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Discussion Starter #1
Well...I just bought my second colt revolver in less than six months. My first was a Colt .38 Detective Special. I loved it so much I felt it was time to step up. I just bought a Colt Cowboy Single Action .45 It looks brand new but they sold it to me used. My guess is someone owned it and never shot it and traded it in. Can anyone tell me how to tell if it's been shot or not. The blueing and all the markings are mint. It's a beautiful gun. I figured I'd share a pic. Also I was looking at having it engraved with some basic scroll engraving. Any thoughts on that as far as modifying it...does it effect the value up or down? I think it would increase the value. Thanks for your time...
 

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You have the less common 4 3/4 barrel. This gun had a retail of $599 when produced up to about 2002. It was designed to get into CASS shooting for 1/2 of what a Colt single action would cost. These dont have the fit and finish of a Colt single action but it appears that people are now paying almost what a true Colt single action would cost just to add one to a collection. IMHO, what ever you would pay for engraving, it would be lost and most also likely devalue the gun also. If it were my gun I would keep it, shoot it, clean it and start all over again with keep it, shoot it and clean it. Nice shooter gun that was made to go out and shoot.
 

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You may not be able to tell if it's been shot. I sold one just like yours years ago after I put about 50 rounds through it. I sold it as used, but even the buyer said he couldn't tell that I had fired it. Look for carbon deposits around the cylinder chambers. Congratulations on your purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
It's actually the 5.5 barrel that I have. I know the pic shows the 4.75. It has the exact same handle and finish though. Im going to call Colt Monday and see what the cost is to engrave. If its decent ill consider it. The finish on it is amazing. I'm very happy with my purchase. Anyone able to tell me what the value on it may be. I believe I got a good deal on it. Thanks for the input.
 

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You'll probably find any engraving through Colt would cost about as much as the gun's worth & it won't add value to what was a Colt "budget" gun.

If you want to go ahead, it's your gun & your money.
You do understand it is NOT a Peacemaker & doesn't have the same action, right?
It was made with several major parts cast in Canada, not forged in Hartford, the finish is not the same, and so on.

If you like the gun, that's fine. Just understand what it is & what it isn't when you consider throwing several hundred dollars at it beyond whatever you paid for it.
Denis
 

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Im jumping on the wagon of keep it like it is. As a single action collector, its worth more untouched. one just got traded in at the local shop and its LNIB or could be NIB. either way, im actually considering it because collectors are interested in NIB items that are no longer in production. Cowboys can sell for 900 to 1000 when in that condition, even though they are a 600-700 dollar budget gun. The more time passes, the harder it will be to find one that is not very well used. If would have built at the Colt factory, it would have increased in value even more. Its going up in value anyway with the Colt name on it.
 

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FWIW, I just got a new factory-fresh SAA and it came in a very nice blue cardboard box, and not a plastic case
The SAA and the Cowboy were not the same gun, and were not packaged the same.
 
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yeah.. the single action army is truly a case hardened frame among other differences. The cowboy has the "case colored" like the Uberti's , Ruger (don't know that they offer that anymore though) and other guns at a lower price point than the SAA. I've never shot a Colt Cowboy so I don't know how they compare to the SAA or the Ubertis and Rugers. I may have to break down and buy one to find out.
 

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There are satisfied Cowboy owners, considering what they got, and the guns generally do work OK.
They're just not a Peacemaker & at least three gunsmiths whose opinions I respect don't regard them highly.
Parts will become a problem sooner or later, too.

If you know what you're buying & it's what you want, nothing wrong with the deal. The thing that causes some angst is when people don't know what they're spending their money on and think they're getting a "real" Single Action Army.

As far as the engraving goes, it'd be almost as...value-less as paying a grand to engrave a Uberti.
If that's what you like & what you really want to do, fine. You just won't get your money back if you ever decide to sell.
Denis
 

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Don't waste your money engraving a Cowboy. The Cowboys were meant, as stated above, to be an entry level cost effective "shooter" for those that didn't want to put wear and tear on their SAA's. I picked one up many years ago for $500 and made it a pure shooter. I wasn't afraid to bang it into tree's, bounce around on a horse or 4wheeler, etc. It's served it's purpose well, is accurate and fun to shoot. That being said, it ISN'T anywhere near the quality/fit of a well made SAA. It is what it is - a Colt Shooter. Although watching prices go up, I'm wishing I bought two and kept one new.
 

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If you're going to spend upwards of $1000 to get engraving, get a real SAA and have it engraved, you're wasting your money getting a Cowboy engraved.
 

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If you're happy with the Cowboy, I'd leave it as is and enjoy shooting it. However, you may want to take a look at a Single Action Army first. The difference between the two guns is night and day. Given the Cowboy has some collector appeal, you may wish to keep it for a while and try to sell it at a profit. You could apply the money toward the purchase of a Single Action Army.
 

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Please consider sending the serial number to be added to the Cowboy serial number data base. There's a thread on the data base.


Thanks
rayb
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I added the info last night. Decided to hold off on the engraving. Very happy with my purchase. Probably won't shoot it. Upon further inspection it looks to have been fired a handful of times.
 

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Key areas that can show wear/shooting are the presence of a drag line around the cylinder, bright surfaces on the rear of the ratchet teeth, a round wear pattern on the frame behind the ratchet (caused by the ratchet), brass transfer or finish loss on the frame around the firing pin hole, rub marks on either side of the hammer, and powder burn rings around each chamber mouth on the front of the cylinder.

I think you made the right decision on the engraving.
As a thought, if you have the money, you could sell the Cowboy & float a real SAA and then go for engraving.
Expensive, but at the end you'd have a better gun & a much more valuable one, not to mention whatever pride of ownership might attach for you, if those are considerations.
Denis
 

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I have one {the Colt Cowboy} paid $600.00 for it new in the box, not going to shoot it and see
if it goes up in price. did see one at a gun show for $800.00 so I think I did O.K
packrat
 
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