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Hey guys, sorry if this is a dumb question. A FFL friend I have recently purchased the barrel pictured below. He is of course hoping it is the real deal. This is the only pic I have of it. This was also the only pic in the listing that he saw when he bid. That right there tells me something, but stranger things have happened.

The bore is mint. The barrel has the Sam Colt address, but on the bottom there is no SN. I assume it to be a dragoon barrel over a Walker barrel because it has the slot underneath for the ramrod catch. It is 44 cal. The barrel is nickel plated. There is no patina anywhere. There is nothing else that you would expect to see on a 150+ year old gun part. On the rear of the barrel, there is a "52" where the 2 indents are where the barrel connected to the frame. The strange thing is however that the "52" is in a modern font, and is also fairly large. The font does not look anything I've seen on guns of the period. The font was not quite as big as the font on a Colt Python barrel rollmark, but it was larger than say my 1849 pocket model in addition to being a different font. One collector out in these parts said that some of these barrels were arsenal replacements, and numbered on the bottom rear of the barrel just as this one.

I *think* this barrel to be a later fake/repro. Possibly an early Italian copy without proof marks (because it didn't have any). If this barrel was / is real, what are they worth? I told him at least $500 for an authentic one, IMO. Probably more than that but I also never saw a real one for sale that was not on a gun.

colt dragoon barrel.JPG
 

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This is one of those prove-it-isn't kind of things but may not work to prove-it-is. The original Colt Dragoon barrel has gain-twist rifling. If your barrel doesn't have gain-twist it isn't a Colt. There may be gain-twist repros but ones I have seen have constant twist rifling.

Gain-twist starts with little twist at entry (cylinder end) and twist increases as it reaches the muzzle.
 
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