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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Damn this post made my evening. Have you shot it? Tell me you’ve shot it. Lol.
Not shot : ), legally here in Finland this is license free as pre-1890 black powder gun, when kept in a collection (no shooting, unless licensed). After hard googling, found de-act .450 cartridges from France to compliment the Colt in its box.
 

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Terrific SAA, thanks for posting the pics and letter. It's interesting that the .450 Boxer had been phased out of Colt production by 1883 in favor of the .455 Enfield but was reintroduced later when production of the .450 Boxer cartridge was started up for target use, around 1888. There are some good references to this in "The Official Record of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver 1873-1895". See page 131, paragraph 1. 1883 seems to be the first year that no .450 Boxer or Eley SAAs were shipped to London. Then see page 203 for the reintroduction of the Boxer cartridge in, or around, 1888.
This might explain why your SAA trigger guard is marked 45 and not 45/B. Also, by that time the caliber marking had been moved to the front of the trigger guard.
I have to believe that most of the SAAs produced in 450 Boxer from 1888 forward were Target Frame Models which makes your gun that much more unusual.
 

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You should also read pages 200-203 of "The Official Record" which will go a long way to explaining your SAA. On page 201 is the following referencing an order shipped to London on May, 21 1888: Quote: Included in the same order were 12 revolvers in .450 Boxer listed as having "Special sights and a 4 1/2 lb pull." The configuration of these sights is unknown, but the nomenclature suggests that these were target revolvers. End quote.
It's possible that what you have is a prototype Target Model which Colt's decided to sell, since they never threw anything away.
You may have unearthed a "grail".
 

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Sir, you own a real treasure!

I should add that the grips are correct for the time frame with the Eagle, and the condition matches the rest of the gun, and it’s a nice example.

I think the condition makes this valuable to begin with, and the rare caliber and the “special sights” make it all the more intriguing!

How did you come to acquire it and what are your intentions?
 

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You should also read pages 200-203 of "The Official Record" which will go a long way to explaining your SAA. On page 201 is the following referencing an order shipped to London on May, 21 1888: Quote: Included in the same order were 12 revolvers in .450 Boxer listed as having "Special sights and a 4 1/2 lb pull." The configuration of these sights is unknown, but the nomenclature suggests that these were target revolvers. End quote.
It's possible that what you have is a prototype Target Model which Colt's decided to sell, since they never threw anything away.
You may have unearthed a "grail".
Friends,
this implies that all 12 revolvers had the same pre-target sights (?????).
Peter
 

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No, just that 12 revolvers shipped.
Wilkerson/Hoyt tell us on p. 201 (after researching the original documents): "Included in the same order were 12 revolvers in .450 bosxer listed as having "special sights and a 4 1/2 lb pull" - tell me please why you think that the second part of this sentence does not describe those 12 revolvers. I have a Target SAA from 91 and copies of the original ledger with a batch of 4 revolvers under a single description and they letter as a batch of 4. They are mentioned on p. 267
 

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Usually it’s just that 12 revolvers shipped, in most cases, not necessarily of the same configuration.

Also, the sights are unique and I assumed if 12 were of such configuration, then maybe there were others still, and one or more others might have surfaced elsewhere by now.
 

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Wilkerson/Hoyt tell us on p. 201 (after researching the original documents): "Included in the same order were 12 revolvers in .450 bosxer listed as having "special sights and a 4 1/2 lb pull" - tell me please why you think that the second part of this sentence does not describe those 12 revolvers. I have a Target SAA from 91 and copies of the original ledger with a batch of 4 revolvers under a single description and they letter as a batch of 4. They are mentioned on p. 267
That was my interpretation, also, that all 12 are the same. Where the others are I don't know but until one shows up from that shipment which is different I think it's safe to assume they're all the same.
I've seen a number of instances of Colt's records showing a shipment of multiple SAAs and they are the same. The same finish, the same barrel length, even a shipment of all engraved guns.
 

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That was my interpretation, also, that all 12 are the same. Where the others are I don't know but until one shows up from that shipment which is different I think it's safe to assume they're all the same.
I've seen a number of instances of Colt's records showing a shipment of multiple SAAs and they are the same. The same finish, the same barrel length, even a shipment of all engraved guns.
If that's the case I stand corrected. So there may be 11 others out there in the same configuration. Very odd no others have surfaced. I'll retract my opinion that not all 12 were configured this way but remain skeptical.
At any rate this is a VERY desirable and fine gun ! I would love to own it!
 

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If that's the case I stand corrected. So there may be 11 others out there in the same configuration. Very odd no others have surfaced. I'll retract my opinion that not all 12 were configured this way but remain skeptical.
At any rate this is a VERY desirable and fine gun ! I would love to own it!
This would make for a nice display.
 

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Not shot : ), legally here in Finland this is license free as pre-1890 black powder gun, when kept in a collection (no shooting, unless licensed). After hard googling, found de-act .450 cartridges from France to compliment the Colt in its box.
I thought Finland was very gun friendly , has that changed in recent times ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I thought Finland was very gun friendly , has that changed in recent times ?
All guns (exept pre-1890 black powder ones in collections) have always required a license in Finland, basis for one being sports, hunting or army reserve / national guard. There is healh check for first gun license and these days a new hand gun license applicant must prove 2 years of shooting practise (usually with gun club). No carry for self defence is allowed.

In population of 5.5M we have some 700.000 gunowners, with 1.5M guns. One of the highest per capita in the world. Then again, hunting and sport shooting are hobbies anyone can do, and hunting is possible also on goverment land. And we do have a conscript Army and a reserve of ca. 300.000. With 1.300km border with Russia, albeit the friendly relations since WW2, when they twice tried to invade us, finns do take national service and shooting skills seriously.

Recent European Union Gun Directives brougt in magazine restrictions in 2017 to new licenses given for center fire self loading rifles (max 10) and handguns (max 20), unless the applicant has a recommendation from Army. Old license holders can still use large magazines.
 
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