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There were a little over 1100 SAAs of all calibers produced that year. Colt's are made in batches of the same configuration, so there may have been a batch of 7 1/2" nickel 44/40 'Black powder' models and that's probably what he means by a "special" run. 44-40 was re-introduced a couple of years before 1988. Black powder style guns can be found and ordered from Colt routinely now, maybe not then. That "special" run connotation is usually used as a way to charge a premium for a configuration not easily found at the gunshops.

He might have access to production numbers by caliber, barrel length, etc. There are books published on 3rd generation SAAs that probably have production numbers by caliber and year. Don Wilkerson's books are very good and have that information, but I don't have his 3rd gen book. I would ask what his source is.
 
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