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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I posted this in another section, before I realized there is a Colt Percussion Revolvers section:

What do you recommend for reading materials about the pre-Single Action Army revolver -- e.g., the Paterson, Walker, Dragoon series, 1849 Pocket Model, 1851 Navy, the Root Model, 1860 Army, 1861 Navy, Colt Thuer Conversion, Richards Conversion, Richards-Mason Conversion, and/or the 1871-72 Open Top Model, etc., etc.? Either individual books about specific models, or books that cover one or more of the aforementioned models.

I am interested more in books that go into great detail, discuss variations, things to look for, etc., as opposed to Wilson-style coffee-table books.

I received three recommendations:

1) A History of the Colt Revolver, 1836 to 1940, by Haven and Belden;
2) '51 Colt Navies, by Swayze;
3) A Study of Colt Conversions and other Percussion Revolvers, by McDowell.

Are there any other great books I should be aware of?
 

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I posted this in another section, before I realized there is a Colt Percussion Revolvers section:

What do you recommend for reading materials about the pre-Single Action Army revolver -- e.g., the Paterson, Walker, Dragoon series, 1849 Pocket Model, 1851 Navy, the Root Model, 1860 Army, 1861 Navy, Colt Thuer Conversion, Richards Conversion, Richards-Mason Conversion, and/or the 1871-72 Open Top Model, etc., etc.? Either individual books about specific models, or books that cover one or more of the aforementioned models.

I am interested more in books that go into great detail, discuss variations, things to look for, etc., as opposed to Wilson-style coffee-table books.

I received three recommendations:

1) A History of the Colt Revolver, 1836 to 1940, by Haven and Belden;
2) '51 Colt Navies, by Belden;
3) A Study of Colt Conversions and other Percussion Revolvers, by McDowell.

Are there any other great books I should be aware of?
With due respect to one and all, you have the wrong title and/or authors in item #1.
As a long time Colt Collector, If you have: 1) "The Book of Colt Firearms" 2nd Edition by R.L. Wilson, 2) Colt Firearms 1836-1960' by James E Serven, and 3) "The History of The Colt Revolver" by Charles Haven and Frank A. Belden, you really don't need any other books except possibly " '51 Colt Navies" by Nathan L. Swayze and "Colt's '49, its Evolution, Including The Baby Dragoon and Wells Fargo" By Robert M. Jorden and Darrow M Watt.
If you own all 5 books, you really do not need any other books about percussion Colts or SAA's. unless you want to collect Colt Books. All other books may have nice photos, but cannot improve on the textual content and information accuracy of these 5 books. I really like Adler's photographs. He is one of the best firearms photographers around, but his texts are just a watered down version of Wilson. If you want "take to the bank" accuracy, go with Wilson. He may be despised for his crooked gun dealings, but he sure writes well and accurately.
One last piece of advice: You really should consider joining the Colt Collectors Association. The membership fee includes a subscription to "The Rampant Colt" which is published 4 times a year. It is the premier Colt Firearms periodical. You might want to be on the lookout for past issues as they come up on e-Bay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I stand corrected -- I was typing from another post and entered Belden erroneously, when I intended to enter Swayze, as the author of the '51 Navies book.

I believe I know a fair amount about Colt Single Action Army Revolvers, having collected these for quite some time now. I have now become interested in some of the earlier models. I think what you all have recommended will provide a decent library of information. I just wanted to make sure there was not some substantial volume out there that is a 'must have' and I was unaware of.

I like the information out there for collectors that tends to be technical. With all due respect, R L Wilson's books tend to be very beautiful, but they seem more like coffee-table books. I met R L Wilson once and he seemed like a true gentleman, so it was surprising to discover what he was eventually found to be guilty of. For great photographs, his books are good, but I tend to steer away from those sorts of books.

I am awaiting the arrival of the Haven and Belden book, a copy from 1940, which I was lucky enough to find for $15.99.
 
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