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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've read that there was a series of Doug Turnbull SAAs that were based on Colt 3rd gen SAAs. These were supposedly shipped in the white to Turnbull who applied the finish and did final assembly and sold them as Turnbull SAAs. These guns had either a "DT" prefix or suffix - supposedly 500 of each. These were done between 1999 and 2000 or 2001. Blue Book states this information. LGS has one of these but the barrel is marked "USFA Mfg Co Hartford CT USA", while the trigger guard has a stylized "DT" in place of the "VP". Anybody have a definitive answer on whether or not these were originally Colts or USFA parts guns?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Maybe it wasn't clear. These handguns were not sold as Colts, they were sold as Turnbulls. The question was whether or not this series of serial numbers - the DT prefix or suffix - started life as in the white Colts, or USFA parts.
 

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I believe there were DT serial numbered Colts known as "DT Colts" and also "Turnbull Cowboy Classics (USFA)". Both had DT in the serial numbers. I've got an older catalog showing such. It also shows a "Deluxe DT Colt"! It was a "DT Colt" with more custom options that could be ordered. Sure would like to find one!
 

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Maybe it wasn't clear. These handguns were not sold as Colts, they were sold as Turnbulls. The question was whether or not this series of serial numbers - the DT prefix or suffix - started life as in the white Colts, or USFA parts.
There was a series of Colt SAAs that Turnbull ordered in the white with a special set of serial numbers that ended in DT. He made them up to look like prewar SAAs, but they were sold by him as Colts - just like Talo makes up special Colt SAA editions. They're still sold as Colts. Turnbull also did the same thing with USFA, which is one of the guns at your LGS
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There was a series of Colt SAAs that Turnbull ordered in the white with a special set of serial numbers that ended in DT. He made them up to look like prewar SAAs, but they were sold by him as Colts - just like Talo makes up special Colt SAA editions. They're still sold as Colts. Turnbull also did the same thing with USFA, which is one of the guns at your LGS
Thanks - that clears up some of the confusion. The data in the BB re Colts in the white in that serial range and then one with a USFA barrel roll mark didn't help. And somewhere out there are SAAs sold by Turnbull with Turnbull roll marks on the barrel -again I just saw a picture of one of these.
 

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JackT said:
....And somewhere out there are SAAs sold by Turnbull with Turnbull roll marks on the barrel -again I just saw a picture of one of these.
Yes Sir it is confusing. There are Turnbull Colts, Turnbull, USFA guns and lastly (may be) Turnbull marked guns made from unmarked USFA parts.

I like Colt, Turnbull and USFA. But mixing them wasn't/ isn't a huge help to consumers.
 

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I believe there were DT serial numbered Colts known as "DT Colts" and also "Turnbull Cowboy Classics (USFA)". Both had DT in the serial numbers. I've got an older catalog showing such. It also shows a "Deluxe DT Colt"! It was a "DT Colt" with more custom options that could be ordered. Sure would like to find one!
Here is an example of a DT Colt SAA from an expired Armslist ad.

ARMSLIST - For Sale: COLT SAA 45 SERIAL #95 DOUG TURNBULL
 

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Turnbull initially was sold 200 third gens in the white with a special serial number on them, so they would letter from Colt. There was a nefarious deal worked out with the production manager and corporate attorney that enabled this unprecedented sale. Previous to that, the factory had allowed a series called the Clay Colts, 1851 third gen Navies that were configured and colored to look like originals in cased boxes, but I don't know the details. The Turnbull deal for cartridge guns in the white surprised a lot of folks because the finish was better than the Colt work at the time, a head scratcher from a corporate standpoint. When General Keys took over, that ended selling SA's in the white. A year into his leadership, Doug called me complaining that he wasn't getting any more SA's from the factory - but I couldn't offer any new information. He then hooked up with Donnely at USFA which kept his business going, and now with an Italian source.



JP
 

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I got one of the Colt DT SAA’s back in ‘98, and a few years ago had Nutmeg install a set of bark ivory’s. Pretty piece. Also got one of the Klay Colt “C”-series Navys, 150 of which were sent to Frank Klay in ‘82. I ordered it in the mid ‘90’s, and it was some time before I received it. Pretty, though.
 

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The first 200 and any subsequent guns gleaned from Colt are real Colts under the Turnbull skin. I don't recall if any formal announcement was ever made by Colt regarding any licencing or authenticity, but I do know they will do factory letters on them. In a Guns magazine article, it was stated that "Doug Turnbull, working with Colt, has etc, etc", so one would think the factory authorized this article and maybe the announcement is found there.

JP
 

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I have a DT finished genuine Colt. Doug's theme was to mark and finish them like pre war vintage between 1917 (sq bottom trigger guard), and 1919 (s/n in 3 visible locations).
Albeit the sights are sq notch rear and non-tapered front blade.
Mine is # 044DT in 3 locations; 44-40 with the roll marked CFSS, 4 3/4".
The blue is pre war, CCH frame and hammer. Fit and finish are superb, perfect ear shape and flush with hammer base, etc. There are no flaws.
End label reads: Model - P1940DT, Desc. - Single Action Army, 4.75" Barrel, 44-40, No Finish
It was sold in 2001, $2200.

The original Colt serial # is on the left side of front and rear grip straps and X'd out. That # dates it to 1997.

Then came the USFA Turnbull finished guns.

Following those came the Turnbull Bull logo stamped and roll marked guns.


P.S. I have an original flyer advertising the DT guns:
Standard were: large cyl flutes, BP bevel, Rampant colt in circle, charcoal blue, spl DT serial # in 3 locations. Mine has all of those with black Colt grips.

It lists several options; Pre 1913 hi polish, hammer knurling, V notch sight, BP frame, grips, beveled trigger guard and Calibers: 45, 44 Spl, 44-40, 44 Russian, 38-40, &41 Colt ; a;so convertible cyls.
 

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I also have the magazine with the article described. Wish I knew how post pictures here. Mine is a .45 C, 5 1/2”, also with the original s/n inside grip frame.
 

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Also just preceding the above, Doug Turnbull turned out 2000 of these for Colt. This is mine and they are all identical with no options.

125th Anniv. Edition details:

The box end label reads "125th Anniversary Edition" "Model P1850AE", "SAA, 5 1/2" Bbl, 45 Colt Oven Blue/Color Case".
It commemorates the 125th anniversary of the SAA model, 1873 to 1998.

Only 2000 made in 1999 that have unused 2nd gen serial numbers from 74000 -75999. But the SA is a prefix, not a suffix like 2nd gens.

Looking at the serial ranges used for 3rd gens in 1988, there's a curious gap:

SA71464 - SA72269 - gap - SA90136 - SA94433

Colt apparently left a large block of almost 8000 numbers unused in 1978 so there wouldn't be duplicate #s with the Anniversary Edition using unused 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] gen numbers with an SA prefix starting at SA74000. Perhaps sales weren't what they anticipated and stopped at 2000 units. Mine is SA74033.

Front sight is a tapered blade and the rear is a 'V' notch.
Grip medallions are oversize, 5/8" and read "125th Anniversary 1873-1998"
These are the first 3rd gens to have the removable cyl bushing which became standard on new 3rds in 2003.
And have 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] gen barrel threads of 1x24, although originally advertised as having the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] gen 1x20 tapered thread.


Sent to Turnbull in the white for finishing and special barrel rollmarking in the 1920's font, CCH hammer, black powder cyl chamfer, and barrel caliber marking of ‘45 COLT’, not 'Single Action Army 45'. Returned to Colt for selling thru their regular distributors.
 
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