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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering what the current guestimate would be to restore an 1884 .44-40 SAA that appears to have been nickeled once upon a time and has a forcing cone gap adequate to drive a stagecoach through for a view of the sewer-pipe barrel? Keep in mind it is less than pristine please, and it does appear that Bubba's minion did personally dovetail the front sight in place on the present barrel. Doesn't otherwise appear to have been half beaten to death otherwise.

Any ideas?

P.S. - It was given to me, and thus rather inexpensive (initially??)
 

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I think you will need to send it to the actual restoration specialist for an accurate estimate as to the cost. It will be expensive. You can buy a nice 1st Generation SAA for what you will spend on a decent "restoration." Some collectors still look at a "restoration" as a glorified re-finish and value it as such. Others are more open minded. Your gun and money so your choice. JMHO.
 

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Well hello and welcome to the forum....great to have u with us...well the question u ask is way too broad to give a cookie cutter answer...most will say leave it alone....you will need to add more info and very clear pics....without that ...it is just conjecture...it sounds like something that might have had some poor work done...but does not mean that u can not make it much better with some good period correct parts and repair...we have some great members here who can help get u back up and going...and u state the price is right...Colt 75 is right...restoring a beautiful old gun is a good way to ruin any value and will almost always cost more than finding one in good original condition and once u spend all that money...it does not mean your firearm will be worth the money u invested as well...it sounds like u will need a barrel at minimum and some more work as well...is the gun sentimental to you?....came from a family member and u want to preserve it due to that?.....something u are trying to fix and use?..something u are fixing to sell?...these and more questions will need to be answered to give you the answers to your question....if i can help...please let me know...God Bless,John
 
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We have a couple of excellent restoration experts on the Forum, they are "LeverActionBill" and "jplower". To get you a rough estimate, pictures are needed to see what is required to get it back into operation and look nice. Get good pictures of all the markings/stamps on the frame and barrel. A picture of the bore if possible, and front, sides, top and bottom of the revolver. Use natural lighting if possible.

The cost of a good restoration will cost about what a good condition 1st Gen would cost you ready to go. But if it is a family or other historical revolver, it may be worth it. You will never make money by restoring it and try to sell for a profit. If you want to keep it and like it, a restoration may fit the bill for what you want. The pictures are a must for an evaluation.
 

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Abwehr's is consistent with what I got estimated by a 1st class restorer for my 1874 SAA, beautiful inside --


Estimate started with $2000 plus a few hundred each "if needed" such as grips, markings, cylinder, ejector tube, etc. Looked like easily 3500 or more so I decided
to just keep loving it as-is ----->
 

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LavaTech, Welcome to the Forum! As other members have told you, a good restoration can be quite expensive. The time that it takes for restorers to do that type of quality work is extensive.
 

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Well they need to add some pics too...i wonder with the forum acting weird if they are not able too

Sent from my LGL41C using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to you all for your quick responses and desire to help, I'm sorry I couldn't respond to the thread sooner. This Colt is a family keepsake which belonged to my great grandfather, and I'd like for it to be an operable pistol sometime in the future. I do believe in "pics or it didn't happen", I've contributed to the CMP forums and others for about 10 years or so .... therefore one might conclude that I'm not quite a forum noob, and probably love seeing other forum members "goodies" too (I DO!). Pics resized and not terribly good (cellphone).
More than a mere "gap" at the forcing cone.
There are a number of what Numrich called "Colt parts" from 15 years ago, and a screw I made up to make it at least look and function as if it were fully operable. Base pin, bushing, bolt, hand, and around 5-6 other screws or so...likely of Italian origin of course. Hammer needs repair to the safety notch which is well boogered up. I've yet to purchase a Colt Archive Letter for this SAA, but will be doing so prior to making any restoration decisions.
 

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I would love to have it in my collection just the way it is .I would have the hammer rebuilt "Original " and make it safe .and enjoy it .. It tells a story the way it is ..Larry
 

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The trigger appears to be broken as well as the hammer notches,that usually goes hand in hand,also as u mentioned about the replacement parts the trigger doesn't look like original colt issue.
 

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"This Colt is a family keepsake which belonged to my great grandfather, and I'd like for it to be an operable pistol sometime in the future."

Lavatech, You're one of the fortunate few that have a cool old Colt passed down 4 generations. Fixing all the things that you perceive as "wrong" are all possible, with enough money, time, welding rod, and expertise. Consider for a moment that if you did all those things, this Colt would no longer be your great grand father's Colt. It's one thing to scour the gun shows for the right misc. screws etc, it's quite another "to restore" it. Send off the trigger and hammer and get them fixed. As you find the right minor parts, which you can replace those which are incorrect, do so and most importantly treasure the old Colt's history and provenance. Interestingly, the gun appears to have been nickel, the letter will verify that. I raise it only to complicate your life in finding replacement parts that blend into the patina of the gun. I also love the old fix on the front sight, probably the result of cutting down the barrel from 7 1/2". For a couple hundred dollars you could help it a lot to be more like your great grand father experienced it and it would be "operable." Good luck.

Ed
 
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I believe the most valid reason for a restoration is a gun that has been in the family for current and future generations to enjoy. Some how I see passed on family members smiling from above when the current owners get the gun back. I was told by a restorer a story that after a gun came back, the family then got into a dispute on who was the rightful heir to the gun. You will have decisions to make, like how correct ($) you want to make the gun. The gun may have never been correct when in family hands. Myself personally, I could go either way to enjoy it but if it were mine, I would make it safe to shoot ( black powder or low pressure smokeless) and enjoy it with its character. I don’t think I could live with that front sight.
 

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Consider for a moment that if you did all those things, this Colt would no longer be your great grand father's Colt.
I have a Walther PP that my Grandfather bought new in the '30s, he was an avid shooter and there's no telling how many rounds he fired with it. The bluing on front strap of the grip has some fading and wear that shows exactly where he put his fingers when shooting. No way I would restore this gun, then it would just be another Walther PP.

I'd fix the mechanical issues on the SAA and enjoy it as it is. There is probably a story to every ding on it, so restoring it would wipe out too much of it's past. I would be more inclined to restore it if it were a gun show pick-up, but a family heirloom needs to stay like it is.
 

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I too would fix the trigger and hammer and leave the rest alone but a question first: That front sight dovetail looks pretty deep....did it enter the bore? If you look into the unloaded gun with a strong light can you see any evidence of that? Also, please letter it and post the results here! That is an early SAA and I for one am really curious how it comes back.
And another question.....was your great grandfather the original owner? Did he fix the sights? Do you have the complete history of it in your family? May be worth writing this down for your future family members.
 

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well thank u for the great pics....well if it were me...and being it is a gun from your great grandfather...i would do very little...i personally have a knife my grandfather personally made for my Dad...it was never finished as the piece of stainless used back in the 40's was so hard he was not able to shape it like i am told he wanted too...what makes me love it...is my grandfather made it...my plans are to make a nice display case and put a small plaque to show who made it and when....to your gun...i would fix anything that is a must....to the front sight...i believe it is from a barrel cutdown...that dovetail looks very deep...personally if it were mine...i would not shoot it...i would make a great display case and plaque and enjoy it...i can tell u that when anything of value is ever quote on quote restored..the family seems to come out of the woodwork to stake claim....i love the way it is now...is shows the history of your family and that can not have a price put on it...and as u stated u have no funds invested in it...to restore it...it would take more money than it is worth and it would be a restored gun in the end...a beautiful display case could be able to be shown to everyone and enjoyed and if u want one to shoot...there is so many out there and u could use the funds u would have used to restore this one...just my 2 cents....God Bless,John......either way...enjoy this great piece of family history...most of us would give our right arm for...no matter the condition
 
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