing the letter for a different gun in the video was unnecessary in my opinion.

I'm also suspicious of the F.A. Menea holster. It looked too new for an 130 year old rig. I would want an expert's opinion on it. Was Masterson the kind of guy who needed his initials prominently stamped on the belt ? I doubt it.

The letter shows the address as "unavailable". Was Masterson living in New York City at the time the gun was shipped ? Or was he still out west ?

One last thing, I sure wish whoever the person who first came up with the idea that you should use two cameras when interviewing someone and keep cutting back and forth between a front view and side view of the speaker would go back to film school. That is an extremely annoying practice. Just stop it.
 

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This is the reason a person should spend the money to get a factory letter. The gun sold for pennies on the dollar originally when it came from a picker in CA to a friend in northern AR. Said friend called and lettered it and made a nice profit off of it and sold it and the next guy who was a collector in OK made even more when he sold it to a big name collector / dealer. Later on was auctioned and when into another private collection that I know of and apparently had changed hands in the past several years. Will be interesting to see what it brings. I've held it in my hands for a good hour looking it over back in the 90's and if it is a refinish I certainly didn't see a trace of it when I was looking at it. Factory shipping ledgers do make mistakes which I've proven in my own collecting experience through the years. Gosh awful looking front sight on the BP single action but it was what Bat wanted. As pointed out. I think the hand written note to colt was for an earlier piece Bat ordered. I believe they checked him out and he was in Denver at the time this one was shipped to him.
 

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RIA? "Buy the gun not the story" seems to hold true and more so with Rock Island. A good many folks buy a story at their auctions. Good for them. Good for the owners of the pieces they sell.

May be not so good if you just spent $1,466,250 for a Colt. Or may be the last corporate tax cuts just weren't enough and you needed a mid 7 figure tax shelter.
 

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I have viewed many of the RIA YouTube videos. One thing I would like to suggest is for a company that is pulling in as much money as RIA does, they can afford to buy some museum grade white cotton gloves.

Leave the Harbor Freight nitrile gloves for doing oil changes on your cars. It would make them look much more professional.
 

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I've got no dog or money in this fight (I wish!) just wondering what you guys think?

The gun "surfaced" in 1995. I figure there is a good chance someone here knows the full story?



There's there is also a youtube video
I saw that gun on a TGCA table about 1995. It looked very correct in every respect. I had seen the 4-3/4" 1885 Masterson gun years before. When I saw that front sight Bat Masterson immediately came to mind. The dealer wasn't at the table, and there was no holster (yet).
 
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