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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Cochran, in both Volume I & II in his texts, provides entries under "Patent Dates Missing". The subject matter of this study, No 29651, is not in great condition, with replaced & improper screws and replaced grips. The remainder of the metal components, from what I can tell, are original or period. Due to the extent of surface wear and pitting, the caliber makings, which, at the time this revolver was manufactured, in 1879, were located at the left rear of the trigger guard, are obliterated. This marking, which was often faint, would be unlikely to be absent along with patent markings. (Note: Since all Cavalry models were in .45 Colt, these did not contain caliber markings. However, this one is a civilian model.) Barrel markings are present on this revolver and are appropriate for the era and 7 1/2" barrel length. Please refer to the attached appropriate photograph. The frame shows no evidence of filing or grinding to remove patent dates and both sides exhibit bilateral symmetry. Two photographs of a civilian model revolver dating from 1889 are provided for your review. Note the apparent depth of patent dates and the extent of modification to the frame that would be required to obliterate the patent dates. Thus, I believe this revolver left the factory with patent dates absent.
 

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Why don't you just use a caliper to measure the frame across the front TG screw hole on the nicer gun and compare it to the worn out one? Then you'll know if it has been taken down,which I believe it has.

JP
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did take several measurements in this area which ranged from .736" to .744". The subject revolver appears to be .002" less than the control. I am not sure if such differences might be within tolerances, or not, especially since the "control" revolver is nearly 100,000 guns later and a decade newer than the subject revolver.
 

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.744-45 is the accepted military standard. Civilian guns may be up to .004 from the factory, or even larger than .745. The patent dates are not that deep, and from what I see in the photos, the gun has had a lot of wear and tear. The frame flat was probably sanded and aged back decades ago to clean up blems. Note that the nicks around the screw holes and rear of the frame have been flattened out, a sure indicator that some filing and sanding probably took place.

JP
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
.744-45 is the accepted military standard. Civilian guns may be up to .004 from the factory, or even larger than .745. The patent dates are not that deep, and from what I see in the photos, the gun has had a lot of wear and tear. The frame flat was probably sanded and aged back decades ago to clean up blems. Note that the nicks around the screw holes and rear of the frame have been flattened out, a sure indicator that some filing and sanding probably took place.

JP
I suppose this is possible. Since this revolver is in a known range that did not consist of the production of Cavalry models (20,000 to 30,000), I suspected filing the frame was unlikely, as the usual culprit that initiates filing is the desire, back in the day, to remove the "U.S." markings from a stolen Cavalry model revolver. The largest and rearmost screw on the left side of the frame is not correct as the slot is too narrow and the screws at the top of the backstrap, both sides, are new replacements, so I assumed the other two screws on the left side of the frame were ill-fitting replacements.

I suppose if both sides of the frame were filed, this could explain bilateral symmetry.

Cochran's books do not show any photographs of this missing patent date variation. I am wondering if these few anamolies can be explained by bilateral filing of the frame. It seems hard to believe that such an obvious factory error would even exist. I guess my question is are the revolvers that Cochran identified with such an anamoly in lower condition such that intentional removal may have occurred, or have others been identified that are in nearly mint condition such that obliteration of patent dates would be impossible without being blatantly obvious?
 
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