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I have been thinking about starting out with the Uberti Dalton, you know to cut my teeth. But these stunning guns are making me think twice.
You also might consider Uberti Custom shop for engraved sixguns. Just order from Cimarron and wait a year or so for a real engraved sixgun.


All good information here, and the most beautiful six guns to boot!

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Here is an "A" factory engraved 3rd gen SAA that was done by Howard Dove. It is the lowest SN and earliest shipped date SAA that Howard Dove did while at Colt. I put the poorly fitting ivory grips on the gun since Howard Dove did the scrimshaw work on them at a later date.
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Except for the grips this is the one I like best of all the ones shown, it could actually be a working gun. Somewhere in the level C class the engraving gets a little too busy for me. One thing I don’t see on engraved guns is silver inlaid bands instead of gold, is there any specific reason for that?
 

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I should have answered this in the above post, but concerning inlaid silver versus gold bands; over time silver tarnishes and becomes difficult to see. I have a collection of S&Ws engraved and inlaid with gold and silver by Alvin White and the silver inlays have to be polished if they are to be seen properly. Gold inlays require little or no maintenance. I asked a Master Engraver about using platinum instead of silver and he told me platinum was very difficult to work with.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Class A-engraving and shipped in 1981. The grips are by Nutmeg Sports.

Bill

I've had this picture in my "to do" file for quite a while! I really like the style, the clean lines and have kept the pic for future reference.
 

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I like Doc's gun better. It is stunning. But most would call it "B" coverage and not "A" coverage. Another gun with A coverage from a master engraved pictured below. The difference typically between A and B coverage on a SAA is what gets engraved. A "B" level gun will have some engraving on the frame. The "A" level coverage will not. To engrave the case hardened frame the gun needs to be annealed (softened) or better yet started with the un in the "white" or as Colt called them early on "soft" for engraving.

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Discussion Starter #29
This is more in line with historical engraved Colts as Cozmo mentioned (plain hammer and front sight), although it's not a Colt. It's a U.S. Patent Fire Arms Single Action, which the company referred to as the "Sears Gun" inspired by the Sears & Roebuck "Cow Boy" Special. Dennis Kies did the engraving.











Terry nailed it. Best to know more about the subject. That will take some good books and seeing, in hand, any number of engraved guns.





Pays to not assume. Even beginner engravers these days sign their work. Signatures aren't important for the most part. When they are the level of engraving is generally obvious. Last thing I worry about or look for is a signature. Even on $10K+ engraved guns. It is the level of engraving that has value, seldom a signature.

1. How much value does unsigned factory engraving add to a gun…per grade?

Take a look at the current Colt Custom shop price list
Colt+Custom+Shop+Order+Form+SAA+Q3-2019.pdf

2. Do unsigned engravings extend into the C and D levels?

yes

3. Do master engravers ever sign their work in the lower grades?

yes

5. Is any engraving done “in house” , i.e. full time employees, or is most of it farmed out?

It is all "farmed out". The best known engravers, engrave full time. They have their own shops that Colt contracts with. You can order a Colt gun engraved by anyone willing to do the engraving, if money is no object.



I have a rule about engraved guns. "Buy what you like." Lots of guns and engraver styles available. Develop an eye for what you find attractive. Then check if your pocket book is up to those standards.

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Two different subjects entirely. Scroll work alone is a subject in itself. Gold inlays another subject.

Buy the books, study the guns...lots of them here. Find guns and pick them up. Look at them. Buy a loop to look at them. Shop prices. Find more guns to look at. The more you know and have seen the better purchases you'll make.

Cozmo, Thanks for all the good advice! I was unaware of the Custom Shop price list so that helped a lot. I also appreciate your advice to, “’Buy what you like.’ ... Develop an eye for what you find attractive.” I have a couple of R. L Wilson picture books and found myself thinking I liked some but didn’t like others so I guess I can trust my own judgment without feeling bad. :) I bought a couple of engraved guns that I “liked” without any real knowledge of engraving so you made me feel better about my choices.
 

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You also might consider Uberti Custom shop for engraved sixguns. Just order from Cimarron and wait a year or so for a real engraved sixgun.


All good information here, and the most beautiful six guns to boot!

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John Adams will also engrave a Cimarron. This is an Adams engraved, stainless Evil Roy with ivory from Nutmeg Sports.







 

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Discussion Starter #31
This is more in line with historical engraved Colts as Cozmo mentioned (plain hammer and front sight), although it's not a Colt. It's a U.S. Patent Fire Arms Single Action, which the company referred to as the "Sears Gun" inspired by the Sears & Roebuck "Cow Boy" Special. Dennis Kies did the engraving.









Hoppy, I hope you don’t mind but I sent a photo of this gun to Nutmeg to have Dennis Kies do one for me in a generally similar style. I wanted it in a less decorative C+ grade and, because I think the engraving sort of gets lost in the case coloring, also ordered full blue.


This is more in line with historical engraved Colts as Cozmo mentioned (plain hammer and front sight), although it's not a Colt. It's a U.S. Patent Fire Arms Single Action, which the company referred to as the "Sears Gun" inspired by the Sears & Roebuck "Cow Boy" Special. Dennis Kies did the engraving.









Hoppy, I hope you don’t mind but I sent a photo of your gun to Nutmeg to have Dennis Kies do one for me in a generally similar style. I wanted it in a less decorative C+ grade and, because I think the engraving sort of gets lost in the case coloring, also ordered full blue.

Colt SAA Kies_3246 stamp.JPG
Colt SAA Kies_3238 eng.JPG
 

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Hoppy, I hope you don’t mind but I sent a photo of this gun to Nutmeg to have Dennis Kies do one for me in a generally similar style. I wanted it in a less decorative C+ grade and, because I think the engraving sort of gets lost in the case coloring, also ordered full blue.




Hoppy, I hope you don’t mind but I sent a photo of your gun to Nutmeg to have Dennis Kies do one for me in a generally similar style. I wanted it in a less decorative C+ grade and, because I think the engraving sort of gets lost in the case coloring, also ordered full blue.

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I don't mind one bit! I'm glad you like the gun!
 

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Cozmo, Thanks for all the good advice! I was unaware of the Custom Shop price list so that helped a lot. I also appreciate your advice to, “’Buy what you like.’ ... Develop an eye for what you find attractive.” I have a couple of R. L Wilson picture books and found myself thinking I liked some but didn’t like others so I guess I can trust my own judgment without feeling bad. :) I bought a couple of engraved guns that I “liked” without any real knowledge of engraving so you made me feel better about my choices.
Just remember you’ll be paying a stiff premium to Colt for the same engraving you can get directly from the same engraver. The same was true for ivory grips when they were an option.
 

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Arkie, you're very welcome. I learned the hard way. And the education was expensive but on the flip side, really fun as well.

"Found myself thinking I liked some but didn’t like others so I guess I can trust my own judgment..."

These guns (engraved or not) are luxury items. No one "needs" a SAA of any sort. It is purely a "want" thing. Might as well make yourself happy 'cuz no one else is likely gonna do it for you 🤣

Larry Wilson was a lot of things, not all good. But there is not question Wilson's books were the first written words to drive me on my own hunt for nice Colt's and Winchesters. And even more importantly for the history of their use, where, when and who might be pulling the trigger!
 

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Arkie, you're very welcome. I learned the hard way. And the education was expensive but on the flip side, really fun as well.

"Found myself thinking I liked some but didn’t like others so I guess I can trust my own judgment..."

These guns (engraved or not) are luxury items. No one "needs" a SAA of any sort. It is purely a "want" thing. Might as well make yourself happy 'cuz no one else is likely gonna do it for you 🤣

Larry Wilson was a lot of things, not all good. But there is not question Wilson's books were the first written words to drive me on my own hunt for nice Colt's and Winchesters. And even more importantly for the history of their use, where, when and who might be pulling the trigger!
Very well said! My beliefs also! Boy what fun!
 

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Just remember you’ll be paying a stiff premium to Colt for the same engraving you can get directly from the same engraver. The same was true for ivory grips when they were an option.
True. But as far as value goes, when selling an engraved gun the first question a buyer asks is "is it factory engraved?". If an SAA letters as factory engraved, there is a large premium.
 

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True. But as far as value goes, when selling an engraved gun the first question a buyer asks is "is it factory engraved?". If an SAA letters as factory engraved, there is a large premium.
Yeah I’ve done that before too, but now I’m not really concerned about that as much as the appeal that the engraving has to me.
 

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Getting a little long in the tooth with th ivory is shirking but still one of my favorites....

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