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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, first time poster, trying to learn my way into my first Colt SAA. I'm learning it's somewhat treacherous waters, so hoping to get some thoughts on one I'm looking at as a place to start learning more, as well as a few general questions. I did post all this on another great forum, so apologies if you're seeing this for the second time. I got some great input, but unfortunately not answers to my main questions.

Okay, first the general questions. I've learned there's a history of some crooked traders in the SAA world. Is that mostly an issue with 5- and 6- figure rare collectibles, or do you need to be wary when looking at any 1st or 2nd gen Colt SAA? Also, is there like a definitive guide for what to look out for when assessing one? I haven't had much luck finding such a thing.

I'm looking for a shooter, but authentic Colt. I'd love a 2nd gen, but also thinking maybe it's smarter to just find a good used, later model 3rd gen, so any thoughts on that decision would be welcomed.

Finally, I came across this one on GB and it interested me, largely because it's a 1956, a year which has some significance to me beyond just being the first year of the gen 2s. I notice some things though, like the lack of SNs on the trigger guard and back strap, bluing maybe looks a little too good, etc, but for all I know that's all perfectly normal. Would really love some expert opinions on it, if only as a learning opportunity.

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Thanks in advance for any help, and for patience with my long-winded, admittedly clueless first post!


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The serial numbers have been moved on the grip frame and back strap. They are now underneath the grips. So you need to remove the grips to see them unlike a 1st gen gun.
I believe the grips in the pic are not real mother of pearl but Ajax repops. I could be wrong about that though. I have never seen real ones with a black backing. Normally they are MOP all the way to the frame.
 

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JMO, but looks original to me except the grips which make me want to hurl! If youre interested in SAAs you need to start with reference material. The several books by John Kopec and friends are a must! as well as the several Keith Cochran study guides. You can flush a lot of 4 figure dollars in a hurry on a faked or "helped" piece of crap. Rookies can get fleeced. Most of us have to some extent. I think this gun is OK if priced reasonable but as a rule don't put the cart before the horse. Get educated. And if you buy it get rid of those grips!
Add: I'm not a 2nd gen guy but 2K seems decent to me. Keep in mind you'll have to spend 2-300.00 bucks for some hard rubber grips. Those "pearls" are plastic by the way. Use that as a bargaining chip.
 

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Thanks guys, exactly the info I was hoping for. And yes the grips are definitely puke worthy! I'll look for Cochran and Kopec's books, that's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. I knew Kopec's name from his appraisals, but didn't know he'd published as well.

On the serial numbers, is it only 1st gen that have them on the trigger guard and base of the backstrap?
 

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The serial numbers moved under the grips during the 1930s i think. They were still First Generation guns. If you have a background in firearms collecting you know the basics of what to look for. If not there is just too much information to learn it all at once before buying a SAA. A second generation gun is a lot less likely to an incorrect gun but you still have to be careful. You have to decide just what you want before looking, a shooter, an investment, a specific caliber and barrel length, or the best all around gun to fit you budget. The gun posted is an OK gun but as stated the grips are incorrect. The questions you want answered are best answered by experience and hands on examination of many guns. Single Action Colts are not a good starting point for someone who wants to be a serious collector unless you are willing to take risks and accept some expensive mistakes along the way.

You can pot a potential purchase on this forum and get the opinions of members but remember they are opinions based on pictures and they can and will at times be wrong. That said it is about the best way to buy a first gun and avoid a big mistake.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys, good advice. I'm not too worried about the money, $2000 is more than most of my guns, but it's not enough to be the end of the world if I get something wrong. Just want to learn more, I do love them. Might just start with a newer 3rd gen I suppose...
 

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I'd love to have to have a 56 too since it's my birth year. Probably another 1,000 guys like me looking as well:) I wont give up though!
 
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