The Bisley as I have always liked them better.I seldom use the word "lovely" to describe a gun, but I swear that's a lovely old Colt. So I'll add my congratulations to everyone else's to the OP for his acquisition. I know I've mentioned this enough times that folks are probably tired of hearing it, but I just don't see guns like this at so-called "gun shows" around here.
And from 1903. Just think. Not that the gun relates to this, but Theodore Roosevelt was president in 1903. And in that year he visited Yosemite and was guided for three days by naturalist John Muir. Both men are personal heroes of mine, for whatever that's worth. The natural wonders that Roosevelt saw during that trip led to his increasing federal protection of Yosemite and it was the inspiration for him to sign into existence five national parks, 18 national monuments, 55 national bird sanctuaries and wildlife refuges, and 150 national forests.
Another member mentions that the Blue Book of Gun Values (that seemingly all-powerful/all-knowing arbiter of gun values) valued Bisleys lower than regular SAAs. Not knowing as much about Colts as others here, I don't understand this. To me, the shape of the grip frame and hammer make the original Bisley Colts unique, and as such should be valued on a more equal scale. Surely I'm not the only person who thinks this? Maybe Bisleys weren't carried by as many famous people, don't have the same historical significance, I don't know. Or maybe Bisleys weren't as commercially successful/popular as SAAs? Is there a valid reason, other than personal taste, for this difference in values, and does it still hold true today?
Just as a matter of personal curiosity, here's a question: If you had your choice of a SAA or Bisley in identical condition, and both chambered for .38-40 like the OP's is...which would you choose?