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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You guys were correct that after I recently got the 1904 SAA, that I would get hooked! Well, you were right; I got hooked.

I just purchased this 1902 and she is a beauty. Unfortunantly, I won't get it in my hot little hands until I get home for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The bad part is it has been refurbished! I am not a proponent of refurbishing any firearm just to make it look "nicer:, but this one was already done and I like the caliber. I was told it was a Turnbull restoration, but no documentation to back that up. I bought it as a "restored" revolver and paid for a restored piece! It is a 7 1/2" barrel, .32-20 caliber, and S/N 2323XX. It has a very nice set of real stag grips that set off the workmanship really nice.

I do have one question right now; the barrel has been replaced with a Colt barrel; it has the single line Colt address on the top, and on the left side, it has "Colt Single Action Army .32-20". I have been looking to determine if the new barrel is a 2nd Gen or probably a 3rd Gen barrel. What I am not sure of is did Colt manufacture the .32-20 in the 2nd Gen period. My goal is to try and determined when the refurbishment took place. Once I get my hands on the revolver, I may be able to determine more info.

I have two photos of the revolver and will post here.

Firearm Gun Revolver Trigger Gun accessory
Gun Revolver
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the information guys! I didn't think Colt made any .32-20 barrels during the 2nd Gen period. and I thought I remembered that the threads were changed for the 3rd Gen SAA. So it appears it is a pre-war late 1st Gen barrel. What made me "feel" it may have been an oddball 3rd Gen barrel was the use of the caliber; .32-20 vs the early 1900s SAA still showing .32WCF. I could not find when Colt made this caliber designation change.

Once I received the revolver, I was going to look for a "T" in a Circle which I had read on the Internet was a possible Turnbull stamp he used early in his career. I also read where he does keep records and will call after I get it. From looking at the Case Coloring, it does appear to match his work rather than some others who do Case Hardening. Thanks for the help!
 

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I have seen a local gunsmith take a 3rd Gen barrel and put it on his lathe and cut 2nd Gen threads right through the 3rd Gen threads. I would not rule out the generation of the barrel because of the thread pattern.
 

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There's no chamfer on the cylinder between the flutes, so that's also been replaced with a later one. The chamfer on a cylinder from 1902 was pretty pronounced.

Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Monsai52,

You are correct about the cylinder; the dealer I bought it from stated the cylinder "may be a replacement too". Still being very new to the SAA, i missed that feature! Still, I did buy it at a shooter price, so i knew it was not a collectible. I still got it for way less than a Gen 3 would cost, I have several other .32-20 revolversand this one will make a great shooter.

chaosrob,

The photos I posted are all I have at the moment, but will look at the rear sight closely. The dealer, whom i trust, probably would have mentioned if there was some difference in the rear sight. He did mention the front sight was not a standard sight. It appears the original sight has a small square piece soldered onto the rear of the front sight.

I am not a patient person and I am "chomping at the bit" to get home and see this nice looking shooter SAA. I hope it shoots near as good as it looks, LOL!
 

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Looks nice, anyway! Hope it is a great shooter for you. I had a restored (in 50s) .32-20 that was one of the best shooting SAAs I've ever owned. Was like new mechanically. Sold it to buy something else, which I still regret.
 

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Here's my 1891 SAA refurb, with its story. Maybe 15-20 years ago LGS had this gun for weeks at $600, .38 Colt refinished full blue, described as someone's hobby gun they had reworked as a shooter. It was so perfect in all respects, in & out, refinish prepped in highly pro manner. Eventually I decided I couldn't live without it. It became a safe queen till couple years ago when I finally got it lettered - originally .38 Colt. I then sent the frame & barrel to Turnbull's & got it color cased. As below, before & after.



Worth a post note --- several SAA gurus opined it probably had been refinished by Colt, their info that back in the day (what day ?) Colt was doing all refinishes in full blue. Phone con with Colt, they have never kept records on guns returned for repair or refinish except for military contracts. So, cold trail, I wanted the color case frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
rhmc24,

Thanks for sharing the photos of your 1891! It sure is a beauty and I agree, the case color does make the revolver "standout"! As I stated in a previous post, this one was bought as a refurb, and I paid $1300 for it. With the nice looking Stag grips, I felt I did OK for a shooter SAA. Once Christmas is over and the bills paid, I am going to start looking for a nice 1880s or early 1890s SAA in .45 LC caliber. Fortunantly for me, many folks on this Forum have been very helpful with some of my "dumb" questions. The Colt line of firearms are new to me except for Civil War and pre Civil War Colts. Learning the SAA and the pre-WWII Colt DA revolvers is new to me, but I love to learn, LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the information that the price I paid was pretty decent! I felt the Stag grips would be worth at least $350 alone. As I have stated in some other threads on the Forum, the Colt firearms are still new to me. I am familiar with the Civil War Colts, but after that era, the only Colt I owned was a New Service and a WWI 1911. Now, I have the 1873, 1877s, 1878, and about 12 DA revolvers from the late 1890s up to the late 1930s. I have been collecting firearms for about 40 years and most of these are WWII German firearms. Then I got interested in the Civil War firearms; which are mostly Cavalry firearms. Now, the Cowboy era has got my attention and the 1873 is an addictive revolver! The type firearms I like are ones that show some use, but mechanically excellent condition. I always wonder where these firarms I have were used from a historical standpoint. The good part about Colt are the Archive records and soon, I will get that information for some of the revolvers I own.
 

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Abwehr,

I also think that was a good find and a good price. I also think it has a 1st gen barrel and cyl. Although 3rd gen barrels can be rethreaded, the 3rd gen guns in 32-20 are fairly recent and not that available as parts. But the other clue to me is that your cyl does have a slight beveled chamfer between the cyl flutes which matches my late 1st gen gun's cyls with the single action army roll stamped barrels, post 1929.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I do have a short update on the replaced barrel. The barrel I have has the "Broken Die" on the word "Hartford" on the address. From another very recent post on this Forum concerning the Broken Die, mine does have the broken "O" in Hartford. This indicates that the barrel was manufactured sometime between 1926 and 1936! At least it is a 1st Gen barrel, I still just don't know when the restoration was done. I plan to call Turnbull next week and ask if they will check their records.

I also don't like the "low power" springs currently in the revolver, so I have a set of new springs on order from Midway and they are Colt parts. Hopefully I get them next week and can get them installed next weekend. I just did not like the "mushy" feel of the low power springs; I like the solid sound and feel of the full power ones.

Also, Once I dissasemble the revolver, I will make photos of the parts as they are removed and some pics of any stamps under the Triggerguard.

I have also looked at the Cylinder closely and still not sure it is original or not. There was a previous comment that in 1902, there was a prominent "bevel" on the front of the Cylinder. I have been looking at photos of other SAA from the era and most have the prominent bevel and some don't. There are some noticeable small dings on the front of the Cylinder face that makes me "think" it may be original. There is a slight bevel on the front edge and all edges have been buffed so they are very dull edges. Also, under a bright light, the bluing shade between the Barrel & Cylinder have a slightly different "hue" to the color. I was thinking this hue difference may be due to the steel used from 1902 to the 1926-1936 date. This is a real question I hope to answer, but I need someone that can actually see the revolver in person to let me know. Heck, I almost enjoy solving mysteries like the revolver's history as much as finding good deals, LOL
 
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