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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have an idea what the highest serial numbered first generation gun is? I am looking at serial number 357,359. It is in the box unfired with test target and letter from Colt that says they have no records available. Its a blues 45 with 5.5" barrel. No pictures right now, sorry. Any idea on value? Thanks.
 

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Unless some new information has surfaced, number 357869 is the highest number. I also believe most, if not all SAA's in the 357000 range were assembled and shipped post-war.

John Gross
 

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With the skyrocketing Colt market, value would be only a guess.
The Blue Book says the last of the 1st gen SAA's were made from parts after the war with about 338 made.
Most had 5 1/2" barrels and shipped in either pre-war dark maroon and brown hinged top to black 2nd gen type boxes.
Many of these post-war assembled guns were made up as gifts for important people and retiring Colt employees.

Value listed (which will be low in todays market) for 98% original condition (no value is listed for NIB) is $10,000 with an additional 20% added for the original box.
 

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I saw a fellow at the colt show last year in Denver who had several minty with boxes late production single actions priced around $12,500 but I didn't see him sell any of them and money changing hands is where I ascribe estimated values.

Some of the online auctions have had nice late guns with boxes and it's hit and miss with them.
 

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Does anyone have an idea what the highest serial numbered first generation gun is? I am looking at serial number 357,359. It is in the box unfired with test target and letter from Colt that says they have no records available. Its a blues 45 with 5.5" barrel. No pictures right now, sorry. Any idea on value? Thanks.
gunnut,

According to Cochran's books, 1st gen serial numbers were all used prior to 1940 up to #357000. And the highest # was 357,859 and used in 1940. So # 357859 is the highest number 1st Gen SAA. However, after #357,000, all of the numbers were not used before 1940. As you probably know, SAAs assembled on pre war frames and shipped after WW II are known as Pre War-Post War SAAs. They are all numbered after 357,000 (Don Wikerson says as early as #355,986 and up to 357,856) but before 357859. And all the numbers in that range were not used. So if a gun numbered in that range does not letter as shipped before 1940, or there is 'no record', like the one you spotted, #357,359, it is most likely a Pre W-Post W SAA. Like was said above, many were presentation and special use guns which are notorious for not being recorded according to standard procedures. The last of which, #357,494, left the factory in 1980 and was sold by Colt at auction in Las Vegas. I'd bet it's a 'no record' gun as well.

To identify 357,359 as 1st gen or PW/PW, as a general rule the inspector stamp on the left side of the trigger guard is your clue. 1st gen guns shipped before and up to 1940 will have numeric inspector stamps, usually on the left FRONT TG bow. Starting in 1947 when the PW/PW frames were first assembled, they had alpha inspector stamps on the left REAR TG bow. And after 1955, also had an assembler's numeric stamp on the RIGHT front bow. Another clue; PW/PW frames assembled after 1955 usually have one or more components from 2nd gen production, like hammers with the 2nd gen rampant horse stamp (not visible unless removed), floating fire pins, loading gates tapered at the top, etc.

How is 357,359 stamped and does it have any 2nd gen parts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After 5 years I finally picked up this gun. Heres the crazy thing. It has the letter from Colt dated 1984. Letter states no records available. However, if you look at the letter you'll notice that they submitted the wrong number 34 years ago! So tomorrow I'll be calling Paul and keeping my fingers crossed for a little more info.
 

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Pretty exciting cliff hanger. With its numeric assembler's stamp (looks like a #3) on the left rear TG bow, I'm anticipating it being a Pre War/Post War gun shipped after 1955.
 

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Is the bottom of the box brown like a pre war gun or purple like the rest of the box? I have had two pre post come thru the shop that had purple bottoms like all 1947s I have seen. Since it is a no record gun I am almost certain it will be a pre war as all of the records are available on the pre post.
 

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I have data on a couple SAA's that are close to 357359. 357434 and 357435 were shipped 10-17-1940 to Sutcliffe Hardware in Louisville, KY. They were both 4-3/4" with nickel finish. 357451 was a 38 special; 5-1/2" bbl., blue with rubber grips shipped 10-3-1972 to Cherry's Sporting Goods in Geneseo, IL. It was part of an 18 gun shipment. 357558 was of the same configuration and was in that same shipment.
 
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