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Welcome to the Colt forum from Pa . The SAA ( single action army) is valuable in itself because it is a first generation Colt model 1873 with a black powder frame. They are highly collectable. Then you add on the period or original up grades such as the fancy grips and plating as well as period engraving. Top that off with the original box that it was shipped in . Wha !!!!! Hoooo!!! A Holy grail gun. If the Colt letter reads that's how it was shipped,or shipped in the white so it can be engraved. That will prove its originality. That's what makes it valuable to us. Your pap makes it valuable to you. Thank you both for your service.
 

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Welcome to the Colt forum from Pa . The SAA ( single action army) is valuable in itself because it is a first generation Colt model 1873 with a black powder frame. They are highly collectable. Then you add on the period or original up grades such as the fancy grips and plating as well as period engraving. Top that off with the original box that it was shipped in . Wha !!!!! Hoooo!!! A Holy grail gun. If the Colt letter reads that's how it was shipped,or shipped in the white so it can be engraved. That will prove its originality. That's what makes it valuable to us. Your pap makes it valuable to you. Thank you both for your service.
Not the original box for the gun though
 

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Welcome Pardner! To the best forum of it’s kind! You will find a sorts of the information that need and could use regarding your Grandfathers Colt! Please do consider what all have said considering the Colt letter, you will be way out in front for evaluation and any other considerations! DO NOT screw with the existing finish as has been stated unequivocally!
I had to learn the hard way! You don’t want to!
Goodluck and keep us informed on your progress investigating it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I don't know from Jarheads;), vintage plating or engraving but doggone it!.... That is one righteously COOL pistol and I would love to hear more about how your old Leatherneck Grandpa came to own so cool a piece.
I couldn’t agree more, righteously cool is a good way to put it. I wish I would’ve realized just how cool a few years ago though so I could’ve gotten the origin story from the horses mouth. I know that his father was in law enforcement as a customs agent / border patrol guard that inspected ships entering the Mississippi River in New Orleans (he actually died right after inspecting a Japanese ship in 1931 when he fell in the river after reboarding his cutter). My grandfather had just been born less than a month before that happened though - so if he didn’t buy it himself, I assume he might wouldn’t have even known the original source.

I’m going to get the letter from Colt like others have suggested so hopefully that will shed some light or at least give me info on the original purchase or shipping info. Maybe I can dig into it more from there to see what I can figure out.
 

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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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DO NOT DO ANYTHING TO THAT GUN. IF YOU CAN'T LIVE WITH IT SELL IT TO SOMEONE WHO WILL CHERISH IT FOR WHAT IT IS
 

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I guess the answer to your question is in keeping it from further deterioration. Cleaning would fall under, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Wiping it with anything will just flake off more of the nickel finish. I would just spray it down with WD-40 for the time being, while you consider other options.
 

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And NO Hoppes #9! It's a killer on nickel.
I bought my Model 19 new in 1985. Used nothing but Hoppes #9 on it since. When exactly can I expect the finish to be damaged? Is it after I have owned it 40 years? So far it looks perfect. Shot it thousands of times. I think the stories are completely unfounded and without merit.
Air gun Revolver Trigger Wood Gun barrel
 

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I believe the problem is old peeling nickel is loosened by soaking in Hoppe's. Just what I recall from a previous posting. Could be wrong. I've cleaned my guns with Hoppe's for 60 years but never soaked one in it.
 

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I believe the problem is old peeling nickel is loosened by soaking in Hoppe's. Just what I recall from a previous posting. Could be wrong. I've cleaned my guns with Hoppe's for 60 years but never soaked one in it.
I've never soaked any firearms so I can't say anything about that. What I have heard is that Hoppes (and many other gun solvents) is a copper residue remover. Internet theorists have speculated that since nickel plating often is underlaid by copper plating that it would somehow attack that. There might be some truth to that but so far as I can tell it's never been a problem for me.
 
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