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Bought a factory engraved single action the other day and the factory letter was made out to a Mr. James Wells of Montrose, Colorado in 1973 and it also had the name of a Bill McKay of Grand Junction, Colorado. I believe Mr. Wells has passed on from what I can find on the internet but I am wondering if any of our members might know or have known either one of these gentlemen? There is a non colt notation on the factory letter that I am following up on and it would be nice if I could get more of the story.

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Oooooo that's nice, perhaps Helfricht? Was the letter ordered by someone in1973 but the letter shows shipped to or ordered by the other guy?
 

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Yes standard Helfricht style shop pattern about B coverage for the time period I would say. 3 gun shipment to Chicago in oct 1898. The 1973 factory letter was addressed to James Wells of Montrose, Colorado but I’m guessing that he added the printed note about the gun coming from Bill McKay that I found out yesterday was a old time gun dealer who used to set up at Denver years back.
The printed addition to the factory letter says the gun was owned by Doc Shores that after doing a quick google and a little newspaper search yielded that he was a very well known Western Colorado lawman that had worked as sheriff and deputy US Marshall and railroad dectective and short time police chief of Salt Lake City Utah. He rubbed shoulders with Charles Siringo and Tom Horn and a bunch of western characters.
Since everyone who is connected with the colt is passed I’m trying to figure out what proof there is that the gun was owned by Shores. I have noticed that Shore’s middle name was Wells which was the same last name as James Wells and that both of them were born in Michigan.
It is said that Shores along with several brothers and sisters moved into Colorado in the 1870s and it could be that James Wells was a relative that was born years later and moved into the same Montrose/Gunnison area as Cyrus Wells “Doc” Shores lived.
 

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Yes standard Helfricht style shop pattern about B coverage for the time period I would say. 3 gun shipment to Chicago in oct 1898. The 1973 factory letter was addressed to James Wells of Montrose, Colorado but I’m guessing that he added the printed note about the gun coming from Bill McKay that I found out yesterday was a old time gun dealer who used to set up at Denver years back.
The printed addition to the factory letter says the gun was owned by Doc Shores that after doing a quick google and a little newspaper search yielded that he was a very well known Western Colorado lawman that had worked as sheriff and deputy US Marshall and railroad dectective and short time police chief of Salt Lake City Utah. He rubbed shoulders with Charles Siringo and Tom Horn and a bunch of western characters.
Since everyone who is connected with the colt is passed I’m trying to figure out what proof there is that the gun was owned by Shores. I have noticed that Shore’s middle name was Wells which was the same last name as James Wells and that both of them were born in Michigan.
It is said that Shores along with several brothers and sisters moved into Colorado in the 1870s and it could be that James Wells was a relative that was born years later and moved into the same Montrose/Gunnison area as Cyrus Wells “Doc” Shores lived.
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Yes standard Helfricht style shop pattern about B coverage for the time period I would say. 3 gun shipment to Chicago in oct 1898. The 1973 factory letter was addressed to James Wells of Montrose, Colorado but I’m guessing that he added the printed note about the gun coming from Bill McKay that I found out yesterday was a old time gun dealer who used to set up at Denver years back.
The printed addition to the factory letter says the gun was owned by Doc Shores that after doing a quick google and a little newspaper search yielded that he was a very well known Western Colorado lawman that had worked as sheriff and deputy US Marshall and railroad dectective and short time police chief of Salt Lake City Utah. He rubbed shoulders with Charles Siringo and Tom Horn and a bunch of western characters.
Since everyone who is connected with the colt is passed I’m trying to figure out what proof there is that the gun was owned by Shores. I have noticed that Shore’s middle name was Wells which was the same last name as James Wells and that both of them were born in Michigan.
It is said that Shores along with several brothers and sisters moved into Colorado in the 1870s and it could be that James Wells was a relative that was born years later and moved into the same Montrose/Gunnison area as Cyrus Wells “Doc” Shores lived.
With it being almost 47 years later than the 1973 date on that factory letter (with info about Doc Shores added to it), it is probably too late to get a notarized statement tying this Colt SAA by serial number to one Doc Shores. This is a problem faced by many of us with guns that "may have belonged to" some historically significant person of the past. With a whole lot of luck, something may still be found that positively makes the desired connection.
 

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With it being almost 47 years later than the 1973 date on that factory letter (with info about Doc Shores added to it), it is probably too late to get a notarized statement tying this Colt SAA by serial number to one Doc Shores. This is a problem faced by many of us with guns that "may have belonged to" some historically significant person of the past. With a whole lot of luck, something may still be found that positively makes the desired connection.
I bought the gun as a factory engraved gun without knowing any possible connection with Shores until I saw the copy of the factory letter included with the gun and if I can connect any dots that will be nice. I'll dig in and see what I can come up with in the winter month evenings when I have time to research what information is out there. I'll have a book with information on Shores by day after tomorrow and maybe it might speak to the arms that Mr. Shores used during his career. The library at Denver apparently has several boxes of official and personal correspondence that Mr. Shores penned. And you are right....sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.
 
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