Gun Broker #805882601 restored in 1992 with recut patent dates and US, dull instead of bright blue, CC firing pin. Caveat emptor
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.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.
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.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.