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On Saturday, I purchased a Colt .45 1881 SAA in excellent condition, with all 4 serial numbers matching (67xxx). My purchase included an authentication letter from Colt indicating it was shipped to J.P. Moores Sons in NY, NY on August 27, 1881 as part of a 15-gun shipment. The walnut stocks have been replaced with mother of pearl, and the barrel is 5-1/2" instead of 7-1/2". In doing some research, I found this: "In 1895-96, the Government returned 2000 SAA revolvers to Colt’s to be refurbished; 800 were issued to the New York Militia with the 7 ½” barrel and 1200 were altered to a barrel length of 5½". In 1898, 14 900 of the SAA revolvers were altered the same way by Springfield Armory. The original records of the War Department do refer to these revolvers with the shortened barrel as the “Altered Revolver”. The name “Artillery” is actually a misnomer, maybe because the Light Artillery happened to have the first units armed with the altered revolver." (Source: Sapp, Rick (2007). Standard Catalog of Colt Firearms. F+W Media, Inc,. ISBN 978-0-89689-534-8.)". This makes sense, as included in the authentication letter is this statement: "...the records do not provide information with regard to the barrel length of subject revolver or the type of stocks. However, this is usually an indication of a 7 1/2" barrel length and walnut stocks as these were considered standard issue for that time period."

I am curious as to the meaning of the "HN." stamped in the cylinder. If anyone knows what this is, I'd sure appreciate it if you could tell me. Also, any additional historical facts would be of great interest to me.



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