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I know the other SAA was 2900 euro, so just to have something to compare with, what is this one going to cost?

Obviously no finish. But most edges and markings appear crisp, so unlikely to have been buffed, with the exception of the backstrap, which contains a heavily worn serial number. The barrel markings, I think, are okay. Appear slightly soft, but I think that is from the quality of the photograph. Basepin is possibly a replacement and has been damaged from someone using pliers to remove it. I would value at about 2/3 the value of the other one, maybe slightly less, so if 2900 euro was a realistic value on the other one, perhaps 1800 to 1850 euro would be a fair price on this one.

In this country, .44-40 and .45 Colt are more desirable than .38-40, but I have always liked .38-40.

It really doesn't matter what I think, the important thing is that you are happy with your purchase. Having said that, I still would go with the one with the eagle grips over this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know the other SAA was 2900 euro, so just to have something to compare with, what is this one going to cost?

Obviously no finish. But most edges and markings appear crisp, so unlikely to have been buffed, with the exception of the backstrap, which contains a heavily worn serial number. The barrel markings, I think, are okay. Appear slightly soft, but I think that is from the quality of the photograph. Basepin is possibly a replacement and has been damaged from someone using pliers to remove it. I would value at about 2/3 the value of the other one, maybe slightly less, so if 2900 euro was a realistic value on the other one, perhaps 1800 to 1850 euro would be a fair price on this one.

In this country, .44-40 and .45 Colt are more desirable than .38-40, but I have always liked .38-40.

It really doesn't matter what I think, the important thing is that you are happy with your purchase. Having said that, I still would go with the one with the eagle grips over this one.
Thanks for the evaluation, much appreciated. Same price as the other one. It would certainly be less as you mention, in the U.S. Here, shootability has a price, due to the difficulties we face in buying modern guns. Not to mention that modern guns can be taken away if you even just stop going to the range. So, SAAs with serial numbers below 192K and above the change to mild steel demand a premium, as much as a more desirable older model.

Gil

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I cannot speak for the market situation in France, but over here if both were the same price the other one with eagle grips, by far and away, is the better bargain. If I were you, I would be inclined to buy the other one, sock it away, and keep looking for your regular "shooter".
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys. I hesitated a bit between this one and the 1883 i was also looking at, even though as mrcvs said, it is not worth nearly as much as the 1883. The two factors guiding my choice were the steel and 4-3/4" barrel, which I prefer. The caliber, I wasn't sure about, my tools and molds being for the .45 Colt, but I don't mind trying out a new cartridge, and at least this way no smokeless .45 round will even find its way into this gun by accident. The .38-40 doesn't come across as a wimpy round either. I would only have been able to shoot light bullets in the other gun anyway, and even that was a risk. This one should do fine with BP only for occasional shooting. Now I need reloading dies, a mold and some leather, but it will have to wait a bit since i'm now broke!

Gil.
 

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I would say for what you want, you made the right choice. If available in France, I would advise a set of RCBS "Cowboy" dies as they'll make life easier loading the .38 WCF and cast bullets.
 

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re: loads

I used to have a Low Wall in 38 WCF . I didn't want to cast my own and 38-40 cast bullets were scarce then so I used 170 gr flat point 10mm/40SW cast bullets . They worked wonderfully with an occasional clover leaf group at 50 yds .

Gil , I'm sure you'll get years of enjoyment out of the Colt . Great find sir !
 

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well that is a beauty....i think u got a beautiful nice original gun and i love the caliber too...well done
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks! I'll post about my reloading experiments after I get all the tools I need. Not much on the .38-40 anywhere, compared to the other calibers... I would have loved to find accounts of people using it in the field, like you find everywhere about the .45 Colt and .44-40. I guess it's more of a rifle cartridge... I know what I might be looking for next year...

Gil.
 

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Over the years I've been lucky enough to have 3 SSA's in 38/40. The first one was back in 1965. A 71/2'' US marked arsenal redone in 38/40 with newer barrel and cylinder along with nicely checkered grips marked Renaldo A Carr. the numbers were mismatched but the condition the gun was superb , not refinished. The second was a re nickeled 51/2'' Bisley 38/40 that I fitted a .41 Colt Cylinder to in 1968 and traded off to a fairly local fellow who's son still has it and occasionly askes me if'n I'd like it back but not for the $125. The third was a 43/4" SAA 38/40 I got from Douglas Carlson in the '80s. this was the most expensive one at $800. A good solid gun with the finish had turned a dark brown. Like other toys they were traded off over time. I did manage to hold on to the mould and GHI. Wish I still had the 71/2'' it was a beauty and great shooter.
Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Did you shoot them Jay? What's your opinion of the caliber?

I just completed the sale. It should be shipped on Monday and I should get it on Thursday. Very exciting! This will be my first real Colt after a Pietta. The pietta would not lock properly on a couple chambers but I loved the balance and feel of the 4-3/4 barrel and the grip.

I received a six-cavity mold from Big Lube, 190gr bullet, seems pretty well made. Brass is hard to find here and very expensive.

A .45 Colt might have been better but I am sure the .38-40 is no sloth. It sure is original.

I'll post photos :)

Gil

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I did shoot all of them and cast my own for the '92 as well as the Colt's I had at the time as well, re loading for all. My favorite was the U S marked parts gun with mismatched numbers. It had the original one piece grips numbered to the frame and checkered with Colt's deluxe pattern. The Lyman bullet #401452 was the one I used and was the best one in this guy with 7.5 grains of Unique back then. Remember, this was back in the mid to late '60's and no one wanted to be bothered with the dirty black powder. I have no idea who put this gun together back then, but it was an 80% gun back then with a perfect bore and mechanics. It was the most favorite 71/2" SAA I've ever had and the one most regretted to have slipped thru my fingers. I may have the serial number, if'n I find it, I'll post it on this topic. Enjoy it an don't be afraid to shoot it as long as you use common sense and good judgement. Have fun. Jay
 

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Gil,
I've hunted with my Great-grandfather's Winchester 1873 .38 WCF for nearly 50 years--Man, I must be getting old! Taken many deer with it as well as smaller animals. I love the cartridge. The three Colts I have purchased are all in this caliber.

I reload for it. Do your laws allow folks here in the US to mail you brass, bullets, dies?

Nearly forgot--Congratulations! You'll likely be thrilled with your "new" Colt!
 

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Great find! And, .38-40 is the original 40 caliber cartridge. You know, we have lots of room over here for another "gun nut" to shoot his Colt! This may sound odd, but we need more Americans like you!
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks!

Dies yes, brass is probably ok. We can buy all that stuff here while being a member of a shooting club. I plan on calling Starline this week. I think if they put a copy of my shooting license if the packet it should go through. If not, well, I'll know... if they just declare "cases" on the form the customs agents won't have any idea... Brass here is about $37 for 25! I cast my own bullets.

BTW I spent 22 years of my adult life in Florida... Hence my decent English. I still have lots of friends there and frankly, I feel more American than French. Didn't quite plan on coming back here (see svdagny.com) but for my aging parents. I shall return some time! France is very frustrating, though the food is great, lol. The country is not aligned with my political opinions though, mostly developed in the US, enough said... I heard a guy last time at the range asking for more gun control, a shooter! Nuts.

I was lucky, found my old RCBS single stage press in a chest full of old reloading stuff I had from the early 90s, ingot mold, laddle, various dies (no .38-30), cleaning rod, etc. I was more of a semi auto guy back then... Used to own a Dillon 550. But I digress...

I have a holster coming in from New Mexico too! Of course carrying is a no-no here but I don't intend on staying more than 2-3 years; it's already been two.

This .38-40 is a blessing. Very fortunate that they are not regulated here (pre-1900, 192K serial and below). For how much longer, not I fear...

You guys have the best country in the world. Keep it that way.

Gil

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