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New and looking for help. Grandma鈥檚 Colt

1237 Views 40 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  Cozmo
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I inherited my precious Grandma鈥檚 colt gun. I remember her using it to shoot snakes as they came down the mountain in WV. Grandma was a great shot馃憤馃徎馃ぃ. I have tried to get honest information and value but feel they were not being honest. I鈥檓 so glad a found this forum. Here is what a friend said about my gun.
It鈥檚 a Colt model 1873 SIngle Action Army Frontier Six Shooter Revolver 44 40 caliber serial number 248168. It works he shot it馃憤馃徎
i Was told it was not worth much but I find that hard to believe. Thank you for any help you can give me.
Regards,
Kathy
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The values given are good except for the two mentioned problems. The trigger is sitting too far forwards which indicates a broken trigger or hammer or both This can easily run 500 dollars plus to repair. The holes in the grips are not a fatal flaw but they are still there and not really a good thing. They too may be able to be repaired. Less the 100 would be my guess. So if I was looking to buy this gun I would value it at 2500 and subtract 5oo to 700 for repairs therefore reducing it's value to 1800 to 1900 dollars. At 3000 which is the minimum repaired price at 2500 as is and fixed this gun is becoming over priced in my opinion. It is a nice looking honest gun with little to no original finish remaining. As to the letter from Colt. I can tell you it was built in a time of very high production and was most likely sent to a major wholesaler. The letter will tell where it was shipped when new and the date it was shipped. Also the caliber and barrel length and type of stocks will be listed. Very small odds the letter reveals anything of interest such as a rare or desirable shipping location. It is a standard 44 WCF / 44-40 caliber pistol.



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As others have mentioned, a family pass along is priceless. And it's a Colt to boot!!! Most often, it's a Model 10 or Grannpappy's single shot 16 gauge....

Value wise, even with grips appearing to have a small hole (that can be fixed almost beyond being able to tell very easily), I'd put it more north of $4k in todays market. Maybe over $5k even to the person looking for one. It's a first gen in a very "Old West" caliber and the preferred barrel length.

It's used but fairly well taken care of - the best kind.

Most much more modern and boring third gens are selling over 2k for a run of the mill blue 5 1/2" 45.

This one sold last summer for mid $4s and the prices/demand has only increased since then.

The gun in that auction rates much higher in condition and does not appear to need repair. A lot more of the original finish remains. 4000 to 5000 for your gun would be a dream come true. Rock Island often gets high numbers that usually can not be duplicated.
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Hi Kathy.
Our forum is a great place to get an education on Colt handguns. The SAA in particuular. As a whole, some of the most prolific forum membership is also rather notorious at undervaluing someone else's gun and finding exceptional value in their own collections.

I'd take a good many of the comments here on "value" with a grain of salt.

I have bought and sold a number of guns that are damn near exact duplicates of your Grandmothers's 44. I also know what it takes to fix them and the costs. You may well have a broken trigger or hammer. Both are easy to fix if you know what you are doing and not terribly expensive. If you want more info on that, from what we can all see in your photos, feel free to send me a PM via the forum.

So how about a reality check?

At $2500 a good number of the membership here would be breaking an arm to get to their wallet for your gun.
@ $2000 the number of serious buyers would easily double and your gun would be long gone to a new owner. Knowing full well he stole the gun.

@ $3K things would slow down some but not a lot on a short barreled, FSS 44-40.
But real numbers on Gunbroker, Cabellas, Guns International or here on the forum, in our for sale section? $4K wouldn't be unreasonable. Gun might sit for a while @ $4k. But it would sell. Why? Your gun is a short barreled (most desirable length), 44-40, very likely the most difficult to find and desirable caliber, in an antique Colt SAA. Your gun was built at the turn of the last century, with all the most desirable attributes Colt offered in its first Generation SAAs.

Condition of your gun is similar to many more just like it. A "grey gun" and very desirable as it sits.

My pair 44-40s from 1904 and 1907. Only difference between Grandma's and mine is the ivory grips. In the last couple of years I paid over 3K for one and 4K for the other. I bought both of them with rubber grips @ those prices. Both needed minor work, just like your gun does. That additional cost was not included in my buy price. I didn't consider either gun cheap. And they may have been a little over priced @ the time. But then again I looked for a good bit, all the while knowing, exactly what I was looking for and the prices the guns were selling for. What a Colt might sell for and its actual value can vary wildly. It can depend on the demand for that particular model, caliber, barrel length, year of production and of course condition. Also helps to be lucky and have an uneducated seller.

Pays to remember, you have a 120+ year old gun and they aren't making any more like 'um. Hopefully the family history is priceless to you.

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Hi Kathy.
Our forum is a great place to get an education on Colt handguns. The SAA in particuular. As a whole, some of the most prolific forum membership is also rather notorious at undervaluing someone else's gun and finding exceptional value in their own collections.

I'd take a good many of the comments here on "value" with a grain of salt.

I have bought and sold a number of guns that are damn near exact duplicates of your Grandmothers's 44. I also know what it takes to fix them and the costs. You may well have a broken trigger or hammer. Both are easy to fix if you know what you are doing and not terribly expensive. If you want more info on that, from what we can all see in your photos, feel free to send me a PM via the forum.

So how about a reality check?

At $2500 a good number of the membership here would be breaking an arm to get to their wallet for your gun.
@ $2000 the number of serious buyers would easily double and your gun would be long gone to a new owner. Knowing full well he stole the gun.

@ $3K things would slow down some but not a lot on a short barreled, FSS 44-40.
But real numbers on Gunbroker, Cabellas, Guns International or here on the forum, in our for sale section? $4K wouldn't be unreasonable. Gun might sit for a while @ $4k. But it would sell. Why? Your gun is a short barreled (most desirable length), 44-40, very likely the most difficult to find and desirable caliber, in an antique Colt SAA. Your gun was built at the turn of the last century, with all the most desirable attributes Colt offered in its first Generation SAAs.

Condition of your gun is similar to many more just like it. A "grey gun" and very desirable as it sits.

My pair 44-40s from 1904 and 1907. Only difference between Grandma's and mine is the ivory grips. In the last couple of years I paid over 3K for one and 4K for the other. I bought both of them with rubber grips @ those prices. Both needed minor work, just like your gun does. That additional cost was not included in my buy price. I didn't consider either gun cheap. And they may have been a little over priced @ the time. But then again I looked for a good bit, all the while knowing, exactly what I was looking for and the prices the guns were selling for. What a Colt might sell for and its actual value can vary wildly. It can depend on the demand for that particular model, caliber, barrel length, year of production and of course condition. Also helps to be lucky and have an uneducated seller.

Pay to remember, you have a 120+ year old gun and they aren't making any more like 'um. Hopefully the family history is priceless to you.

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I gave my honest opinion of value.

It does have a few flaws, which I mentioned.

$2000 and under, I鈥檇 be beating down the door to get it.

I would want to have no more than $2500 into it. Then pay for repairs.

The Rock Island Auction example posted to this thread is considerably better than the OPs. Yes, it did bring $4994. After you subtract the buyer鈥檚 premium, it hammered at $4250. (The buyer鈥檚 premium is 17.5%). Subtract another 20% or so for fees to the seller and the seller net was $3400. And that鈥檚 at the auction house that somehow gets more for firearms than anyone else.

I would think if offered at Rock Island Auction, the most this would hammer at is $3000, because, with buyer鈥檚 premium, the buyer has to pay $3,525鈥揳nd that鈥檚 before any shipping, sales tax, and FFL fees! That seems like crazy money to me, and it might only bring $3250 or $3000 in the la la land of RIA. IF it hammered at $3000, the seller would net about $2400. Might be less after shipping to RIA is figured in.

To me, $2000 to $2500 is fair for this one. I think $3000 might be achievable somewhere other than RIA, and seller鈥檚 fees might be less or nonexistent, but it might take a good long time to get that.
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The values given are good except for the two mentioned problems. The trigger is sitting too far forwards which indicates a broken trigger or hammer or both This can easily run 500 dollars plus to repair. The holes in the grips are not a fatal flaw but they are still there and not really a good thing. They too may be able to be repaired. Less the 100 would be my guess. So if I was looking to buy this gun I would value it at 2500 and subtract 5oo to 700 for repairs therefore reducing it's value to 1800 to 1900 dollars. At 3000 which is the minimum repaired price at 2500 as is and fixed this gun is becoming over priced in my opinion. It is a nice looking honest gun with little to no original finish remaining. As to the letter from Colt. I can tell you it was built in a time of very high production and was most likely sent to a major wholesaler. The letter will tell where it was shipped when new and the date it was shipped. Also the caliber and barrel length and type of stocks will be listed. Very small odds the letter reveals anything of interest such as a rare or desirable shipping location. It is a standard 44 WCF / 44-40 caliber pistol.

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I agree wholeheartedly as to most of what you said. Actually all of what you said, but the factory letter part requires clarification.

I assume the OP just wants to know value for the sake of knowing value, but wants to keep this heirloom piece due to fond memories of Grandma actually shooting it. She might get a kick out of knowing the exact shipping date and shipping location, even though odds are it shipped to a big distributor far from where the OP resides.

If I had Grandma鈥檚 revolver鈥攏o matter how worn鈥擨 would probably treasure the information.
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I'm sorry for the loss of your grandma. Mine passed away this past January. She was a saint and one of my favorite people. It sounds like you hold yours in a similar regard.

As for the gun, my knowledge is a drop in a bucket compared to most here but I will absolutely vouch for the wealth of knowledge from the replies. Don't let your friend convince you it's not worth what these gentlemen are telling you.
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I gave my honest opinion of value.
Never thought otherwise. Everything here is just an opinion. I offered mine. Worth what I charged for it ;)
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The way I figure it ,priceless if my family handed it down. It's got a good look,I would be tickled to own it.
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I'm Sorry for your loss! I wouldn't sell it for anything! The photo in my avatar is me on the right of my little brother, the gun I'm have in the holster is my grandads Colt 22 buntline and worth maybe 6-700, I don't have it, but would gladly give 2K for it! My grandad took me hunting jack rabbits with it and I have great memories of those times back in the mid 60s and would cherished that ol22. If you have to sell, put it on Guns International for 4K and you will get offers, and take what your comfortable with. It's a nice honest old Colt! Good Luck what ever you decide! (KEEP IT)
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I can鈥檛 help thinking that the 鈥渘otches鈥 on the right hard rubber stock were how many snakes met their demise. Hopefully this gun can stay in the family but sometimes the money is more needed. I too thought about a 2500 figure but it needs proper repair to be safe. 44-40 ammo these days is very expensive but I would believe that most buyers of this colt either reload their own or some buyers may not plan to shoot it, so it should not affect the selling price.
Welcome to the Colt Forum from North Carolina.

I'm one of those who's hoping you don't sell it. If you needed money, there are easier and faster ways to get it.

We usually hear about "Grandpa's old gun" or "Uncle so-and-so's old Colt". So it's fun to hear about your grandmother's Colt. I immediately formed this mental movie in my brain of a grandmotherly older lady banging away at the hapless reptiles with her six-shooter.

I'm sure I'm not the only member here who'd enjoy seeing more photos of it. And if I were you, I would be thinking seriously about getting a Colt Letter for the gun.

Oh, and that friend who said it "isn't worth much"? Don't you believe it.
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Hi Kathy.
Our forum is a great place to get an education on Colt handguns. The SAA in particuular. As a whole, some of the most prolific forum membership is also rather notorious at undervaluing someone else's gun and finding exceptional value in their own collections.

I'd take a good many of the comments here on "value" with a grain of salt.

I have bought and sold a number of guns that are damn near exact duplicates of your Grandmothers's 44. I also know what it takes to fix them and the costs. You may well have a broken trigger or hammer. Both are easy to fix if you know what you are doing and not terribly expensive. If you want more info on that, from what we can all see in your photos, feel free to send me a PM via the forum.

So how about a reality check?

At $2500 a good number of the membership here would be breaking an arm to get to their wallet for your gun.
@ $2000 the number of serious buyers would easily double and your gun would be long gone to a new owner. Knowing full well he stole the gun.

@ $3K things would slow down some but not a lot on a short barreled, FSS 44-40.
But real numbers on Gunbroker, Cabellas, Guns International or here on the forum, in our for sale section? $4K wouldn't be unreasonable. Gun might sit for a while @ $4k. But it would sell. Why? Your gun is a short barreled (most desirable length), 44-40, very likely the most difficult to find and desirable caliber, in an antique Colt SAA. Your gun was built at the turn of the last century, with all the most desirable attributes Colt offered in its first Generation SAAs.

Condition of your gun is similar to many more just like it. A "grey gun" and very desirable as it sits.

My pair 44-40s from 1904 and 1907. Only difference between Grandma's and mine is the ivory grips. In the last couple of years I paid over 3K for one and 4K for the other. I bought both of them with rubber grips @ those prices. Both needed minor work, just like your gun does. That additional cost was not included in my buy price. I didn't consider either gun cheap. And they may have been a little over priced @ the time. But then again I looked for a good bit, all the while knowing, exactly what I was looking for and the prices the guns were selling for. What a Colt might sell for and its actual value can vary wildly. It can depend on the demand for that particular model, caliber, barrel length, year of production and of course condition. Also helps to be lucky and have an uneducated seller.

Pay to remember, you have a 120+ year old gun and they aren't making any more like 'um. Hopefully the family history is priceless to you.

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Well said!
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Welcome to the COLT Forum from the Cradle Of Liberty...Pennsylvania !!

Enjoy Our Community Kathy...
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While she never said she wanted to sell the gun she did ask for a value. She has gotten that.

This raises a question as to whether it should be sold or kept in the family? Should someone keep something they don't wan just because it is handed down? As people grow older some get rid of things they no longer want and the kids have zero interest in. I just bought a great Japanese bring back rich with history sold by the son who it was left to. No one wanted it so he sold it through the shop. I now own it and greatly appreciate it.
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If you want to have the gun repaired no better than Mr. Bill Fuchs @ Spring Creek Armory Ten Sleep WY
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These kinds of family stories are what makes this and other similar forums so special. Thanks for sharing your unique family treasure!
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Funny here, where a lot of collectors (many offering serious content are collectors) are always willing to tell you what they are willing to pay for a gun. But seldom a straight up answer as to the actual value of a gun on the open market.

Few are interested in the nuances of auction fees, FFL fees and the like. And in the grand scheme of a one off piece, they mean nothing in the long run anyway.
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curious if on the lower right grip panel those are notches or a reflection? If notches, Granny was keeping score.
The values given are good except for the two mentioned problems. The trigger is sitting too far forwards which indicates a broken trigger or hammer or both This can easily run 500 dollars plus to repair. The holes in the grips are not a fatal flaw but they are still there and not really a good thing. They too may be able to be repaired. Less the 100 would be my guess. So if I was looking to buy this gun I would value it at 2500 and subtract 5oo to 700 for repairs therefore reducing it's value to 1800 to 1900 dollars. At 3000 which is the minimum repaired price at 2500 as is and fixed this gun is becoming over priced in my opinion. It is a nice looking honest gun with little to no original finish remaining. As to the letter from Colt. I can tell you it was built in a time of very high production and was most likely sent to a major wholesaler. The letter will tell where it was shipped when new and the date it was shipped. Also the caliber and barrel length and type of stocks will be listed. Very small odds the letter reveals anything of interest such as a rare or desirable shipping location. It is a standard 44 WCF / 44-40 caliber pistol.

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Our Emperor has spoken...........
Kathy: I can't give you a value for your .44-40 but will say I wish I had it. My question to you is where abouts in West Virginia? I was born and raised in Mingo County down on the Kentucky border and we had more than our share of snakes. So your grandma shooting them sounds familiar.
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