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I have seen quite a few SAA's with shortened barrels over the last few months. I guess it is more common than I thought. The more I've seen it the more I began to wonder which is worse, a modified original barrel or a period correct short replacement. This is probably too deep of a thought, for me that is, but I believe that a replacement would hurt value more. My thinking is that original parts are always better for collectability and while the original barrel has been modified it should not hurt value as much as a replacement. Condition is the key, I know, but reading alot of the seasoned vets posts it would seem that replacement parts ( as in barrels, cylinders, TG or hammers ) don't seem to bother some and others greatly. I am interested in opinions on this for study purposes and would welcome your input as to why you believe one or the other to be better or worse. I'd hate to think I left a nice gun on the table for maybe the wrong reasons.
 

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Well as I have been looking to buy my first saa and have used the picture chart that shows all the slight differences thru out the years
I have seen some beautiful guns with parts that are wrong or incorrect for the years it was made
I know some of these parts are super expensive to buy if u can find them
If u are looking to get top money
I think any incorrect parts or cut down barrels have to devalue it
Right now with all of these crazy prices
I think people are letting more things slide where in years before they might not have
I would rather have all original parts versus replacements unless they are identical parts
I am sure others will chime in
Just my 2 cents
Happy Easter my dear friends
God Bless,John

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I'm no seasoned vet but Id rather have a cut down original barrel than a replacement barrel any day. If the barrel has been replaced, it is now a parts gun in my mind.
 

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Cut down is more desirable than replaced. A cut down barrel can still receive praise in a Kopec letter addressing a Cavalry Model (depending on what it is), whereas a replaced barrel on a Cavalry Model will squash hope of any praise with regards to this particular revolver.
 

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I believe its an individual decision/preference. However for me period done modification such as a cut original barrel would not affect value as much as a replaced one. I collect for the history, period of use modifications or repairs to the gun are part of its history. While I would not expect to pay as much for one with repairs or modification than an all original one, It would not detract from its desirability to me. A new in the box gun that sat in a closet or never left the hardware store has little desirability to me because it has not been there and done that.
 

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Weren't the original 7 1/2" Colts issued to the Army returned to the Arsenal and cut down to 5 1/2" So cutting a barrel seemed to have been acceptable.
I was referring to a Cavalry model with a 7 1/2” barrel that was shortened to anything less than 7 1/2” by a subsequent owner. Cavalry Models that were shortened to 5 1/2’ at refurbishment are a collectible variation known as an Artillery Model.
 

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my original .45 Colt SAA Virginia 'buyback' listed in books by serial number. Sept 74 shipment to US and marked as such.
Virginia sent them to S H and G to be sold to the civilian market. they cut the bbl to 5 1/2 and reset the sight, correct muzzle cut too.
could have been Colt work, but that has always been up in the air.
it does not effect the cost at all. it is the history of the gun. sn 1418x 5 digit in the 'buyback' range of 2600 revolvers.
enjoy...Ken
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Period replacement. I see replacements of worn-out parts as basic maintenance, similar to a car. Cut or modifications invalidates the original configuration (letter) and would be an absolute deal-breaker for me.
 

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For me, the front sight is the determining factor. A cut barrel with a factory quality front sight looks OK. Most cut barrels have ugly, non original front sights. I can not live with those.
 

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I have seen quite a few SAA's with shortened barrels over the last few months. I guess it is more common than I thought. The more I've seen it the more I began to wonder which is worse, a modified original barrel or a period correct short replacement. This is probably too deep of a thought, for me that is, but I believe that a replacement would hurt value more. My thinking is that original parts are always better for collectability and while the original barrel has been modified it should not hurt value as much as a replacement. Condition is the key, I know, but reading alot of the seasoned vets posts it would seem that replacement parts ( as in barrels, cylinders, TG or hammers ) don't seem to bother some and others greatly. I am interested in opinions on this for study purposes and would welcome your input as to why you believe one or the other to be better or worse. I'd hate to think I left a nice gun on the table for maybe the wrong reasons.
In general, I would rather have the original cut barrel. Why? Because the barrel markings and caliber are correct. The bore size will match the original caliber. If numbered, it will match the SN. If the gun was engraved, then that barrel will also be engraved by the same engraver.
 

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Right or wrong, mix of new and old, original or not, what are your plans? If it is all Colt, times well, good bore and crown, it is what it is. Price in a collector market will be lower and for this reason, you can get a really nice shooter that someone made up to their tastes, then passed on or lost interest in. Two different worlds and one must choose. One will be high priced and the other will be stratospherically priced. What can you live with?
 
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Right. A cut barrel is cut but original. A replacement barrel is not original, no matter which way you cut it.

I suppose a replaced barrel is better than a bulged barrel, but the revolver is forever tarnished.
 

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How about one with the original barrel cut to an odd length such as 5" ?
 
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