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Discussion Starter #3
Second artillery I ever did in the early nineties. I didn't know about the Colt bright finish nor did I have the right dies for a US or patent dates. Bill Adair recut them for me but they were pretty obvious
I sold it at the OGCA as restored to a Michigan man who turned around and sold it as original to someone else within an hour. That guy was running around the show showing it off when he chanced to stop at
a table of he friend when I passed by. I overheard the conversation and saw the gun, and told the guy to get his money back and why. I had sold it for 1500 and he had bought it for 4500. Good case for many in her
who have problems with restoration, but also a great case for my point of view, know thy collectible.

JO
 

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Glad you brought the truth about this gun to our attention. The seller is a Top 100 seller, and most likely has no clue, same with all the current bidders, and the many people who have owned the gun over the years. This is a problem much larger than most people here realize. I went to a gun show 2 weeks ago where a dealer had 8 SAAs he was selling that he had purchased from an estate. Nice looking guns. Several of my new collector friends were interested in buying them and asked my opinion. Obvious restamping and engraving of markings, wrong twist rifling, wrong style front sights, etc. Some were partial restorations, a few were aged professional restorations. If you think this is an insignificant problem, talk to Kopec. I have discussed this problem with him many times going back 40 years+. It is a shame that the watchwords for our hobby have become "buyer beware".
 

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Being new to the Colt saa game I've focused on second and third gen guns and only ventured into the 1st gens with the help from folks who have decades of experience.

When I started purchasing SAAs some time ago the advise I received was that they are the most faked gun out there.

Having collected Sharps rifles for a bit now I thinking Colts may have more guns out there but Sharps are a tough competitor for the percentage of guns messed with.

They like Colts have been tinkered with for so long that some have the original look to their rebuild.

Know what you're buying, prepare for a tough lesson ($), be willing to learn.

Take care, spend wisely my friend.

Duane.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
It's advantageous for persons who evaluate and authenticate SA's to be "upset" over the various alterations and "restorations", especially if they are making<br>
a living at the evaluation process. The more disparaging attitudes against alterations and changes, the more likely people with concerns will send in guns<br>
for the evaluation, especially if slogans of doubt are incorporated. Kinda like a doctor reminding you to get a flue shot or you might die. I don't fault anyone <br>
for the process, but it's obvious there is a profit picture going on both sides of the coin, and the collector, if he or she does not bone up, is in the middle. <br>
<br>
That said, I've capitalized on many a Colt that someone said was "wrong", including the most noted "experts", that were completely original. In collecting, there are times when<br>
"it's too good to be true" is not a true statement. Knowledge is power in every business or hobby. If people want to be Colt collectors, each person must decide what to collect, what to budget,<br>
and decide if they want a quantity of cheap, parts guns or a small collection of correct, original condition guns, or the in between that enjoys both. Most of us<br>
can't afford for every gun to be perfect, this is not 1970. So the rich collectors will buy the rich, high finish originals, while the rest of us either accept used guns with no <br>
finish but some sort of "history", or restored guns with a 'Look" of the rich ones. Different strokes for different folks, that's what made the U.S. great. I think<br>
buyer beware is a caveat in every major purchase of any major product or object, so do the homework and know thy subject.<br><br>In addition, I feel that if I were doing an
evaluation for profit, I would not charge for a piece that was seriously altered, nor would I write a letter on it.  The<br>collector who owns it has already suffered enough
monetary damage.  What procedure those in that business follow is not known to me.  Maybe someone could expound on it.<br>
<br>
JP
 

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The hardest part of it is that many were rebuilt when there were few knowledgeable collectors out there. They were working guns, and if they wore out you either rebuilt it or replaced it. Most rural folks would have chosen to rebuild as they normally didn't have a lot of spare income for the 'latest and greatest'. Where now we look at a Colt and see what's not original, in the 30's, 40's and even the 50's most just wanted a working Colt, not caring if it actually had any history behind it. Who knows how many were redone at Stembridge or Western Costume Company with no thought at all beyond 'this is what we need now'. Finding an original Colt in it's original configuration and condition is just going to keep getting harder and harder as more and more of them get put into either museums or private collections. The best any of us do is keep watch, warn others when we can, and hope and pray that even we don't get fooled. Thankfully JP was around to warn us of this one, but as we've already seen it's changed hands before with no one the wiser. And more than likely the current seller really has no idea that it was redone at one point. I know JP marks his work, perhaps if all of the professional restorers put a common mark (like Colt's ampersand) under the grip panels to show to the collecting fraternity that the piece has been worked on. Just thinking and rattling on as I sit here drinking coffee, said more than I normally say in a month, so go find a nice Colt.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The hardest part of it is that many were rebuilt when there were few knowledgeable collectors out there. They were working guns, and if they wore out you either rebuilt it or replaced it. Most rural folks would have chosen to rebuild as they normally didn't have a lot of spare income for the 'latest and greatest'. Where now we look at a Colt and see what's not original, in the 30's, 40's and even the 50's most just wanted a working Colt, not caring if it actually had any history behind it. Who knows how many were redone at Stembridge or Western Costume Company with no thought at all beyond 'this is what we need now'. Finding an original Colt in it's original configuration and condition is just going to keep getting harder and harder as more and more of them get put into either museums or private collections. The best any of us do is keep watch, warn others when we can, and hope and pray that even we don't get fooled. Thankfully JP was around to warn us of this one, but as we've already seen it's changed hands before with no one the wiser. And more than likely the current seller really has no idea that it was redone at one point. I know JP marks his work, perhaps if all of the professional restorers put a common mark (like Colt's ampersand) under the grip panels to show to the collecting fraternity that the piece has been worked on. Just thinking and rattling on as I sit here drinking coffee, said more than I normally say in a month, so go find a nice Colt.
This was the next point I wanted to make, good post. And, lets not forget the changes made shortly after the colt was sold initially: grips, barrel and caliber swaps, plating, you name it. We must remember the surplus houses of Bannerman's and stoke's Kirk and others who also fixed these guns up. This is why I shy away from trashing restorations and chasing the sacred history since most of it on an altered gun is gone already.

P
 

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Guns in the past were altered for improved functional use or personal preference. Those guns are usually easy to spot. They were modified by a local gunsmith or owner himself, just to work correctly or look a little better. Refinished guns back then were heavily buffed, replaced grips were not fabricated to look like originals, guns were not given facsimile numbers and markings to appear authentic, grips were not stamped with facsimile cartouches, etc. They were not "restored" to give the impression of originality.

As has been said before, guns that were legitimately altered in the past during their period of use have their own appeal. Cut barrels, bunkhouse engraving, home made grips, blacksmith repairs, etc. are accepted as part of an old guns history and provenance. The modification of old guns during their period of use has no relevance to the discussion of modern restoration.
 

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As a new kid (!!) on the block, and just getting into this disease called "Single Action Army" I understand the many repairs, upgrades, and alterations that would have been done to working guns. That's understandable. However, I have a problem with a seller who advertises "unrestored" and then says "We do not have any additional provenance or history with this gun." They have no foundation (supporting documentation) to make the statement "unrestored". That's irresponsible - even if they believe it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As a new kid (!!) on the block, and just getting into this disease called "Single Action Army" I understand the many repairs, upgrades, and alterations that would have been done to working guns. That's understandable. However, I have a problem with a seller who advertises "unrestored" and then says "We do not have any additional provenance or history with this gun." They have no foundation (supporting documentation) to make the statement "unrestored". That's irresponsible - even if they believe it.
Well, don't be too hard on them, they or he may not know a good SA from a good Ruger. All they had to do was look at the patent dates, if they know what to look for, and the low polish blue.
 

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Dave - did you mark that gun when you worked on it? If so, I’d love to see how that was explained away to the buyer if they see it....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
During the first year of business I didn't mark them, there weren't that many, perhaps 8, after that I began marking with the "L" in the loading gate cutout. 5k for a restored military is an average price to pay in my circles, so if it sells for that or near that, it's understandable. Someone likes it, and as with everything else on this planet, that is what matters. We all have overpaid for something we love, repeatedly My brother has had three divorces....
 

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Artillery

Was a bidder (until it hit over 4K). Had issues of concern from the beginning. Just didn't feel right.


I started a thread on this gun in another thread here.
 

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I saw that gun but didn’t bid on it. The stamping on the dates looked odd to me, some of the stampings looked deeper and more defined than the others and the gun looked like it had been refinished (I base that on seeing other guns from that era that have almost no finish remaining).
 
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