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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dad acquired my 1885 SAA (SN 115XXX) .45 cal in 1950. It was said to have been used by movie studios, and bears the characteristic "S" marking on the left side of the frame to the right of the three patent lines, and similar marking above the SN on the bottom of the frame, that seem to confirm that it had at some time become a Stembridge rental. There are no martial markings. Stembridge rented it to movie studios before 1950. I'm wondering from whom they purchased it and when. Also what movies it was used in, as I've seen a copy of a Stembridge invoice to MGM Pictures showing the SNs of the Colts rented, but it was dated in 1960 for the movie "How the West Was Won", and of course mine was not on it, having left Stembridge 10 years earlier.

Other info about my gun: All three SNs that I've been able to locate match. It bears the David F. Clark cartouche on the bottom of the frame just above the SN. It has hard rubber grips, but appear not to be the originals, as the grips do not match the standard grip of 1885 which would be a rampant colt high-horse and an eagle and shield below. My grips are not of the high-horse variety and the eagle and shield are absent, indicating the grips are probably from another gun with an SN of 142XXX and beyond. Everything else about it seems to be consistent with an 1885 manufacture, and being a non-military piece probably helps account for all three SNs matching, as I've learned that many early 1st gens marked US were later reworked and rebuilt with components from bins of other disassembled SAAs.

I'm trying to piece together the history of this grand old relic that I love so much. Being a non-military piece makes me even more curious. At some time it had been engraved in two places: (1) behind the hammer appears "Mexico", and (2) on the backstrap appears a Hispanic name in flourishing script beneath the SN. I'm awaiting the Colt letter, hoping it had been factory engraved, but I understand from other posts that less than one percent of SAAs were factory engraved.

Anyway, back to my original question: Does anyone know of a source for old Stembridge records from 1950 and earlier? I've Googled Stembridge, learned quite a bit of their history, but nothing comes up.

I've only been on this forum for a day or so, so I've not had time to take and post pictures yet. But I will. Any comments anyone would like to make regarding the information I've posted here would be much appreciated. Wish I'd learned of this forum earlier. There's a wealth of information here and every member seems very helpful and interested. Glad to be here now.
 

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From your description, that would not be considered an "engraved" gun. It's "inscribed", but factory inscribed guns are rare, too. Are you saying there is no U.S. stamp on the D.F.C. inspected frame? Photos would really help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your comments, oakridge. And no, there is no U.S. stamp on my frame, but it does indeed have a "DFC" above the SN on the underside of the frame.
 

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My dad acquired my 1885 SAA (SN 115XXX) .45 cal in 1950. It was said to have been used by movie studios, and bears the characteristic "S" marking on the left side of the frame to the right of the three patent lines, and similar marking above the SN on the bottom of the frame, that seem to confirm that it had at some time become a Stembridge rental. There are no martial markings. Stembridge rented it to movie studios before 1950. I'm wondering from whom they purchased it and when. Also what movies it was used in, as I've seen a copy of a Stembridge invoice to MGM Pictures showing the SNs of the Colts rented, but it was dated in 1960 for the movie "How the West Was Won", and of course mine was not on it, having left Stembridge 10 years earlier.

Other info about my gun: All three SNs that I've been able to locate match. It bears the David F. Clark cartouche on the bottom of the frame just above the SN. It has hard rubber grips, but appear not to be the originals, as the grips do not match the standard grip of 1885 which would be a rampant colt high-horse and an eagle and shield below. My grips are not of the high-horse variety and the eagle and shield are absent, indicating the grips are probably from another gun with an SN of 142XXX and beyond. Everything else about it seems to be consistent with an 1885 manufacture, and being a non-military piece probably helps account for all three SNs matching, as I've learned that many early 1st gens marked US were later reworked and rebuilt with components from bins of other disassembled SAAs.

I'm trying to piece together the history of this grand old relic that I love so much. Being a non-military piece makes me even more curious. At some time it had been engraved in two places: (1) behind the hammer appears "Mexico", and (2) on the backstrap appears a Hispanic name in flourishing script beneath the SN. I'm awaiting the Colt letter, hoping it had been factory engraved, but I understand from other posts that less than one percent of SAAs were factory engraved.

Anyway, back to my original question: Does anyone know of a source for old Stembridge records from 1950 and earlier? I've Googled Stembridge, learned quite a bit of their history, but nothing comes up.

I've only been on this forum for a day or so, so I've not had time to take and post pictures yet. But I will. Any comments anyone would like to make regarding the information I've posted here would be much appreciated. Wish I'd learned of this forum earlier. There's a wealth of information here and every member seems very helpful and interested. Glad to be here now.
If there are any records available from Stembridge it's possible that Al Frisch will have them,several years ago he bought a lot of inventory from them,I'll try to reach him on the land line.About 15 yrs ago I helped him identify some of the holsters he acquired & I got to handle & inspect several of the guns that were used by various western stars.I haven't talked w/him for a long time but if his ph.# is still good I'll ask him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Stembridge records

If there are any records available from Stembridge it's possible that Al Frisch will have them,several years ago he bought a lot of inventory from them,I'll try to reach him on the land line.About 15 yrs ago I helped him identify some of the holsters he acquired & I got to handle & inspect several of the guns that were used by various western stars.I haven't talked w/him for a long time but if his ph.# is still good I'll ask him.
Thanks, Jim, I'd really appreciate it.
 

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Thanks, Jim, I'd really appreciate it.
Scribbler:I talked w/Al for about an hour this evening & as luck would have it he's coming thru Kingman next Mon. & will visit me here on the ranch,I mentioned what u wanted & he told me to give u his ph.#,I'll send u a PM w/my Ph.# so u can call me for more details.Jim
 

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Al Frisch, Retired Lt, , Los Angles Conty Sheriff's Department, West Hollywood Sub-Station. (So many years ago)...Jim, Tell Al I said Hi !
I'll do that.I imagine it'll get pretty deep in my house it always does when we get together,good thing we both wear high boots.We used to see each other once a year @ winter range or festival of the west but since I moved to Kingman I quit going,too far to drive just to BS.
 

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Hi Jim, I can call you this afternoon (Sat.) or tomorrow afternoon, whichever may be convenient for you. Let me know what time would be best. We're an hour earlier here than AZ until DST. Look forward to talking with you about Al.
 

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My dad acquired my 1885 SAA (SN 115XXX) .45 cal in 1950. It was said to have been used by movie studios, and bears the characteristic "S" marking on the left side of the frame to the right of the three patent lines, and similar marking above the SN on the bottom of the frame, that seem to confirm that it had at some time become a Stembridge rental. There are no martial markings. Stembridge rented it to movie studios before 1950. I'm wondering from whom they purchased it and when. Also what movies it was used in, as I've seen a copy of a Stembridge invoice to MGM Pictures showing the SNs of the Colts rented, but it was dated in 1960 for the movie "How the West Was Won", and of course mine was not on it, having left Stembridge 10 years earlier.

Other info about my gun: All three SNs that I've been able to locate match. It bears the David F. Clark cartouche on the bottom of the frame just above the SN. It has hard rubber grips, but appear not to be the originals, as the grips do not match the standard grip of 1885 which would be a rampant colt high-horse and an eagle and shield below. My grips are not of the high-horse variety and the eagle and shield are absent, indicating the grips are probably from another gun with an SN of 142XXX and beyond. Everything else about it seems to be consistent with an 1885 manufacture, and being a non-military piece probably helps account for all three SNs matching, as I've learned that many early 1st gens marked US were later reworked and rebuilt with components from bins of other disassembled SAAs.

I'm trying to piece together the history of this grand old relic that I love so much. Being a non-military piece makes me even more curious. At some time it had been engraved in two places: (1) behind the hammer appears "Mexico", and (2) on the backstrap appears a Hispanic name in flourishing script beneath the SN. I'm awaiting the Colt letter, hoping it had been factory engraved, but I understand from other posts that less than one percent of SAAs were factory engraved.

Anyway, back to my original question: Does anyone know of a source for old Stembridge records from 1950 and earlier? I've Googled Stembridge, learned quite a bit of their history, but nothing comes up.

I've only been on this forum for a day or so, so I've not had time to take and post pictures yet. But I will. Any comments anyone would like to make regarding the information I've posted here would be much appreciated. Wish I'd learned of this forum earlier. There's a wealth of information here and every member seems very helpful and interested. Glad to be here now.
John,

I was wondering if you still have access to the Stembridge invoice for the movie "How the West Was Won". I would be curious if my Colt SAA might be on that list. I am not sure what years it was used, I just acquired it, so that sure of previous history. Thanks

Tommy
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
John,

I was wondering if you still have access to the Stembridge invoice for the movie "How the West Was Won". I would be curious if my Colt SAA might be on that list. I am not sure what years it was used, I just acquired it, so that sure of previous history. Thanks

Tommy
Tommy, I'll look for it. I know I have it somewhere, and I'll get back to you.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
John,

I was wondering if you still have access to the Stembridge invoice for the movie "How the West Was Won". I would be curious if my Colt SAA might be on that list. I am not sure what years it was used, I just acquired it, so that sure of previous history. Thanks

Tommy
Here you go, Tommy. I found it:

Text Line Document Font Paper
 

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John,

Thanks, this is a really interesting document. Unfortunately, my gun was not listed but now I know the type of invoice they prepared for the production rental agreements. I noticed the statement "Colts SA Revolvers w/conversion units". I wonder what the "conversion units" would be? I just purchased a rifle boot marked "Stembridge Gun Rentals" and I noticed they rented out several for this movie. My gun came with a SAA holster that is Stembridge marked and also has a serial number, I guess so they could keep accurate records and make sure they got the holster back. It would be interesting if any other forum members have any of these invoices that they could post. Thanks again for digging this out and posting it.

Tommy
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
John,

Thanks, this is a really interesting document. Unfortunately, my gun was not listed but now I know the type of invoice they prepared for the production rental agreements. I noticed the statement "Colts SA Revolvers w/conversion units". I wonder what the "conversion units" would be? I just purchased a rifle boot marked "Stembridge Gun Rentals" and I noticed they rented out several for this movie. My gun came with a SAA holster that is Stembridge marked and also has a serial number, I guess so they could keep accurate records and make sure they got the holster back. It would be interesting if any other forum members have any of these invoices that they could post. Thanks again for digging this out and posting it.

Tommy
You're welcome, Tommy. I have also wondered what they meant by "conversion units".
 

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John,

Did you ever have a chance to talk to Al Frisch? Was he able to give you any additional clues on searching out the old Stembridge records? I know that some of these records might have been destroyed over the years but I suspect others survived, just like the one above. Thanks

Tommy
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
John,

Did you ever have a chance to talk to Al Frisch? Was he able to give you any additional clues on searching out the old Stembridge records? I know that some of these records might have been destroyed over the years but I suspect others survived, just like the one above. Thanks

Tommy
No, Tommy, it was one of those things from which I became side-tracked. Too much on my plate, sometimes, even at my age. It's on my to-do list, and revisiting this with you has renewed my interest and moved it up near the top of the list. I'll certainly let you know if I come across anything. So far as I know, you and I are the only Forum members holding a Stembridge SAA, since you are the only one who responded to my thread in this regard. Good luck in your search, and keep in touch. PM if you like. John
 

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No, Tommy, it was one of those things from which I became side-tracked. Too much on my plate, sometimes, even at my age. It's on my to-do list, and revisiting this with you has renewed my interest and moved it up near the top of the list. I'll certainly let you know if I come across anything. So far as I know, you and I are the only Forum members holding a Stembridge SAA, since you are the only one who responded to my thread in this regard. Good luck in your search, and keep in touch. PM if you like. John
I don't own any Stembridge guns but have worked on several of them.I've also tried on several of the rigs that Al brought to my place just to see how they fit.I've wondered several times if u had ever got in touch w/Al.
 
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