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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I picked up a 1st Generation Colt made in 1892 and am looking at another one.

The barrel has been cut down.Looks great, and I wouldn't know if someone didn't tell me.

The other one I am looking at appears to have been nickel plated early on in it's life.

The question is how much does altering a gun affect the value. How much does it devalue them and are their any alterations that increase in value?
 

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are their any altercations that increase in value?
OK Corral would be one:rolleyes:, but seriously any alteration from the original shipped condition will generally lower the value with certain exceptions. How much the value is lowered will depend on the buyers desire to own said pistol.
 

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That said, thinking that you can 'restore' them to what their original condition was isn't going to happen - they're only original one time - no matter who does the work, so either be happy with what you've located, or find better examples to collect.
 

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Like Dogface6 said they are only original once and any alteration from that usually takes them out of the collector category and puts them in the shooter category. I bought an 1892 SAA that had been nickeled in the 50's but I bought it as a shooter and paid shooter price. Care to share the serial number of your 1892? You can pm it to me if you like.
 

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I appreciate Colts that are in less than collecting condition as I'm a shooter, not a collector. It drives the price down to a shooter level. I'm picky though. I want matching numbers and not polished to death. I've seen some that I'd say were very bad shape - parts guns with markings polished off and edges rounded and they still ask collector prices.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Like Dogface6 said they are only original once and any alteration from that usually takes them out of the collector category and puts them in the shooter category. I bought an 1892 SAA that had been nickeled in the 50's but I bought it as a shooter and paid shooter price. Care to share the serial number of your 1892? You can pm it to me if you like.
I will gladly share the serial number once I get the gun in my hands.

It is an 1873 that was manufactured in 1892.

I am not a "collector". I think the SAA is the prettiest gun ever made but I am fine with the Italian replicas too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's an overused line , but it's wise to avoid a gun that you'll have to make apologies for . I can't see spending good money on something that you'll be finding fault with every time it's in your hands..
For me it is actually set up the way it should have been coming out of the factory.

I was never a fan of the long barrelled pistols.
 

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Off the bat, there are two ways I can immediately think of that an alteration would increase the value of a gun.

1. Undoing whatever someone did to lower the value to begin with. Such as refinishing it to the color it was supposed to be, finding period correct grips, removing rust without harming the gun, etc.
2. Engraving the gun.

The thing is, both options usually cost more than the end product is worth, but they do increase the value of the gun. Otherwise, usually changing anything at all outside of something not permanent will always bring the value down, as it takes it a step away from being 'original.'
 

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Off the bat, there are two ways I can immediately think of that an alteration would increase the value of a gun.

1. Undoing whatever someone did to lower the value to begin with. Such as refinishing it to the color it was supposed to be, finding period correct grips, removing rust without harming the gun, etc.
2. Engraving the gun.

The thing is, both options usually cost more than the end product is worth, but they do increase the value of the gun. Otherwise, usually changing anything at all outside of something not permanent will always bring the value down, as it takes it a step away from being 'original.'
I’m not sure about your 2nd assertion. A while back there was a thread where someone picked up a SAA which had been well-used, with worn edges, etc. it was subsequently engraved (likely in the last 30-40 years) and then refinished. I didn’t think all the glitz did a thing to enhance the value of what was likely a well-used, but not abused, 1st generation Colt.
 

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I’m not sure about your 2nd assertion. A while back there was a thread where someone picked up a SAA which had been well-used, with worn edges, etc. it was subsequently engraved (likely in the last 30-40 years) and then refinished. I didn’t think all the glitz did a thing to enhance the value of what was likely a well-used, but not abused, 1st generation Colt.
I suppose it's not an all encompassing suggestion. As with your example, in the event the gun you're thinking about having engraved is already collectible and rare as it is, then an engraving really won't do much for the gun's value. However, for the vast majority of standard firearms, if you have it expertly engraved and re-finished by a reputable engraver, then undoubtedly the value of the gun will be worth more than before it was engraved and should bring a higher premium at auction, regardless of the collection of opinions suggesting if it did anything to enhance the value or not. Typically the way it goes is you reduce your audience, but to those interested, it's worth more. With that being said, just don't expect to get everything back out of it that you put into it.

However, I agree with you though. When debating having one of my own revolvers engraved, I considered my 1927 pre-detective/2" PPS, which has a well worn finish but is in great condition and not abused at all. As much as I would have liked it, I ended up deciding against it though because the gun honestly has more history and value being left as is. Glitzing it up might look nice but wouldn't enhance the value.
 

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Worth or value is in the eye or opinion of the beholder. For me, with an occasional exception, alteration almost always eliminates the desire to purchase. Others would surely disagree. But, I never consider a gun that has been nickeled after leaving the factory blue/cc. Cutting the barrel would greatly reduce if not eliminate an offer from me.
 

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Worth or value is in the eye or opinion of the beholder. For me, with an occasional exception, alteration almost always eliminates the desire to purchase. Others would surely disagree. But, I never consider a gun that has been nickeled after leaving the factory blue/cc. Cutting the barrel would greatly reduce if not eliminate an offer from me.
My thoughts exactly EXCEPT " greatly reduce if not eliminate an offer from me" I would not even bother to look at it much less put an offer on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
OK Corral would be one:rolleyes:, but seriously any alteration from the original shipped condition will generally lower the value with certain exceptions. How much the value is lowered will depend on the buyers desire to own said pistol.
I am sorry.

Predictive text turned alteration into altercation.

My bad.
 

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Cool horse, your question, or variants of it, have been asked many times on this forum. No need to apologize. The best Colt SAA's are those in their original configuration.
 

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That depends...

In a way, any 'period' alteration has a different level of value than anything done later in time.

A 'lot' of SAAs were plated/engraved after they left the factory, and even more were cut, so our ancestors muddied those waters a long time ago - and they did so because that configuration suited 'them'.

Plating usually had to go somewhere, unless there was a large city nearby - but cutting a barrel, resetting a front sight and recrowning could pretty easily be done by a decent gunsmith, because those men learned to do it as a part of their trade - plus, there was always Mexico, and those shops did a bang-up business in that field.

Modern embellishment is something else entirely - most don't like it - preferring to keep things as close to factory original as possible - but that's a new wrinkle, due to today's fact that 'everything' is collectable, so long as it says 'Colt' somewhere on the piece.

Placing a value is entirely dependent on period originality of the work done, and what it looks like today - no amount of modern refinishing will return a piece to originality - that bird already flew - but 'careful' cleaning and the repair of things like screwheads and worn-out action parts seems to be appealing.

Collectors collect what 'they' want to collect - each has his own criteria for the type of thing he wants to add when they reach for their wallets.
 

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The question is how much does altering a gun affect the value. How much does it devalue them and are their any alterations that increase in value?
As a short answer to the question, the only alterations that increase the value would be things done in factory that set it apart from a normal production gun, such as factory engraving, the gun has been fitzed, etc. About the only other I can think of also is if it went to a well known shop that did their own modifications post-factory. An example would be Wolf & Klar, John Jovino, or King's Gun Sights.

Outside of that, pretty much any alterations will always decrease the value, especially if it was done by an unknown individuals' own personal gun. How much it decreases the gun depends on what was done. However, if it's a 100 year old revolver and the modifications were done very early on, it won't hurt the value quite as much, as it's seen as part of the history of the gun, but otherwise, if it doesn't have provenance tying it to a well known institution, individual, or event, modifying a gun is rarely seen as a positive factor to a collector.
 
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