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Original nickel does flake off, so this alone is not a sure sign of a refinish.

However, blurry stampings, rounded off corners and edges that should be sharp, and waves and ripples in the barrel and flat surfaces are indications of a refinish.

Pricing a refinish is more a matter of personal judgment.
More goes into it. As example, how good was it done, WHO did it (Colt is better) what's the overall condition of the gun now, (Rust, pitting, heavy wear)?

Other factors are, when was it actually shipped by Colt, and very important, was it really a Bisley when it was shipped, or is it a post-factory conversion.

Simply too much to offer a price without a lot more info and some good pictures, and even then only a real expert can give a reliable price.
 

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Thanks,

Now do you know if it's possible to tell if Colt did the refinish job?
Look for an "&" or a 6-pointed star on the right rear trigger guard bow. Generally, the "&" means factory refinished. The star means the factory worked on the gun, but does not necessarily mean they refinished it - could be refinished - but might mean it was just sent in for repairs and not refinished.
Mike
 

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That's not ugly.....

That's not ugly, that's character, and character is part of what makes these old guns special. You have a beautiful old revolver there that should be left as is cosmetically and enjoyed. Just my opinion. :)
 

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Unfortunately that is without a doubt refinished, and not by Colt. Someone was over zelous and very heavy handed when they did the job of polishing. Value would be tough, I beleive originality is key with any Colt and in this condition it would be the market that sets price. By market I mean if you put this up on one of the auction sites and started it at a penny with no reserve you could get the auction frenzy going and maybe get up to ????. No matter the extreme of condition, honest use and wear looks the most appealing to me. Although some folks just want a century old shooter that is affordable and this might fit that bill. If you like it and it functions and throws lead down range then shoot it and have a good time!
 

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I would say the grips are celulloid. Colt probably won't work on it. If you like it, just shoot it and enjoy it.
 

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Colt wont refinish this. You would have to go to a restoration smith. The cost of the restoration plus the initial cost of the gun would put you way over the price of a finding an original high condition gun. Turnbull starts at 3500.00 for pre 1913 Saa's/Bisley restorations. Dave Lanara is another good smith and he is not as much as Turnbull but you get the idea. There are a few other folks that can spruce it up for you but you still end up with the same results. A refinished gun. The grips look to be what we refer to as the "bowling ball type" some sort of resin/plastic. My advice is if you like it, leave it alone other than getting a set of original grips that fit better, or sell it and take what you get for it plus the 1000-3500 dollars you would spend to clean it up and buy a better condition gun. Keep in mind also the reputable smiths will only restore the gun to Factory letter specs, so if you get the letter and find out the gun was originally a 32/20 it may lead to more dissapointment!
 

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If the bore is in good shootable shape, I think you did ok for $1600. I wouldn't do anything to it except shoot it. That is a nice old Bisley with character and "is what it is."
 

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Refinish???

If you have it re-nickled you will have a shiny gun without the peeled areas and other blemishes. You can give it a hand polish job yourself with Flitz or Simichrome polish and make it shine but won't do anything for the peel. If you don't like it that way you can still have it re-nickled.

As previously stated by someone else it had a careless preparation job when it was nickeled before. Refinish is not going to correct that.

If you do re-nickle it, there are several shops that can do a satisfactory job at reasonable cost. You can get on google or bing and enter gun restoration or nickle plating to bring up some to check in with and make your choice. In discussing with them find out what the turn around time will be. Some of them can take forever to do a job. :)
 

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Now if this turns out to be a refinished firearm does anyone have an idea what it's worth? I'm probably paying to much but I really like it.
Ray
It really does not matter what it is worth now; you already bought it and you really like it. Suffice to say you need to get a lot of enjoyment out of owning it. Mike
 

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with all due respect to flattopbis, what is "unfortunate" to one fella can mean whether or not another fella will ever own a first gen colt saa. got back from old mexico early this morning, and the renickeled saa .44-40 i bought a couple of weeks ago was waiting. other than caliber and the fact it is not a bisley, it is nearly identical to 50cal ray's but for the black powder frame.

if i'd have paid what a truly "acceptable" saa cost, i couldn't have afforded the week in mexico, which the mrs. enjoyed as much as i did.

i think $1,600 is a good deal on a first gen, and ray, i really like those grips.
 

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thats a great looking bisley. if you still have those grips, i would love to buy them, will give you a fair price.
let me know abd we can talk. thanks roger.
 
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