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Discussion Starter #1
This may sound like a dumb question but I will ask anyway. I have 6 1st gen SAA's ranging from the oldest (1881) to the newest (1916). 5 of them have 4 digit bin numbers on loading gate that match all of the places they are on the guns. 1 of them (the 1916) has a 3 digit bin number that matches all over that gun. My question is did Colt use bin numbers for builds in any particular order or were they randomly assigned for each gun? I'm sure there were only a finite number of bins for builds and that they were most likely rotated through each year, or multiple times a year depending on production. Thanks for any info you guys may have on this. BTW, the bin# on the 1916 is not the last 3 of the serial.
Michael
 

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My understanding is that there were numbered bins or drawers into which a revolver was placed and the number was assigned to the frame under the trigger guard and to the loading gate. Completely random, and when a revolver was moved out of a drawer to be completed, another one took its place, sooner or later.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It was shorter to say that than spelling it all out.
Way to split hairs though and not be helpful :unsure:
 

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I was told the loading gate number did not correspond to any of the other numbers.

But you are saying that the loading gate on your guns is matching with the serial numbers except for one gun?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was told the loading gate number did not correspond to any of the other numbers.

But you are saying that the loading gate on your guns is matching with the serial numbers except for one gun?
No, if you read the post it states bin numbers match, see last sentence.
 

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It was a totally fair question when you stated this: "1 of them (the 1916) has a 3 digit bin number that matches all over that gun." Normally the assembly number only appears on the loading gate and frame. Are you saying you have a gun with assembly numbers that match additional locations, and what/where are those numbers? Do they also match the serial number on the backstrap, frame, trigger, guard?
 

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Clarification, for all parties involved:

If an original, as issued revolver, and not mixed numbers, like an Artillery Model, the visible frame, trigger guard, and backstrap numbers should match. If generally produced prior to 1883 and after 1912, not exclusively, the last 2, 3, or 4 digits in various possible locations on the cylinder, depending on when produced, should match the last 2, 3, or 4 digits of the serial number. Depending on the timeframe, digits on the barrel should correspond to the serial number. Likewise, the grips. The loading gate and frame under the trigger guard have a random different number, both being the same, unless the last digits of the serial number are identical to the drawer or bin components were placed in. Statistically, this is possible and I've observed it on at least one occasion.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It was a totally fair question when you stated this: "1 of them (the 1916) has a 3 digit bin number that matches all over that gun." Normally the assembly number only appears on the loading gate and frame. Are you saying you have a gun with assembly numbers that match additional locations, and what/where are those numbers? Do they also match the serial number on the backstrap, frame, trigger, guard?
It was a typo, you understand?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Clarification, for all parties involved:

If an original, as issued revolver, and not mixed numbers, like an Artillery Model, the visible frame, trigger guard, and backstrap numbers should match. If generally produced prior to 1883 and after 1912, not exclusively, the last 2, 3, or 4 digits in various possible locations on the cylinder, depending on when produced, should match the last 2, 3, or 4 digits of the serial number. Depending on the timeframe, digits on the barrel should correspond to the serial number. Likewise, the grips. The loading gate and frame under the trigger guard have a random different number, both being the same, unless the last digits of the serial number are identical to the drawer or bin components were placed in. Statistically, this is possible and I've observed it on at least one occasion.
Thank you for your help and clarification of bin number system. I appreciate it.
 

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You, it was kind of obvious. Instead of offering help you chose to try to ridicule.
I don't ridicule people! It's beneath my dignity! Your post said your 3 digit bin number matched all over the gun. I don't know you. I don't know your level of knowledge. We get people asking questions here that don't know which end the bullet comes out of. When you said all over I thought you may be looking at multiple bin, not assembly, numbers stamped during a Colt refinish. I have been here for 17 years trying to help people to the best of my limited ability and not splitting hairs or "not being helpful." Ask anybody here. I didn't deserve that snarky reply. YOU misunderstood.
 

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Seems to be a misunderstanding here,Rick is a very helpful member on here! I reference his posts often for correct information. I’m no expert but the top pic shows assembly numbers on a 1925 SAA I am currently in the process of “helping”. In the correct places for that vintage (back of frame, and loading gate). Middle pic of is of assembly numbers on an 1874 SAA in the correct places (bottom of frame and loading gate). Last pic of a possible Colt factory rework (& on trigger guard) 1908 SAA with a “bin” number stamped on the backstrap. The rework gun has matching “bin” numbers stamped on almost all of the parts (backstrap, trigger guard, ejector housing, barrel, frame).
As far as the process or order goes for how they chose or assigned numbers as per your post, I’m unsure and it’s a good question.
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Discussion Starter #16
I don't ridicule people! It's beneath my dignity! Your post said your 3 digit bin number matched all over the gun. I don't know you. I don't know your level of knowledge. We get people asking questions here that don't know which end the bullet comes out of. When you said all over I thought you may be looking at multiple bin, not assembly, numbers stamped during a Colt refinish. I have been here for 17 years trying to help people to the best of my limited ability and not splitting hairs or "not being helpful." Ask anybody here. I didn't deserve that snarky reply. YOU misunderstood.
It wasn't a snarky response it was a factual response. The only question posed in my post had to do with Colt's bin number system. I didn't ask any questions about my gun, I have all the books and have studied them for years and am quite comfortable with what I know. You passed over the relevant question and started your post with, and I quote :
" match ALL of the places? How many bin numbers do you see on these guns? "
What does that question have to do with Colt's bin number system? It has nothing to do with it. That question was judgemental and demeaning, not constructive. I'm sorry you misunderstood.
 

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The written word is so hard to communicate with.

Can't we all just try to get along. I really appreciate when someone actually tries to find out what it is I am asking when I don't do a good job of asking.
 

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This may sound like a dumb question but I will ask anyway. I have 6 1st gen SAA's ranging from the oldest (1881) to the newest (1916). 5 of them have 4 digit bin numbers on loading gate that match all of the places they are on the guns. 1 of them (the 1916) has a 3 digit bin number that matches all over that gun. My question is did Colt use bin numbers for builds in any particular order or were they randomly assigned for each gun? I'm sure there were only a finite number of bins for builds and that they were most likely rotated through each year, or multiple times a year depending on production. Thanks for any info you guys may have on this. BTW, the bin# on the 1916 is not the last 3 of the serial.
Michael
"did Colt use bin numbers for builds in any particular order or were they randomly assigned for each gun"?

I suspect that it depended on the assembler at the time, whether numbers were random or numbered up to 3 or 4 digits. It would be interesting to compare the gate numbers on consecutive serial numbered guns of the same configuration.
 

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I have worked in a factory with parts "cans". The cans were numbered, each having a unique number. They were not used in a particular order. A can could be emptied quickly and put back in the rotation to be used again, or it may stay on a shelf filled with parts for weeks, months, or years. The number was for reference on what was in it only. Damaged cans were removed and scrapped. New cans were built, numbered, and put into rotation. When the plant went to just-in-time production many of the cans were scrapped based on condition. I assume Colt did something similar.
 

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Just browsing quickly through this thread I was confused from the first post; is the OP referring to assembly numbers which were applied to the frame and the loading gate ONLY. Or is he asking about "BIN" numbers which were applied to all major parts, (and even sometimes to lesser parts such as the ejector rod head), of the gun when it was returned to Colt for refinish? The two assembly numbers were applied during manufacture of the gun. Bin numbers, all over the gun, were applied when a gun was returned to Colt, by the owner, for refinish and/or repair.
Edit to add: Disregarding the terms used, and perhaps focusing on the intent of the question: I do not know, but reasoning would suggest there was an order involved. If nothing more than to prevent duplication of, or repeating of, numbers used on guns currently in work. And, the system of numbering probably was different for assembly numbers than for bin numbers.
 
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