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I asked this before in an off topic thread in response to a statement that all 3rd gens were built by the custom shop. At that point the thread was dying out so there was no response, so maybe better luck in it own thread.

"...I'm very familiar with 1st, 2nd and early 3rd gen SAAs, but have little experience with later 3rd gens, so I'm somewhat confused about the relationship between standard production and the Custom Shop . My very rudimentary, and probably incorrect, understanding is that production of 3rd gens started as standard production in '76, then sometime in the early '90s shifted entirely to the Custom Shop, then sometime later (early 2000s?) shifted back to standard production for regular models, with the Custom Shop handling production of the non-standard calibers, BP frames, special features like chamfered cylinders, button head ejectors, etc. If someone has a good understanding of how Colt is handling production of the SAA, I'd appreciate learning the real story. What's going on seems a little murky and unclear."

Best regards,
 

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Don Wilkerson notes in his book, The Post-War Colt Single-Action Revolver 1976-1986 (1986), the Custom Shop took over production of the Colt SAA in 1984. I don't know when it was shifted back to "standard production" if it ever was. Hope someone else has more information.
 
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