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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the worst condition gun I own. Its a badly refinished old mixed parts 32-20 I made a bad trade for many years ago. It did have a sweet action and good bore though. I have shot it but not much. Its been in the back of the safe forever. The other night I looked it over and the bolt wasnt working. I pulled her apart and the bolt spring is broke. I checked the drawings and parts lists on the puter and see it shows most the screws have washers. Mine dont hava a one. Are all the colts, all generations always suppose to have washers? Would you guys get a wolff spring or just put in a standard colt or uberti?
I was dumb enough to trade one of the first large vaquero for this about 25 years ago. I do have a few other nice colt SA`s.

 

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I've not seen washers on any SAA I've ever had apart, which is more than a few.

I'll trade you a Vaquero for it. I think your trade was a good one. Any shootable SAA is worth more than a Vaquero.
 

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This is the worst condition gun I own. Its a badly refinished old mixed parts 32-20 I made a bad trade for many years ago. It did have a sweet action and good bore though. I have shot it but not much. Its been in the back of the safe forever. The other night I looked it over and the bolt wasnt working. I pulled her apart and the bolt spring is broke. I checked the drawings and parts lists on the puter and see it shows most the screws have washers. Mine dont hava a one. Are all the colts, all generations always suppose to have washers? Would you guys get a wolff spring or just put in a standard colt or uberti?
I was dumb enough to trade one of the first large vaquero for this about 25 years ago. I do have a few other nice colt SA`s.


Re: the washers,they were used in the 2nd gen. colts,Re; the S&B spring,the Wolf spring may be too light for the old Colt,NEVER degrade a Colt w/an Italian part put a genuine Colt spring back in it.
 

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Re: the washers,they were used in the 2nd gen. colts,Re; the S&B spring,the Wolf spring may be too light for the old Colt,NEVER degrade a Colt w/an Italian part put a genuine Colt spring back in it.
Jim,

Were they used in all 2nd Gen guns? I've never seen them in the 2nd Gen guns I've had apart, mostly very early and very late production ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, think I should put washers in it as long as I am ordering parts? Funny thing is the flat spring broke just sitting in the safe without being cycled far as I know. The guy that I got it from claimed he used to shoot fast draw with it.
 

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feral: The washers came about due to the .357s shooting the screws loose. I've never added them, however I continue using when they are present in a gun I acquire.

Leo
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Okay, here is the real problem. I traded for it many years ago when I was a lot younger and dumber. The serial number is very confuseing. On the butt it has a entirely different number than any colt SAA number. Its marked with something like a small diamound followed by LAP xxxx, and another small diamound mark. I think the front of the frame number is gone. Maybe the grip frame is off another gun? It is clearly stamped though. A couple gun shops told me it is legal but with the parts mix I aint as sure as they are now. The gun when refinished when God knows when, was very heavy buffed and you can barely see the barrel markings etc. While over buffed etc before the spring broke, the action worked every bit as well as several new ones I have owned if not even better. As said, it has a good bore and chambers. It doesnt have the original grips, the ones that came with it looked home made so I put these faux ivory on them. It is a mystery gun! They are a noticably heavier beast in .32 than the 44s and 45s, arent they? There is a very small # 2 on the back of the clyinder and some numbers on the gate. Those are all I found.
 

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Jim,

Were they used in all 2nd Gen guns? I've never seen them in the 2nd Gen guns I've had apart, mostly very early and very late production ones.
No not on all 2nds,my early 2nds have no washers they came along later,I'm not positive but I seem to remember that the early 3rds had them too,personally I never found them to be of any help,when I tuned a gun for a customer if I lost the washer I didn't worry about it & nobody ever complained.Most folks tighten the screws when cleaning the gun anyway but I'll add here that most Colt shooters tend to ignore the ejector housing screw & the base pin latch assembly screws,how many of u remember the last time u tightened them?
 

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Feral,

1. the Colt original t/b spring is too heavy and not needed. It beats up the cylinder. I prefer the medium tension Wolff spring, and it's good quality.
2. the washers are only little red nylon things that tear apart and became worthless. None of my 2nd gen Colts have them but I've never had a 357 so maybe they were unique to 2nd gen 357s. Early 3rd gens have them but they were soon abandoned by Colt.
3. the "LAP xxxx" is likely a local law enforcement serial number stamped when the gun was found missing it's serial # on the frame. I had one stamped similarly by the local sheriffs dept: FCSO XXXXX (Fresno County Sheriffs Office). They too stamped it on the butt which is not properly legal. The main frame (not the grip frame) is supposed to have the official serial #. I wouldn't be concerned however, it's obviously a LE agency re-numbering.

Original serial numbers can be retrieved, see this thread on the S&W forum, post #33: http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-hand-ejectors-1896-1961/238409-455-picture-thread.html

4. the number on the loading gate is a factory assembly process # and will match the number on the bottom of the frame covered by the trigger guard before 1908 and after that, on the back right side of frame visible with the right grip off until 1940. This will help you date the gun to pre or post 1908.

5. Looks like a round trigger guard which dates it to between 1894 and 1917. So with the assembly # location above, that will get you in the correct 10 year period.

If you can still see the "Verified Proof" stamp, a "V" with a "P" in it, on the left front trigger guard bow, it was made after 1902.
It will have a "V" notch rear sight and tapered front sight blade in either period. Since most of your stampings detail is gone, they're no help in dating it. 32-20s were made thru out that period but cyl and barrel may have been changed anyway.

6. Definitely worth more than any Vaquero.
 

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Okay, here is the real problem. I traded for it many years ago when I was a lot younger and dumber. The serial number is very confuseing. On the butt it has a entirely different number than any colt SAA number. Its marked with something like a small diamound followed by LAP xxxx, and another small diamound mark. I think the front of the frame number is gone. Maybe the grip frame is off another gun? It is clearly stamped though. A couple gun shops told me it is legal but with the parts mix I aint as sure as they are now. The gun when refinished when God knows when, was very heavy buffed and you can barely see the barrel markings etc. While over buffed etc before the spring broke, the action worked every bit as well as several new ones I have owned if not even better. As said, it has a good bore and chambers. It doesnt have the original grips, the ones that came with it looked home made so I put these faux ivory on them. It is a mystery gun! They are a noticably heavier beast in .32 than the 44s and 45s, arent they? There is a very small # 2 on the back of the clyinder and some numbers on the gate. Those are all I found.
this colt is perfect for a restoration, if your up too it. doug turnbull or peacemaker specialist to name a couple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the great replys. Some of it I had hears before but its good to be reassured. I own another colt sa with a problem too. Its a 1906 that was sent to the copper queen mine at bisbee ariz. Originaly it was a 4 3/4" .44wcf. Back in the 50s or 60s old gun writer tommy bish and/or aronald capone that owned king gun works in L.A., rebuilt it to .44 special 7 1/2". My mentor was "Duke" Duvall who also was capones BIL. Bought it from him. Somewhere along the line I got a short barrel and ejector housing and had someone put it on. I didnt like it and had someone else refit the 7 1/2" BBl and houseing. They did it wrong and "shined" the front of the frame around the barrel to frame fit. Otherwise its a beautiful gun. Question is, is it possible to have someone just recase that very small area? I belive I know the answer. I am SOL, right? I think the short barrel and ejector must be christy. I still have them. I will try to post a few pictures. I dont have a straight on picture of the problem area though and my photo bucket is full. Thanks to all of you for advice.





 

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No not on all 2nds,my early 2nds have no washers they came along later,I'm not positive but I seem to remember that the early 3rds had them too,personally I never found them to be of any help,when I tuned a gun for a customer if I lost the washer I didn't worry about it & nobody ever complained.Most folks tighten the screws when cleaning the gun anyway but I'll add here that most Colt shooters tend to ignore the ejector housing screw & the base pin latch assembly screws,how many of u remember the last time u tightened them?

Thanks, Jim. I highly value your experience and input.

I check my ejector housing screw, but usually check the base pin latch screw only when the pin starts jumping. Don't think about it otherwise. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just ordered my spring from eddie janis and asked him about the washers. He just flat said you dont need em.
 

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The diamond LAP number was done by the Los Angeles Police when they would still do it up until sometime in the 80's. I once bought a box of parts guns from a retired gun smith in Hollywood, several of which had the numbers removed. I took them to Parker Center, they were booked as evidence at SID then the numbers were raised with an acid process. None of them were reported stolen so SID renumbered them, they were registered to me and returned. Now days they would just confiscate them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for that info larry. I speculated that was the case but it`s good to hear it. Also the grip frame is a tad wider than the main frame. It is a good shooter though.
 
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