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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Offered to buy a couple of Colts from local sellers. First is a Colt NF nib in 44 special with 7.5 barrel. Offered $1200 for this 3rd Gen made about 1980.

Second one I bid $1400 to buy a 45 Colt SAA NRA commemorative new in box that has key. 7.5 barrel is second gen.

Both fellows wanted time to think about it and will tell me later .
 

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I would not hesitate to buy either, but the first seems like a great deal.
I would hesitate to buy any Colt single action from 1980 until I performed a thorough inspection that would include working the action and checking for endshake.

459, do you understand what to look for in a good single action? Proper polish, case colors, action feel? Not trying to offend you with that question, just wanting to help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not really and I appreciate the help. I thought it was the mid eighties during the strike that were the problem guns?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like the first gun and price, not so much the second. Why pay extra for a box if it is going to be a shooter. Even with box, I would think $1250 would be reasonable.
His story was he thought it was worth more because it's a second gen gun and asked $1600 for it so my counter since it's a commemorative was $1400. I doubt I will find a 2nd for a better price.
 

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Nobody has accepted my offer yet but here is the gun and what they ask.


http://www.gunbroker.com/item/716456656

I haven't got any pictures of the NRA gun

Jim
That one looks well built with good case colors. I am noticing a bolt mark on the cylinder that could indicate an action timing problem. Mishandling can mark the cylinder also but maybe not in that way. To be safe you might budget the cost of an action job from Jim Martin or similar in your total for that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That one looks well built with good case colors. I am noticing a bolt mark on the cylinder that could indicate an action timing problem. Mishandling can mark the cylinder also but maybe not in that way. To be safe you might budget the cost of an action job from Jim Martin or similar in your total for that one.
From the pictures I saw the cylinder pin was out a bit and the loading gate had a blemish of sorts. I have one gun Martin did for me and it's perfect. In my bid I put subject to inspection just in case I missed something. I won't know anything until monday.

Thanks for your opinion and I value the help you guys give. Best place on the net.

Jim
 

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I would take a 2nd gen over a third any day; even an NRA.

3rd gen quality variation periods
Here's my general guide to the 3rd gen Colt quality which has the greatest quality variances compared to the 1st and 2nd gen SAAs. Most Colt SAAs do not have an accuracy problem, they shoot good patterns, it's just that the point of impact is not always at the point of aim.

The very early 3rds with an SA suffix #80000SA, 1976 and early SA prefix SA01001, 1979 - 1980 are fine and compare well to late 2nd gens in quality; still having the trigger guard bevel, and proper barrel address font (instead of the later .22 Peacemaker font), but alas, no cyl base pin bushing any longer.

The peak of the worst period; about SA65XXX to SA705XX range, 1983-85 (pre strike production, strike in 1986), inspect very closely for:

Cyl end shake (fore and aft play), flattened hammer spurs, off center firing pins in the hammer, non-flush backstrap ‘ears’ to hammer base fitting, poor loading gate fit, crooked front sights, sloppy actions with more than four clicks, crooked rolled stampings on frame and barrel (sometimes patent dates on frame are missing altogether), murky case coloring, poor grip strap to frame fit, over polished edges or edges so sharp at front of frame you could cut yourself, etc., etc. Check cyl alignment with recoil shields. I've seen some cyls stick out on one side and in on the other side due to uneven finishing of the recoil shield. The cyl should be near flush on both sides. You know, several of us have reported this in the past. However the 3rds do still retain this 1st and 2nd gen feature. To be sure it's a little less pronounced as in the past, but it does remain. To see it easily, hold the gun as if you're aiming it. Now shift your focus from the sights to the top seam of barrel-to-housing and point barrel a bit to the right so the entire seam can be seen. You'll notice the seam is higher up on the barrel at the muzzle and the housing flute tapers wider towards the front.

Like all SAA features, the taper may vary from gun to gun.
Once the labor strike occurred in 1986, production was taken over by the custom shop and quality improved somewhat. Now having said all that, I have found an occasional decent gun in that 1983 thru the strike period.

After that period things start to improve with typically only one or two of the problems per gun but sometimes more, and sometimes none. The lousy backstrap 'ears' to hammer base fitting is still fairly common as are flattened hammer spurs. Once the SA in the serial number splits SXXXXXA in 1993, they continue to get better thru 1999.

Around #S26XXXA in 1999 the authentic removable base pin cyl bushing like 1st and 2nd gen guns is first re-introduced on the 2000 units made for the 125Th SAA Anniversary Model, with unused 2nd gen serial numbers. By post 2003 all production guns had it and cyl end shake is usually all but eliminated. Case colors really improve as well as fitting. Hammer spurs are correct as well as most backstrap ‘ears’ to hammer base fit. Now the guns are approaching late 2nd gen quality and do to this day.

However the trigger guard/front grip strap still does not have the bevel of the 1st, 2nd and early 3rds with SA suffix, or the wide loading gates of the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] gen and early 2nd gen, and probably never will again. The 2nds never had the 2 line short barrel address, although it is a unique shorter single line address than the other barrel lengths, or the 1/2" radius cyl flutes of the 1st gen. Even the post 1934 1st gens lost the case colored hammers and all vestiges of the front cyl chamfer. At least three pre c. 1936 features can be special ordered from the custom shop now on 3rd gens; CCH hammer, the 2 line barrel address on short barrels and the cyl chamfer (but it's not accurately done). Of course there's a one to two plus years wait. Hondo44
 

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He's got a listed minimum - he 'knows' its value - your lower bid didn't even register on-site.

Low-balling may happen at a face-to-face gun show (with not much chance of success), but not on a nation-wide gun auction site, at a time when SAAs and New Frontiers are scarce on the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
He's got a listed minimum - he 'knows' its value - your lower bid didn't even register on-site.

Low-balling may happen at a face-to-face gun show (with not much chance of success), but not on a nation-wide gun auction site, at a time when SAAs and New Frontiers are scarce on the ground.
The market place is the judge of what lowball is. While we don't have a lot of Colts here there isn't a lot of money chasing them either. An offer to start with is the normal way of me doing business and the seller is the one who makes the choice. If you want to buy this gun for more money then feel free to buy it as I haven't formed an attachment to it. There are more guns out there than I can afford to buy but like most people I try to get the best deal on any gun I want.

Thanks, jim
 

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Hondo,

That is great information you posted on the "3rd gen quality variation periods". Since I only own 1st Gens and 2 2nd Gens, I can now check a 3rd Gen if I eveer get one. I still prefer the 1st Gens, but the two (2) 2nd Gen revolvers I have are very nice.......and they have a finish on them, LOL! Thanks for posting that information!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Not sure why they would. Lot more buyers these days than there re Colt SAAs in any form.
But you might get lucky!
Depends on the guns history I recon. Around here its a wet humid climate so buying a gun thats over 35 years old is taking a risk because you can't see inside the gun. Gun could look great but the inside may need repair or replacement. Plus add in the dollar loss because it's a NF and in the 80s manufacturing time. I start low and see what they really want for the gun. Never paid what they first ask for my house or my truck so can't see it as a low ball offer to begin the swap.
 
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