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What factors or combination of factors influence you to request a letter from Colt... value, age, rarity, intention to sell, just plain curiosity, other factors?
 

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That's a good question. I have a Colt New Line .32 and have been debating getting a letter on it. The Blue Book of Gun Values says, at the beginning of the New Line section, "if possible, it is advisable to procure a factory letter before buying/selling New Line Revolvers". I don't know why.

Personally, I have letters on all my pre-war Colts.
 

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That actually IS a great question. From one extreme to another - some folks here send for Archive Letters on all their guns. Money being no object, I'd do the same. Reason being that it only enhances the gun collecting hobby and adds an extra dimension to the firearm itself whether you choose to keep it or later sell it.

To the other extreme, if the gun is obviously an amalgam of Colt parts and little else it may be pointless to order the letter.

A lot of us who acquire a gun with obvious history want to confirm that and we also like to have a verification of something we suspect. They're not inexpensive and take some time to receive, unless expedited, but are wonderful embellishments to our treasures!
 

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Me too Judge, me too.

I requested a letter once on a Colt SAA and when it arrived I could hardly get it open I was going so fast. When I finally got it out of the envelope and saw that my Colt did not ship to Jesse James, John Wesley Hardin, Doc Holiday, Butch Cassidy or the Sundance Kid, nor did it ship to Billy The Kid, Frank James, Pat Garret or Quick Draw McGraw, man, I was hopin'. I was just plain disappointed.

Bud

If a firearm says "Colt" on it, I get a letter. I also letter other brands for which a similar service is available. I love knowing just when a gun shipped and to whom. The occasional surprise is an added bonus.
 

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I just bought a parts SAA, SN show it to be a 1909, but it was rebarreled and new cylinder to a different caliber.
I sent for a letter to see what it left the factory as, and if it's worth trying to get it back to what it was.
I'm like the rest, love to know it's history.
 

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Every letter I have received has revealed interesting information (to me), either through the ship to locations or the circumstances of the receipt of the letters from Colt.

I am always excited to open the Archives envelope for the first time.
 

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I only lettered the one Colt that was most dear to me.It was my Instructor's Off Duty and Back Up Gun,my 1968 Detective Special.At the time I had the Gun "Royal Blued" and returned to Factory specs so the work I had done by the Custom Shop was included in the letter.It came from J Jovino's Gun Shop in NY which still is a major supplier of guns to NY law enforcement. If I was "Playing with the big boys" ie a Colt Python LNIB ect I would have a expedited letter done to verify its configuration.If something is amiss the fee is minimal when you are talking about a few thousand dollar transaction.JMHO
 

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I've only had one gun lettered and only because I was interested whether its original destination was the State I bought it in.


This one.

 
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