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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a colt SAA, I believe it’s from 1878. I’m trying to figure out if it’s a faked or real Artillery model. I do know the Artillery model isn’t really a model but will call it that because it’s best now by that in most books I’ve read. Ok so to continue on. I have been through a study of colt and colt cavalry and Artillery a few times and I still can’t figure out what the S stamped on my frame under the hammer means. Anyone out there know? Any help would be appropriate.
 

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If you are talking about the marking in the hammer slot, above the firing pin hole it is: according to Cochran the stamp of the Colt Factory inspector. The "S" was used in 1879 and again in 1884-1885. You said your gun was 1878 and that is OK. Most of Colt's stampings from back then have overlap and were not a clear cut dated change. Hope this helps.

Update: What Rick was referring to is: if you remove the backstrap you will see letters stamped on the back of the frame, normally covered by the backstrap. There probably is an "S" stamped there also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thank you hwjhfs. I don’t have any Cochran books and was going crazy try to find the mark in my books. Do you remember which inspector?


(I haven’t takin it apart, I been too chicken. Don’t want to mess it up. Where would the barrel serial number be?
 

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Thank you hwjhfs. I don’t have any Cochran books and was going crazy try to find the mark in my books. Do you remember which inspector?
No, I don't know and don't know if that information has ever been published. I know in Dixie Gun Works catalogs, in the back, they list Inspectors. Don't know if that will be there or not. There were Colt Factory Inspectors (of which we are discussing) and then there were Government Inspectors for the Military guns. The Government Inspectors are well known and published, but not so much with the Factory Inspectors.
 

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So remove the ejector housing? That would make sense why I couldn’t find it. All I could find was DFC with a P above it.
Yes, remove the one screw near the muzzle. The housing may be little tight coming off. With the screw removed pull the end of the housing away from the barrel about an 1/8" and then pull the housing away from and out of the frame. Since it is a DFC barrel the serial number will only be the last four digits and not the full 5-6 digit number that DFC inspected. Let me add here: if you don't have a good set of hollow ground, gun screw screwdrivers be careful. If any of the screws are stuck tight you may damage the screw slot or slip off and scratch the metal around it. Get the good screwdrivers and then learn all about a Colt SAA!
 

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To loosen a tight ejector housing that may not have been off in a hundred years, after you remove the screw, insert a round shank screwdriver as close to the hole size in the front end of the housing. With it push the ejector rod to the rear as far as it goes and GENTLY pull the screwdriver handle away from the barrel only enough for the housing to clear the barrel screw stud. Don't pull it too far or you can bend the ejector rod. Then pull housing forward.
 
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