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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a U.S. marked Colt Single Action Army. I was told it was made in 1880, from it's serial number but would like to make sure. I'm thinking of getting a factory letter. How much do they cost and how do I get one?
 

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You 'could' just post the serial number and ask...

At least one of us will dig out his references.

Better yet, post some clear photos, as well.
 

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I just bought a U.S. marked Colt Single Action Army. I was told it was made in 1880, from it's serial number but would like to make sure. I'm thinking of getting a factory letter. How much do they cost and how do I get one?
You're going to pay 100.00 - 150.00 for a letter that simply says' " shipped to the commanding officer at....." Not worth the money IMO and I have lots of US cavs.

Post some pics of insp. stamps, serials, barrel address, front sight and grips and if it looks "right" you might consider sending it to John Kopec for authentication.
 

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I recently purchased a Colt SAA chambered in 32-20 with a 4.5 barrel. I sent the serial number, 281468, to Colt Archives for a letter. I got a note back saying they couldn't find record of my Colt and they believe it was manufactured around 1898. I looked up the number in RL Wilson's book and thought it was around 1906. The only other distinguishing features are hard, brown, plastic grips with rampant Colts. The top of the barrel is double lined. Anyone have any opinion on this? Thank you for your help.
 

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From Colt's own homepage, please see the following:

Enter Serial Number to search the database.

required
1950
OFFICERS MODEL SPECIAL
1929
POLICE POSITIVE .38
1923
POLICE POSITIVE SPECIAL & DETECTIVE SPECIAL
1921
1908 HAMMERLESS .25
1920
NEW SERVICE & SHOOTING MASTER & 1917
1918
1903 HAMMERLESS .32
1918
MODEL 1911 MILITARY
1907
"NEW ARMY & NAVY MODELS 1892,94,95,96,1901 & 03"
1906
SINGLE ACTION ARMY & BISLEY REVOLVERS
1866
1849 POCKET (.36 CALIBER)

This is an approximate date. For a complete firearm history contact Colt's Archive Department.

So, from Colt's own site, it states your firearm was produced in 1906.
 

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I guess I need to call them and ask them to look again? Has anyone ever had issues getting a letter? I have a couple Colt letters and a number of other letters and never had one sent back as unobtainable.
 

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I just bought a U.S. marked Colt Single Action Army. I was told it was made in 1880, from it's serial number but would like to make sure. I'm thinking of getting a factory letter. How much do they cost and how do I get one?
If you call Colt with the s/n, they will usually tell you date of manufacture. For a US marked Colt, you might consider going to Kopec for authenticating originality. Colt cannot do this because all they have to go by is the s/n. Kopec will take parts off and tell you what you may or may not want to know. I found out from Kopec things that I didn't know about my US Colt and I was sure it was all original - disappointing but good to know so as not to fraud a fellow collector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Pointman,
How do I go about getting it authenticated by Kopec. I hate to trust the mail with it. How much does it cost?
I took it partially apart to check hidden numbers such as under ejector tube, under trigger housing, and on grips. They all seemed correct. Something curious I wanted to check with SAA experts though. When I took off the grips to look for S/N there was a strip of thin paper over rear groove where number is. I peeled it out and sure enough, matching number was slopily penned there. I carefully put the paper back in before reassembly. Would like to know if paper strip might have been put in at factory for some reason?
Thanks,
Harry
 

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Thanks Pointman,
How do I go about getting it authenticated by Kopec. I hate to trust the mail with it. How much does it cost?
I took it partially apart to check hidden numbers such as under ejector tube, under trigger housing, and on grips. They all seemed correct. Something curious I wanted to check with SAA experts though. When I took off the grips to look for S/N there was a strip of thin paper over rear groove where number is. I peeled it out and sure enough, matching number was slopily penned there. I carefully put the paper back in before reassembly. Would like to know if paper strip might have been put in at factory for some reason?
Thanks,
Harry
Not likely. some previous owner may have laid it in the channel in hopes of preserving the legibility of the number.
I have seen some with paper folded up to act as a shim for replaced grips that didn't fit properly.
 

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I guess I need to call them and ask them to look again? Has anyone ever had issues getting a letter? I have a couple Colt letters and a number of other letters and never had one sent back as unobtainable.
Yes, I requested a letter on SN 352388; and they said the records were lost. All they could tell me was that it was shipped on Jan 25, 1929. Colt has one shipping record book missing, and occasionally that happens.
 
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