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You may want to read this man’s assessment. ( I am just passing this along,so don’t burn me too badly). I’ve only
owned 3rd Gen guns ,so I have no knowledge of the other years. That being said I’ve had no disappointments from
the ones I own or have owned. Pete

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You may want to read this man’s assessment. ( I am just passing this along,so don’t burn me too badly). I’ve only
owned 3rd Gen guns ,so I have no knowledge of the other years. That being said I’ve had no disappointments from
the ones I own or have owned. Pete

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Who is he?
 

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The writing style reminds me of reading comprehension passages from high school and when I took the SAT exam. It’s very subjective.

This thread alone would make me question the workmanship of Third Generation Single Action Army revolvers.


In fact I owned a Third Generation Single Action Army revolver and it was somewhat uncommon, having a nickel finish, walnut grips with medallions, and in .38-40. But the fit around the “ears”, although not clearly as bad as some of the examples in the thread, if noted on a First Generation example, would have screamed refinished (rounded corners, poor arc of the ears, etc). That, as well as medallions that looked like they originated from the Dollar General, made me conclude that we really needed to part ways.

Now contrast this with the ears of a First Generation Artillery Model revolver:

Wood Wood stain Bicycle part Hardwood Tool
Hand Wood Water Finger Tool
Wood Sculpture Art Metal Auto part
Wood Pet supply Sculpture Hardwood Art


Now maybe fit and finish have improved over the years, but my particular example, dating from 1993, with regards to the quality of craftsmanship, would best be described as haphazard and reckless.
 

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I find all of this to be a bit humorous. Nearly everything to day is being built by high tech machines with a bit of hand finishing here and there. Guns are no exception. The recent Colt Single Actions may be an exemption to this rule since all the technology and machines were basically done well before the modern wave of technology. Hand work can be better or it can be worse depending on the hand and the quality control. Like a ship the crew reflects the captain and we all know Colt has not been running very smoothly for many years. In the end whether it be 1870 or 2020 it comes down to cost vs profit and the how much the people doing the work care about the product. Unlike most every other product out there people expect guns to last for several lifetimes. With today's technology this can be accomplished or costs can be cut to make it last as long as it needs to.
 

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I've never been much of a fan of the 3rd gens; quality on the early ones was spotty and clearly reflected the cost cutting changes made from the 2nd gens, and I really dislike the over polished Royal blue finish of the last 30 years or so. But, I will agree that the best of the 3rd gens were built from about 2002 to about 2010.

Best regards,
 

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I have a 2007 SAA in .45 Colt, and it's fantastic. I read that author's comparison of the different SAAs in the past, but the "You can feel the difference with eyes closed" seemed a little too much. But he's a local Tucson gunsmith that does know his stuff. He worked on one of my 2nd Gen 1851s. I do notice how much I like my 2007 SAA, it seems very nice quality to me too.
 

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Until pandemic/inflation pricing, what generation you bought was a matter of cost. A like new 3rd generation was under $1500. I got mine for $1300, about 4 years ago, never fired, in the box with hang tags. At that time a 95% 2nd gen would cost about $2000-$2300, and a 95% 1st gen would cost about $5000 or more. So for someone who is new to colts, wants a shooter, and doesn't have a lot of money, the 3rds were a great deal. Many young people are struggling to buy gas and food and raising young families. They might buy one gun every 2-3 years. I know, I've been there. Throwing down $2800 for a nice 1st or 2nd gen is a remote a concept to them as buying a $60,000 new car or truck. They're happy to just have one, and not get the magnifying glass out and nit-pic how they're not the same as one made in 1920 or 1959.

Today's bizarre pricing, I'm not sure. You could probably buy a 2nd gen for the same price as a 3rd.
 

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Unfortunately at the crazy prices that SAAs of all generations are going for now, fewer and fewer folks are going to be willing to take them out to the range or field and shoot and enjoy them for the great guns that they are for fear that they might pick up a scratch or a touch of holster wear. These folks are missing out on much of the value that the SAA has to offer when they keep them locked up as safe queens.

Best regards,
 
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