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Gunbroker SAA, real or not?

4115 Views 28 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  jake1911
Engraved Colt 1st Gen Single Action Army .45 SAA : Revolvers at

I have seen threads question the authenticity of guns posted on gunbroker. In my neverending search for the SAA of my dreams that is appropriately priced of course :D, I came across this. Just an unbelievable piece. But is it real?

I ask if its real because it does have the letter, letter doesn't mention engraving or stocks. What caught my attention was the shipment date corresponding to the serial number on this gun of 1884.

Now let me be the first to say I am no expert, however what caught my eye is the transverse cylinder pin latch. I have done quite a bit of reading on the SAA as it is very close to my favorite weapon. I believe all of the readings I have gone through say that the transverse cylinder pin latch was introduced at the earliest point 1892. I am aware that the frames were not ready for smokeless until around 1900 1901ish but that is not the point of this post. I also thought the first frontier six shooter etchings were only on 44-40 caliber guns. And as far as the ejector rod head being the crescent, I'm not sure when that replaced the bullseye ejector head.

This auction with the letter basically refutes all of this. Is this an anomoly or is it simply a bullsnot gun? Can't wait to hear what the true experts say on this one.
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That gun has been rebarreled with a 44-40 bbl, the FSS marking is the later stamping, not etched. However it could be the original bbl, as I believe the serial numbers have been restamped, and the letter may not even be for that particular gun! The engraving looks like an amateur was practicing on it! The only thing I like about that gun is the beautiful grips. It would make a "blingy" shooter, if you can get it cheap enough!
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Not only is the transverse cylinder pin is wrong, the Frontier Six Shooter roll die stamp is wrong, also. It should be an acid etching. Appears the serial # on the pistol has been changed.
Well at least I wasn't losing my mind. I didn't want to comment on the...rough...engraving so-to-speak but looking at the line around the "frontier six shooter" I thought "wow, that does not look good at all, its all wavy". It would make a good shooter for sure, but not at the price its already at. It will be interesting to see what happens from here as far as the bidding.
My opinion, the letter is for serial number 101949, probably, but the gun isn't serial number 101949 in my opinion. Looks like the serial numbers were removed from a post 1895 single action and the gun was re-stamped 101949 and bubba went to work!!!!!!!
Notice that this seller never makes any statements as to originality of his offerings. Lots of pictures for the bidder to make up their own minds!

You are right, there are never statements as to originality, and they do put up some sweet guns with tons of pictures. I'm not saying they are trying to scam anyone here, but the title of the auction might get them into something because it does say engraved 1st gen. I will say this, I hope they didn't acquire it for a fortune because they got taken.
Probably only the O was restamped, its punch is ligther than the others ciphers. The original serial# was ? 151xxx, 161xxx, 181xxx or 191xxx. The transverse latch came after 144xxx, the rampant Colt in circle and the second two line patent came after 130xxx.
The ( Colt Frontier Six Shooter ) wasn't on that barrel to begin with, It was engraved on, Poorly at that, On a 1-10 scale of the engraving on that gun I would give it a 3 or 4 at best
The present bid is around $2600. I see about $800 of marginal quality engraving on an $800, altered SAA, with about $600 worth of grips (even though they are broken).
Great info.

Here's the orig. Serial # mentioned in this thread. And below is another gun they have listed. Was it normal for different # punches to be used? These are only about 200 away from each other.

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The gun that is pictured in the lower picture is correctly numbered. The top one not so much. :)
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The 101727 gun has the large/tall "1" which is quite typical for that range. Also notice the tall '0' as opposed to the round 'o' in the likely renumbered SAA with 101949 SN.
Dump1567, that is an excellent comparison and a great teaching aid.
Dump1567 I have to agree with Saintclair on this, thank you for posting that. Even after someone mentioned it was restamped I sat here and said "I wonder how to tell that".

As an update, I did contact the seller about this. They responded to me just a short while ago thanking me for the information and that they believe the gun has been re-barreled and possibly researialized. They also put a notation at the bottom of the auction now. They are saying it is a 44-40. They seem to run quality auctions and I'll tell ya what, if I could beat someone on an auction they have in the future I will. I fully expected they wouldn't care and they do which is nice, they are in it to make a buck of course, but they are honest.

They make no direct mention of the gun quite possibly not being from 1884, but they do mention re-serial numbered. So if people keep bidding it up, that is their own fault now.

This is quite the learning experience because as I have said before, I do not consider myself an expert on this stuff.

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I have found SWFA to be great to deal with, they often have great scope values on their website
Checked that serial on Colt Mfg..........oy-vey!
No wonder they chose that combo. :D
[Information added 1/20/2014 1:48:15 PM]
Due to recently acquired information, we have determined this firearm has been re-barreled and possibly re-serial numbered. It is a .44-40, not a .45 as previously listed.
What does re-serial numbered mean anyway? Was that the correct serial #, buffed off, & re-applied? Or was the serial # added to a different gun all together making the letter completely worthless as it goes to the gun with those original serial numbers (not the one shown)? Did 45 Colt and .44-40 use the same cylinders back than?

I would guess this is a later .44-40 that someone added those serial #'s to?

I think SWFA should pull the auction as there's all kinds of wrong going on.
The factory letter does not go with that gun.
As has been stated, there is much wrong with that gun, but I'd still give $1200 for it and use it as a blingy shooter. :)
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