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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a gold-plated, engraved 1903 .380 hammerless that my grandfather left me. He said it was the local sherriff's back up gun originally. I'm interested if the engraving was done at the factory or after. How can I find out? Also, I'm getting my CHL and thought I might clean up that gun and carry it. Would re-plating it destroy its value?
Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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The only way to find out if it's a factory job would be to buy a Colt Historical Letter.
This will give you full details on the gun, including when it was shipped, who it was shipped to, and any non-standard custom features like engraving.

http://www.coltsmfg.com/cmci/historical.asp

Usually, refinishing a gun when it has original finish destroys any collector's value, but in the case of a gold plated model, I'm just not sure if this holds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey, thanks for the link! I'll definitely order the letter and post the results. I have every intention of keeping the pistol, and having that information would make it all the more valuable to me.
 
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