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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I inherited a SAA from my pop. He purchased at auction several years back. I've seen a letter from the Colt Archive (I don't have in my possession.) that indicates the serial# corresponds to a shipment of a 100 odd guns to US. What do you (anyone) think? The finish looks strange to me. And it just seems too cool to be real.

Thanks in advance,
-D IMG_0898.jpg IMG_0897.jpg IMG_0896.jpg IMG_0892.jpg IMG_0894.jpg
 

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Many of these old Cavalry SAA's were 'enhanced' and some are still being 'enhanced.' Sending it to Kopec or to Dave Lanara for examination is a good way to get an expert opinion. Those grips do appear to be in much better shape than the metal.

Welcome to the forum!!
 

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By all means, send it to Kopec - it is worth the money! I had a Nettleton and diligently researched/compared it with Kopec's book. It fit published information so I was reasonably satiisfied that it was all original so sent to Kopec for documented expert proof (I am no expert but pretty savy). Boy, was I surprised at what John came up with! Not a complete bomb but certainly fooled me and another "expert". A Kopec letter can certainly enhance the firearm's value, or, at the least give you peace of mind as to what you have. Let us know the result as we are all still learning and growing.
 

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Yes. Do send to Mr Kopec, and let us know the results. John has access to information that is not readily available and the results are worth the $300 investment.
 

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Right off the bat the barrel address looks wrong, as it is the sixth style used predominately in the 1880 through 1898 period.

However, in that late 49 thousand range, it may be a transition barrel. Most 47 to 48 thousand range Cavalry's have the fifth address which has TWO underscore's below the "O" in "CO", aka the "Nettleton" address. The grips and markings look right, but the US on the frame has the "S" higher than the "U", and that is suspect. The "HN" on the frame, straps and barrel is also suspect. It's a questionable gun at best and should be examined closer and compared with our controls, either by John or myself. Many serial numbers close to the Nettleton range have been stamped with phony military marks and aged back.

JP
 

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The left grip cartouche looks much too deep and sharp for the heavily worn grips. The possibly artificially worn and aged right grip cartouche edge looks too deep and sharp for this much wear. The stamps are available from NGraver.
 

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My 472xx barrel has the broken T in PT. and the 2 line underscore in CO. As Dave said maybe this is transitional and the change had taken effect by 492xx. Looks like a couple vise marks on barrel. The cartouche is double struck and the date is suspect to me.
 

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Without a doubt, the walnut grips are suspect, as others pointed out. I did not see the vice grip marks on the barrel, but they are there. This makes me immediately question the integrity of the revolver. Might just want to hold on to your $300 after all...
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
All,
Thank you for your candor and insight. While it's disappointing to hear that many aspects are suspect and that my Pop most likely was bamboozled by some smooth operators, I am not terribly surprised.

It sounds as if, almost definitely, the gun has been manipulated, but if I am reading people correctly, almost all of the parts may be genuine parts from other eras. To wit: I have a first-generation Frankenstein SAA? At that point, does one just manipulate it further and have it reconditioned/reblued so that, at least, it looks the business? Having it not be particularly valuable frees me to go full-on Yosemite Sam with it! I think my Pop had some black powder rounds somewheres...

It does have the HN on the hammer.
And I will post a few more money shots of the cylinder soon.

Thanks again --especially for your candor.

Best,
-D
 

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Try sending some really close shots of the left frame side so the US and patent dates can be examined. Sometimes the photo lighting makes markings seem uneven. HN hammer is a good thing IF it is a genuine stamp

JP
 

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I am looking at the photographs again of this one--

It could be the lighting, but do the barrel markings look suspect to you? Something doesn't look right. Maybe restamped? It appears too deep and yet the immediate interface between a letter and the barrel metal appears "soft" or rounded.
 

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20160921_143948.jpg

In reference to my post above, please compare the markings in the photograph I have provided, from a Cavalry revolver in the 81,800 range that was 100% correct, as assessed by Mr Kopec, with the barrel address photograph of the revolver that is the subject matter of this thread.
 

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All,
Thank you for your candor and insight. While it's disappointing to hear that many aspects are suspect and that my Pop most likely was bamboozled by some smooth operators, I am not terribly surprised.

It sounds as if, almost definitely, the gun has been manipulated, but if I am reading people correctly, almost all of the parts may be genuine parts from other eras. To wit: I have a first-generation Frankenstein SAA? At that point, does one just manipulate it further and have it reconditioned/reblued so that, at least, it looks the business? Having it not be particularly valuable frees me to go full-on Yosemite Sam with it! I think my Pop had some black powder rounds somewheres...

It does have the HN on the hammer.
And I will post a few more money shots of the cylinder soon.

Thanks again --especially for your candor.

Best,
-D
And thank you for your realistic expectations as you hear more facts. I'd still be thrilled with the gun, since you didn't pay anything for it, that's water under the bridge. I'd take it out and shoot it once in a while, and keep it clean. Might want to put a description of your suspicions on a card with the gun or something....for the next generation.

No, I would not try to make it better. If it's a hodge-podge put together, it still looks nice and has some patina that looks right. If you reblue it it will look awful. If you get a high dollar restoration, like Turnbull, you may be perpetuating the problem that it's not really what it seems. If it happens to be the real deal, refinishing any part will hurt the value. And trying to put the "right" stuff together on the gun will be quite expensive.
 

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All,
Thank you for your candor and insight. While it's disappointing to hear that many aspects are suspect and that my Pop most likely was bamboozled by some smooth operators, I am not terribly surprised.

It sounds as if, almost definitely, the gun has been manipulated, but if I am reading people correctly, almost all of the parts may be genuine parts from other eras. To wit: I have a first-generation Frankenstein SAA? At that point, does one just manipulate it further and have it reconditioned/reblued so that, at least, it looks the business? Having it not be particularly valuable frees me to go full-on Yosemite Sam with it! I think my Pop had some black powder rounds somewheres...

It does have the HN on the hammer.
And I will post a few more money shots of the cylinder soon.

Thanks again --especially for your candor.

Best,
-D
Whoa! Don't jump to conclusions until you have the gun expertly "certified". These guns went thru many "official" changes and refurbishings over the years. You are getting good opinions/guesses from knowledgeable people here from just looking at pictures. If it were me, it would still be worth the investment to put the firearm in the hands of an expert (like Kopec) who can put eyes on it and campare/examine it with his many years of experience and vast knowledge. You are talking about $300-500 (including shipping) to verify whether you have a $2,000 gun or a $5,000 gun.
 

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I think some of the expressed opinions above may need to be tempered by the fact that there is Colt archive letter documenting that this is a US delivered SAA. I think the first thing that I'd do is contact Paul at Colt Archives and confirm the information in your letter. Then definitely worth sending it off to Mr. Kopec or Dave Lanara for analysis of originality.

Best regards,
 
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