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This Colt SAA was made in 1883. It was likely shipped "soft" to such as Hartley & Graham of New York for engraving and grips. This was not a shipment to fill a military order. But it may have been ordered by any individual or group.Hi all - I found this site earlier today and it's really awesome in terms of all the info you guys share. My grandfather passed away recently and I now have his old Colt revolver. It isn't in the greatest shape but it's an awesome memory of him. He and I were the only USMC vets in our family and I also received the flag the Marines presented to our family at his funeral. I'm trying to create a display in my home office with his Colt, the flag and his boot camp portrait. I know the Corps, but I don't know the Colt - so I'd obviously like to educate myself a little better on it. (For clarity in case it's not obvious, his Colt is not tied to his service in Korea as far as I'm aware. Also I'm not sure if it was passed down to him, he bought it himself, etc.)
I've been scouring the internet for hours, trying searches on this site as well as several others including Colt's site where you can lookup serial numbers but I haven't had any luck yet. I've attached several pictures and provided a few details re: serial number, patent dates, etc.. Not sure if they're all 100% correct, I used question marks based on what I'm able to see and notes from what I found online.
On barrel - Colt PT ?A MFG 0? HARTFORD CT USA
Serial # - 87772
PAT SEPT 19 1871
? 2 - 72 (month may be July based on other research)
? 19 - 75 (month may be January based on other research)
Finally, is it possible to clean / restore it on my own with some type of cleaning solution?
Thanks in advance for any help or insight you guys might be able to contribute.
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This gun might be properly cleaned to look better, but I AM HERE TO ASSURE YOU, that if some inexperienced person cleans this gun, it will be irreversibly screwed up. And the damage may be in multiples of $1000.
An experienced person is not one with just decades of "gun experience", but one who knows how to clean an antique engraved Colt to a result that any veteran collector can accept as attractive. And that can be a tall order to fill!
From your pictures, the left side of the frame is most concerning. It may be bubbling old plating, but may also be pitting in the underlying steel. Pictures often deceive.
At this point, I advise that you get a letter from Colt Archives prior to doing anything. Doing nothing at this point to the gun's exterior is the correct action.