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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Found a 7.5" nickel gun with letter that has no ejector. Its a black powder frame from 1898. Has a nice set if MOP steerheads that aren't lettered but they are period. Crazy thing is that the barrel has the flat spot for the housing screw but there's no hole. The frame isn't made for an ejector housing either. I really only thought the ejectorless guns were sheriff's models. I went back and put my hands on it again. Here's my thinking:
1)All numbers match and it letters as a 7 1/2" nickel 38 WCF.
2) The frame isn't made for an ejector housing.
3) Last three digits of the serial are also stamped on the bottom of the barrel beneath cylinder pin except that the middle number which is a 6 was inverted and is a 9 but you can tell it was stamped back then.
4) Nickel finish is got plenty of wear and the gun has been "cleaned" and handled a lot over the years.
So unless someone took a grinder to the original frame and ground off the hump for the ejector then there's no way that I see for it to not be original.
If you look at the flat spot on the barrel you can see where the hole was filled before it was ever originally nickeled. The gun isn't in the best condition as you can see from the pics but rarity is what will drive the price on this one. MOP grips are actually in great condition also which alone I guess would be worth a lot. I told the guy I was going to sleep on it for the price he was asking. If it were 2K I would have jumped on it but where he's at is a bit more. Hopefully the pictures help a little.
 

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I've only handled one real lettered ejectorless with a 7-1/2" barrel in my years of collecting single actions and there wasn't a flat spot on the barrel on it. Seems like it was shipped around 1905 or so and lettered with a silver finish and no ejector.

It's a rare bird if it's correct but to bring the big money the factory letter really needs to say that it was shipped without ejector. Anything other than that comes up short and it's all a matter of guessing and wishing and assuming!

Best of luck to you if you can acquire it and it's real!
 
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I have an Arizona shipped SAA listing in my research that's identified as a 4-3/4" no ejector. I also actually have a SAA that's lettered to AZ with an additional listing on the letter for the same S/N which has a 4-1/2" barrel. With no note as not having an ejector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The letter doesn't mention the ejector but does list the 7.5" barrel and nickel finish. Ill post pics shortly.
 

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I've noticed a trend of the newer letters (at least during the time of Kathy Hoyt being the historian) saying "colt storekeeper's model revolver" in a heading on the letter above the serial number.

On a 4" or shorter barrel being listed it's pretty much going to have to be ejectorless so that goes without saying. But most collectors are going to want a 4-3/4 or 5-1/2 or 7-1/2" barreled ejectorless model with either the special "storekeeper's" heading or some notation of being shipped without a ejector assy.

On Jeff Milton's factory engraved 4-3/4" ejectorless....I found this information on Julia's website

"Accompanied by a Colt factory letter identifying this revolver, as found, in caliber 45 Colt with 4-3/4" bbl, blue finish, pearl stocks with carved eagle motif, factory engraved and under special features: "furnished without an ejector", sold to J.D. Milton and shipped to A. Steinfeld & Co., Tucson, AZ on Aug. 7, 1916 in a 1-gun shipment. Under remarks section it states that there is another listing for this same SN in caliber 45 with 7-1/2" bbl, blue finish, shipped March 26, 1920 to Elmira Arms, Elmira, NY"
 

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How about a good high res close up pic focused down the underside of the barrel on the cylinder pin. Did I say that right? In other words aim the gun at the camera!
 

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The threaded ejector housing lug that is normally attached to the barrel is also threaded but with a left hand thread if I remember right. It looks as if it was removed and plugged a long time ago. If this is the original barrel then I would bet that the frame has been modified to look like an ejector-less style
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm going back in the morning. This one has me stumped. According to the BB, the only reference I have with me, there were sheriff's models made with 7.5" barrels. It also says that MOST were 44-40 or 45. Do you think Colt would make new barrels for ejectorless guns or just take the ones already in a bin and fill the hole before final finish? I would love to be able to stay here for a couple of days to research it but I have to leave town tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'll get you guys more photos tomorrow but there isn't a mark of any type on the frame. There are actually traces of nickel here and there. Also the spring plunger assembly would have to modified as well.
 

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I'm going back in the morning. This one has me stumped. According to the BB, the only reference I have with me, there were sheriff's models made with 7.5" barrels. It also says that MOST were 44-40 or 45. Do you think Colt would make new barrels for ejectorless guns or just take the ones already in a bin and fill the hole before final finish? I would love to be able to stay here for a couple of days to research it but I have to leave town tomorrow.
Ejector-less SAA's were manufactured in groups probably like a special run now a days. Serial numbers were assigned like this too. I would image that the barrels were too and they just did not machine the flat that was needed for the lug.

If this is an original then wouldn't the price be in the 5 figure range?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's not 5 figures but not far away at 7K. The one thing I want you guys to know is that I really like the contrary to comments because they are what I'm looking for. If it was easy it wouldn't be fun, right;) Please don't think I'm arguing with any opinions because I'm not. From what I've seen so far from you guys there is a 95% chance its not original. I'm just that guy who has to dispute everything on a gun like this. The crazy thing is that the frame is unaltered WHATSOEVER. I will be the first to say I'm not an expert, if I were then I wouldn't have to ask you guys, THE EXPERTS. However, I have looked at a few thousand SA's and there is no way with the finish, texture and machining that the frame was modified. So if the frame is original and it letters as a 7 1/2" nickel, and the barrel is a 7.5" nickel and the serial number matchs...do you see where I'm going? What I'm trying to say is that at a minimum, even if the barrel was swapped, then this is still a Sheriffs model frame for a 38 WCF with a 7.5" barrel! I hope I'm getting the point across that I'm trying to make in my rebuttal:D Keep it coming guys because I need to talk myself out of 7k before morning:p
 

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Do you have the serial number with you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
117,568. I know it sounds silly but since there was a letter I didn't write down or memorize the serial number. I looked at the letter for any reference to the ejector and noted all the other specifics. So what I'm saying is that I'm 95% on the serial.
 

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"A Study" indicates:
38-40 sheriffs below s/n:140000 range have trigger guards marked 38 CAL and s/n's above have the barrel marked 38 WCF.

The transverse cylinder pin released sheriffs started around s/n:192000 range in 1900.

Is there a VP in a triangle on this one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I honestly don't know about the VP but I do know the barrel was marked 38WCF and the letter stated 1898. These are the kind of things I'll be looking at in the morning. The gun definitely has the transverse spring loaded cylinder release.
 

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proofhouse lists that serial number as early 1886. And all the pictured examples of s/n's in your range have only the screw holding in the cylinder pin.
 

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"A Study" also mentions that black powder framed sheriffs were still being shipped as late as 1899, much later than regular SAA frames and was probably do to stock piling earlier manufactured sheriff frames.

I would tread lightly here my freind....
 
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You see some odd things when it comes to sheriff's models. They made the frames in batches and used them as they assembled and shipped the guns and it's very easy to see an earlier serial number with a later shipping date but they normally aren't more than 3 to 4 years off between what the serial number says and what the letter says.

If it's indeed a 117,xxx range serial number it's very strange that it would have a transverse cylinder pin latch.

With the evidence I would agree with the others....tread lightly......I've seen some strange things happen and as nuts as some of the auction sites have been you very well could buy it at 7K and auction it off and someone somewhere that doesn't want to pay $20,000 plus for a totally legit one would take a flyer on it but I don't think any of the knowledgeable collectors I know would bite on it.

PS I do like the grips. :)
 

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IIRC, [and it's been 40 years ago or so] but, a Colt SAA collector in Colorado Springs showed me that a frame that had the ejector hole drilled could not be re-profiled to look exactly like a Storekeeper frame. The ejector hole in the frame is too close to the center line to be symmetric with the the profile of the left side.
If this is not clearly stated let me try this; when you look directly at the front of the frame both sides should be symmetrical. If the normally ejector rod side is cut in too far to match the profile of the other side then that is not a Storekeeper frame but a regular frame that has been altered. I hope this helped rather than confused. Nick
 
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