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Discussion Starter #1
Good evening folks,

I have an opportunity to buy a New Service in 38 wcf with the 4 1/2" barrel and ivory grips that were put on a long time ago - they fit very well and have a great patina. The finish is a conservative 80% and is that beautiful blue that only Colt seemed to be able to put on their guns way back when. Unfortunately, I don't remember the serial number and I can't take a photo as it isn't mine, yet. My library is old and incomplete, and I realize it's difficult to do this, but could someone give me a ballpark value for this revolver. He's asking $1200. I've alway wanted a 4 1/2" New Service and since I use the caliber in Cowboy shooting, ammo isn't a problem. Thank you for your time.

John
 

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Without seeing the gun in question,it is very hard to assign a "value".For example,is the finish blue,or the much rarer nickle? Bore & mechanics?

Your best bet,IMO,is to go on to some of the online gun auctions,such as Auction Arms,Guns America,etc. and see if there are any New Services pictured and up for bid,to get an idea of "prices".

4.5 inch New Services are the rarest of the 3 standard lengths(as are the 4" on the .38/.357 model N.S.),but interestingly,they seem most common in the 38/40,at least here in N.New England(plus I've seen,and owned,several New Service barrels in this length/caliber).

I would not give $1200 for an 80% New Service-BUT-the "ivories" are the big factor in driving the price up!
Have no idea of their value,but I've seen them go for $3-500 on eBay etc.

When I began collecting/shooting New Services over 20 years ago,they were the "poor man's Colt Single Action". Ironically,it was a 4.5" .45 Colt N.Service,that I got through my family,that started me off,collecting by caliber at first. This gun was kept in my grandfathers desk drawer when he was the night manager of a huge coal pocket/wharf complex. His regular carry gun,for his "rounds" was a 1914 Mauser .32 auto,a "trophy" one of my uncles had gotten in "the Great War". The N.S. was kept for any serious trouble,like when a Russian collier was in port!

If you want the gun strictly for shooting,wonder if the dealer would sell the gun without the grips? (I've bought guns this way several times,the dealer selling the ivory,stags etc. separate)-but I had correct factory grips in my "stash" for the guns. For a "shooter",you can get reproduction grips,black plastic, for about $25.

Good Luck
Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bud,

I appreciate the reply - I know it isn't easy giving an opinion on value without seeing the revolver. This one is blued - original finish and the bore and action are 10 out of 10 - I don't think it was used much. Most of the wear looks like drawer wear to me. He won't sell it without the ivories - I already asked. I'm seeing it tomorrow - I guess I'll just have to wing it. Thanks again.

John
 

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How did it go today?

What about picking up the NS and selling the ivories on Fle-bay? It may go a long way to defraying the cost.

Brian
 

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Brian,

It didn't go well at all as he never showed. He called and said something came up and then admitted he was having second thoughts. I told him to keep my number and when/if he decides to call me. It was a disappointment as I was geared up to do some horse trading.

John
 

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John; sorry to hear about the "no show"! "Been there,had that happen"(sorta reminds me of my younger days,when a "hot babe" would stand you up at the last moment!)

Brian had an excellent point about selling the ivory stocks on "fle bay" or elsewhere,as based on what I've seen ivory grips going for,you could recoup much of the purchase price.

Best of Luck,and hope it works out for you.

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Bud,

Thanks for the kind words, but it still doesn't help. I may have to go out and buy a 3rd generation SAA just to make me feel better.

John
 
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