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Discussion Starter #1
Can you help? I'd like to start a thread and write a bit and discuss at length as a group the damage we typically see on 1st Gen Colt SAAs. I went looking for photos to demonstrate the topic. Do you have photos to share?

Photos I'd like to see if you have them?

well worn grips
chipped grips
shrunken grips
bent anything
bench vise barrel marks
wire marks on the barrel
staple/hammering indents on the grips and flat of the back strap
blown cylinders
hacked front sights
terrible bolt drag /out of time guns
over buffing

If you have seen it and have a photo to share and/or what to discuss the damage that would be great!

Thanks!
 

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Can you help? I'd like to start a thread and write a bit and discuss at length as a group the damage we typically see on 1st Gen Colt SAAs. I went looking for photos to demonstrate the topic. Do you have photos to share?

Photos I'd like to see if you have them?

well worn grips
chipped grips
shrunken grips
bent anything
bench vise barrel marks
wire marks on the barrel
staple/hammering indents on the grips and flat of the back strap
blown cylinders
hacked front sights
terrible bolt drag /out of time guns
over buffing

If you have seen it and have a photo to share and/or what to discuss the damage that would be great!

Thanks!
Well, we can start with bent trigger guards, a topic seen already once today. See the thread "Frame to trigger guard gap", which is where I got this picture. From my reply to this thread, you can sense that this bent TG thing annoys me! That is because most of these bends are the result of carelessness. Straightening such a bend takes time and patience, along with the right tools.
 

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Filed Front Sight

A very common aliment. Can be built back up by an experienced gunsmith welder (be particular in choosing "gunsmith"). Or I often just heat and pull the old sight, and silver solder in a new one, if finish issues are not a concern. In this case, I pulled and replaced the sight, as shown afterward.
 

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Many Problems Here

Grips were worn out slick and broken. Barrel and Cylinder had been "over-polished" with a Dremel tool! The same "polishing" was done to the ejector housing and part of frame.

The first picture shows the rejected parts.
The 2nd picture shows the finished 41 Colt after replacement of barrel, cylinder, and grips - plus a lot of other work.
The 3rd picture is that cylinder after doing some minor polishing and toning. Didn't do anything about pitting. It sold "real cheap" on eBay!
The 4th picture is that barrel after re-polishing and toning. No address or caliber markings. Again, someone bought it cheap on eBay.

The grips were thrown away after extracting the escutcheons.
 

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This is my Frankencolt. Barrel turned down and dovetail for the front sight. Ejector rod head cut off and housing filed down. The gun had also been converted from 45LC to 38 spl. Was a sorry sight. No idea why it was done. The gun has since been rebuilt into a normal looking Colt.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good stuff guys, thanks. Any one got photos of "hammer" marks on the butt of a gun or vice marks on the barrel?
 

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This kind of thing was done in the early 1960's, as I recall the vibrator pens being advertised on TV then. Yes, they put their SSA numbers on their TV's and tools -- but also on the guns!
 

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That is one way to loosen up old rust and crud , work it back and forth .
That cylinder beating reminds me of what I saw in the oil field. If a pipe isn't unscrewing, then beat the collar with a 10# hammer!! I mean beat it unmercifully. It worked, but of course, the method shouldn't be used on guns.
 

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Below are photos of the grip of my 1875 SAA. They have shrunk, have corner chips and have thinned quite a bit. It looks like this Colt has been worn outside in all types of weather.

View attachment 663927 View attachment 663929
Your 1875 SAA is a very honest-looking old Colt.

I have a Colt SAA U.S. in the 7xxx range with grips worse than that, but all original. The grips wore down overall, but lots of loss along the left butt area. The muzzle is worn very thin too on the left side from sticking out the bottom of a holster -- and rubbing/bouncing on the saddle. Most likely a 5th or 9th Cavalry gun, I'm told.
 

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This kind of thing was done in the early 1960's, as I recall the vibrator pens being advertised on TV then. Yes, they put their SSA numbers on their TV's and tools -- but also on the guns!
I bought a SAA that had the SS number etched on it too. Just for grins I googled the number and it came back to a fellow that lived about 100 miles south of me, and who died in 1983 (I bought the gun in 2016). So it kind of gave a me a bit of history on the gun.
 

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I bought a SAA that had the SS number etched on it too. Just for grins I googled the number and it came back to a fellow that lived about 100 miles south of me, and who died in 1983 (I bought the gun in 2016). So it kind of gave a me a bit of history on the gun.
Yes, although we hate that "they" put their SSN on a gun, it does sometimes allow a positive ID of the original owner. I had one SAA with two initials in the grips, and because of the SSN I was able to identify the father and son (1900 to 1920's). The gun was shipped in 1908. Otherwise with just initials --- NO WAY!
 
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Here’s two:
one of a “ringed frame”. Caused by the excessive battering of the bushing against the inside front of the frame. The distance between the two points was .006”. So the measurement between was larger than the frame opening. No way to reduce end shake without adding metal to the battered frame area.
And secondly a milled top strap to accept a Kings adjustable - done well, many moons ago.
 

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Your 1875 SAA is a very honest-looking old Colt.

I have a Colt SAA U.S. in the 7xxx range with grips worse than that, but all original. The grips wore down overall, but lots of loss along the left butt area. The muzzle is worn very thin too on the left side from sticking out the bottom of a holster -- and rubbing/bouncing on the saddle. Most likely a 5th or 9th Cavalry gun, I'm told.
My own Colt's grips are about as worn as yours, and its muzzle is worn thin too, but what really astonishes me is that it is still very tight with almost no play at the cylinder, and that the chambers and bore have no oxidation. The only part that is not original is the hammer which is of the 1905-1908 type. It's not a Cavalry gun like yours, but a civilian model.

PB170001.JPG PB170002.JPG
 
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