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Discussion Starter #1
Been looking wistfully (and fearfully) at 1st gen SAAs for a long time and now have the opportunity to buy this lettered 1880 etched CFSS...matching SNs, 7.5" barrel and walnut grips. Shipped to Hartley and Graham, NYC. Given the finish loss, is $4K range too much? Confess I can't seem to find much to compare to recently. Many thanks in advance...
CFSS 1.png
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I'm going to guess the experts are going to want to see the letter. Some of the photos you posted are too grainy and small for close examination.
 

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Just looking at the photographs of this revolver on my phone and not my computer at home allows me to come to some conclusions, which may change when photographs are viewed at home on a computer.

From what I see, $4000 is probably fair if you want it badly enough, $3500 for an etched panel Colt Frontier Six Shooter is probably a more fair price to you for a gun with limited finish but a panel present. Be careful though as the panel is often quite worn on a well used gun and the question of a restoration arises.

As for comparable sales, one sold over last weekend at auction and the overall appearance was less pleasing than yours as it appeared to have been heavily cleaned, bit a similar panel was present. That one was a bit more desirable because it had a 4 3/4" barrel, these being quite rare with regards to acid etched Colt Frontier Six Shooter revolvers. The auction house had a pre auction estimate of $2500 to $4500, and it hammered at $2600, which corresponds to $2990 if one pays cash. I thought overall prices at that auction were rather soft, but that could be part of a bigger trend.
 

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IMO from the guns I have seen, this gun has a lot of wear for the etched panel to be that good. I could be wrong, but just a observation. If it was correct and original, that price is about what I see asking prices ($4000-$5000). However as Mrcvs pointed out, auction results are a great way to determine the going price.
Thanks for sharing, it is a nice looking gun.
 

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I don't see anything wrong with the acid etched panel. I have had several over the years and this appears to be correct and not re-done. Acid etched panels were all done by hand at different times and by different workers. None of them in any serial range are going to be etched at the same depth. I have an 1883 vintage 7 1/2" with more finish than your gun and the panel is almost the same depth. Some are deep and some are not, simple as that. I would not worry about it at all. Price seems to be fair for the vintage and finish.
 

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As said the pictures are a bit on the small and grainy side but I see nothing alarming in them. Do you have any history on the gun? If it recently out of an estate or long time collection it has much less chance of being altered. I often hear the gun is too nice to be correct yet everyone wants a nice gun? As for the price I don't think 4000 is way off the mark. The market is always changing and some days thing go low and few days later they go high. On a gun like this it is up to you. If the gun is correct and original you may not get another chance for a long time at a gun like this. The only way to be certain is to examine the gun in person and check every part for being correct. Only with the gun in hand and enough knowledge can one be certain if it is all good.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If the gun is correct and original you may not get another chance for a long time at a gun like this. The only way to be certain is to examine the gun in person and check every part for being correct. Only with the gun in hand and enough knowledge can one be certain if it is all good.
Many thanks to all responders. Mike, my thoughts exactly on not getting another chance. Seller is a trusted dealer who has sold me solid original guns in the past so I'm just seeing if I can get a decent price that still gives him some sales margin. Thanks again all.
 

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Many thanks to all responders. Mike, my thoughts exactly on not getting another chance. Seller is a trusted dealer who has sold me solid original guns in the past so I'm just seeing if I can get a decent price that still gives him some sales margin. Thanks again all.

Does not the shape and location of the front sight and the bent triggerguard bother you? I would measure that barrel from the front of the cylinder to the muzzle; it may be longer than 7 1/2"??
 

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It does appear the front sight may be a replacement and the trigger guard bent. Sights get broken and replaced and these are corresponding marks on the front of the trigger guard indicating it may have been used to hammer something. Old guns are not perfect and waiting for perfect may take too long. These are not necessarily fatal flaws but they will affect the price. If the barrel is stretched or replaced then that would be the end for me unless the price was too good to pass up. 4000 is not too good to pass up.
 

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So you are buying this one at $4000, or, better yet, negotiated down to $3500? Now on my computer, I can see the front sight has been monkeyed with and may be now a replacement brass insert. However, this doesn't bother me much, given what it is. I do like the early finish on grips that has been allowed to mellow over 14 decades or so. The grips on this one are well worn, unfortunately, but I still wouldn't hesitate to pay at least in the 3's for this one.

Stay tuned...soon will post photographs of one of my Colt Frontier Six Shooters with an acid etched barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
UPDATE: Thanks to all for the advice. I purchased the pistol yesterday at what I consider a fair price for both of us. Photos did not do it justice as there is no rust or pitting anywhere...just a nice patina and smooth metal. After disassembling, turns out the grips are original with the SN hand-written in very faded ink under the backstrap. However, neither the cylinder nor the gate have assembly or SNs. Bore is spotless and timing/lockup are flawless. Somebody took pretty good care of this gun over the century its been around and it shows.
 
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