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Discussion Starter #1
I hate to do this with only one picture, but I have had my eye on this SAA chambered in .38-40 and made in 1902 for several months. For reasons that escape me, I only took one photo.

I know there are many problems with this gun, but I enjoy a good challenge and the price doesn't seem too ridiculous for a 1st Generation. l usually rebuilld 1877's and I always wanted a SAA. I made an offer $300 below the asking price, but the owner was not there at the time.

For starters, the ejector and housing needs replaced, as they appear to be homemade. The cylinder pin and cylinder pin nut are wrong. They have some sort of bushing pushed into the cylinder pin nut hole. The grips look wrong and the screws also look buggered. The loading gate also looks homemade and the action doesn't cycle properly. The other side of gun shows some file markings and shows wear as well.

What would be a reasonable price for a SAA in poor condition like this? What would a replacement ejector assembly, grips and other parts cost? Again, sorry for the single photo...

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I hate to do this with only one picture, but I have had my eye on this SAA chambered in .38-40 and made in 1902 for several months. For reasons that escape me, I only took one photo.

I know there are many problems with this gun, but I enjoy a good challenge and the price doesn't seem too ridiculous for a 1st Generation. l usually rebuilld 1877's and I always wanted a SAA. I made an offer $300 below the asking price, but the owner was not there at the time.

For starters, the ejector and housing needs replaced, as they appear to be homemade. The cylinder pin and cylinder pin nut are wrong. They have some sort of bushing pushed into the cylinder pin nut hole. The grips look wrong and the screws also look buggered. The loading gate also looks homemade and the action doesn't cycle properly. The other side of gun shows some file markings and shows wear as well.

What would be a reasonable price for a SAA in poor condition like this? What would a replacement ejector assembly, grips and other parts cost? Again, sorry for the single photo...

View attachment 705028
From what I can see, this SAA is begging for some metal restoration. This can be done by only a few gunsmiths that I know. The ejector assembly, grips, cylinder pin, and screw set will cost $600. But I can almost assure you that the hammer notches, trigger, and lock bolt needs attention by the metal restorer. I am guessing that the welding and re-timing of action will cost $500. Estimated time to get you gun back from the gunsmith is 6 months. And then it will be a $1500 gun. I hope the above comments are helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response. I still haven't made my mind up on this one. I don't have a SAA and would love a project gun to add to my collection. As with most of my 1877's it's not about the value of the gun, it's the enjoyment on bring something back to life that someone gave up on long ago. I probably wouldn't mess with the finish and metal, just replace the incorrect parts and get the timing correct.

I am going back next week and may ask them to open it up to see what is causing the action problems. The plus is all of the serial number match. They have $1,200 on it, but I wouldn't pay that much. It's been sitting there for a few months, and maybe they will consider taking less.
 

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I agree with Rick about the $750.00, but that would be my absolute top on this, and only if the bore wasn't a compete sewer pipe.

Best regards,
 

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It’s been overly polished in the past and the cylinder release button is a real mess. The biggest turn off for me when I look to buy a previously refinished SAA is how clear the patent dates and rampant colt on the left frame is. This one is too worn off. I agree with above statement to pay more for a better shape gun.
 

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Any SAA guy is always looking for a salvageable frame to build a nice gun and keep the frame in circulation. That frame needs a ton of work. The rear needs squared up and as COLTSIXGUNS mentioned the front looks like it’s been chopped on.
I’m not saying it can’t be done - but some real knowledgeable work needs to go into it.
I’m also going to guess that this is the good side.
Could be a project to make it a Sheriff’s model by removing the off-side buldge for the ejector rod housing and fitting a correctly made barrel.
Time. Skills. And money. Otherwise it’s just shined-up with replacement parts.
Any idea on its original shipped destination - that might make the project worthwhile.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you everyone for your input. This gun is in the Dallas Fort Worth area. The is no letter with it, so I have no idea about its history. The other side of the frame is just as rough as the left side. If I were to buy it, I would fix the timing, and probably just replace the screws, grips, loading gate and ejector assembly. Leave it with the dirty look that it has.

A lot of the cost has to do with the marketplace. Nothing in this area is cheap, which is why I am interested in it. I looked on various online auction sites and gun shows and never saw anything remotely close to this price. I have never seen a SAA for $400-$750. If someone knows of a 1st Gen SSA around the $1,500 price in would love to see it.

I will take what you all have said and try to talk the seller down to a more reasonable price. I will also try to remove the grips and see if I can see what's going on with the internals.
 

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Shrek73, just keep your eyes open and watch the auction sites. Deals are to be had out there, last one I bought on GunAuction that needed a rebuild, I got for less than $750, so they are out there, just rare. It was a previously refinished 4 3/4 32 wcf from 1901 with a bad bore that now is a 7 1/2 44 wcf shooter. Of course I had already collected the barrel and cylinder years ago, so no real extra cost. That particular piece you are looking at is, to put it bluntly, a money pit, there is just something about that cross pin area that bothers me. Good luck with your search.

 

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That one would worry me too much. The discoloring on the front of the frame makes it appear that it has been altered or welded on.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That one would worry me too much. The discoloring on the front of the frame makes it appear that it has been altered or welded on.
I will focus on that area when I go look at it again. I didn't notice anything wrong with it initially and I rebuild 1877's so am sure I looked at that area. I think the marks near the cylinder pin latch hole were from them driving the bushing in there. There is no bushing on the other side and the cylinder pins just pulls out.
 

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Shrek73 if your willing to wait you will find some good deals out there. Granted they do not come up everyday.
I have bought more than a few old guns like you posted as projects. Putting them back together also seems to take me a long time as I try to buy the missing parts at reasonable prices. Thats not easy either. I do enjoy tinkering on them. The real down side to restoring these is you will spend a lot more than just buying one that is ready to go.
Good luck to you what ever you decide to do with this old Colt, buy or pass..

Here's one that sold not to long ago under the $1500 that you mentioned.
 

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$450-$750 is the kind of prices I see for rusted out / seized / pitted Relic guns that will only ever be wall hanger display pieces. This gun could be a shooter again no doubt. And it should be! ...It'll be ugly, but it definitely shouldn't be abandoned....Its difficult to find 1st gen. guns for under $1k...I've never seen one in a LGS...and anything online has fueled bidding wars - taking the "deal" away.... I feel like its a $1,000 gun. I'd pay that if i was in the market. And then I'd have a fun time fixing it up and bringing it back to life!.....See if they'll let you remove the frame screws so you can nose around inside. Check out the springs, hammer notches, etc... Could be a wreck...could be clean. 😁
 

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Discussion Starter #19
$450-$750 is the kind of prices I see for rusted out / seized / pitted Relic guns that will only ever be wall hanger display pieces. This gun could be a shooter again no doubt. And it should be! ...It'll be ugly, but it definitely shouldn't be abandoned....Its difficult to find 1st gen. guns for under $1k...I've never seen one in a LGS...and anything online has fueled bidding wars - taking the "deal" away.... I feel like its a $1,000 gun. I'd pay that if i was in the market. And then I'd have a fun time fixing it up and bringing it back to life!.....See if they'll let you remove the frame screws so you can nose around inside. Check out the springs, hammer notches, etc... Could be a wreck...could be clean. 😁
Thanks, those are my thoughts as well. If I were to wait to find one online, I would have to win it first, pay shipping and probably a FFL transfer fee.

Everyone on this thread has given me a lot to think about when I go to make an offer. There are many points of view as to the value and condition of the gun, but I like the sweaty guns that have a history.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I was able to negotiate a price with the seller and I now have a 1st Generation SAA. I had a spare cylinder locking pin for a 1877, which fits, and picked up a correct cylinder pin the other day. I also ordered some correct grips for it which should be he Monday.

It will need a new loading gate, barrel and ejector assembly. I over looked the hole they drilled for the ejector housing lug, until I got it home.

The front of the frame is solid, it looks like there was some cold blue on the frame in the earlier photos. It does not stay in full cock so that will need attention as well.

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