Colt Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got my first SAA and am trying to figure out what I have. Here is the address of my photo album for the piece http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/dylong/album?.dir=4260re2&.src=ph . First the serial number is 46XX. I have a “Dates of Manufacture” book by R.L. Wilson that indicates it was born during 1874 (second year of production). However the last patent date is Jan 19 75. How is this possible? The next question is: I only see one serial number stamped on the frame; every part (including the frame) is stamped 432 and also has a “B” on it. All the SSA that I see posted on the web have the serial number on just about every part. Does anyone know what this means? The piece has been expertly restored and is in perfect mechanical condition the bore is excellent. The grips are genuine ivory (replacements). Could a get a consensus on it’s value? Thanks in Advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,386 Posts
Hi Thumbsup,

Welcome to the forum! I'm sorry to say that in my opinion your gun was definitely not made in 1874! There are a number of things wrong with the markings on your gun for it to date from 1874. One is the style of the barrel address used. Also, there should NOT be a caliber marking on the left side of the barrel. Other problems include the serial number placement, the style and placement of the patent address on the left side of the frame. (It appears too far to the rear to be correct). Also the Rampant Colt horse does not appear on the early Colt SAAs... Your gun was heavily reworked but if you were to make a piece by piece comparision to a known Colt 1st generation Single Action revolver I think you will see that it is radically different than yours... If you don't have access to an early, real Colt SAA revolver then try closely comparing your gun to the photos appearing in Kopec, Graham and Moore's Book "A Study of the Colt Single Action Revolver".

In short, I don't believe that you have a Colt manufactured SAA. It looks quite similiar in marking styles to some of my Uberti copies that I shoot in cowboy action shooting... If your gun is a Colt it would be of a much later vintage and the serial number placement and style would still be incorrect... I have seen several of the SAA Clones made up to look like Real Colts and I believe you will find the one you have was made up.

If the seller represented the gun to you as an 1874 Colt, after making a comparison to a real Colt gun, I would try to get my money back from them if you can...

I would certainly be interested in hearing other forum members's opinions on this as well!
Bob Best
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the warm welcome and the much needed input. The serial # is 46XX four digits. The person I bought the revolver is very honest and a pretty advance collector. He even lent me a book on the Cavalry & Artillery SAA by Kopec and Fenn. Great book but not much help for this piece. I will try to find an original civilian SAA to compare this one to. Keep the comments coming!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Sorry I thought it was a 5 digit #. If it is a 4 digit # it would be 1874, if that is accurate. The serial # should appear on about 5 places on a SAA that old. The reference book I have says that the caliber mark would be "standard on left rear flat of trigger guard." I can't bring up the site with the picture for some reason. Sorry about the above deleted post, my info. wasn't accurate. Still email me. Rick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Hello ThumbsUp:

I think you have a very nice gun but not an origional Colt.

What I am seeing is:
(1) If the gun was made in 1874 as the serial number suggest, the Barrel markings would be in Italic letters. Gothic letters did not start until 1875.

(2) The Rampant Colt stamp did not start until 1890.
a: not used from 1873-1890.
b: used in a circle 1890-1912.
c: used not circled 1912-1940.

(3) The Patent Dates on your gun are of Type III. Type III dates with Rampant Colt ran from 1890 thru 1940.

(4) Caliber markings on the left side of the barrel did not start until 1886.

Their is more but that is enough.

I think you have a very nice Reproduction Colt that you should be proud of, but I hope you did not pay the price it would have taken to get a Colt made in 1874 in this condation. It would be in the thousands of dollars.

Hope this helps and like I say be proud of what you have. It's a very nice gun.

Respectfully,

djh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Colt Cavalry and Artillery SAA revolvers, Authentication service: John A. Kopec (530) 222-4440 [email protected]



Give him a call...really nice guy and knows his stuff. Probably the most respected expert in the country. When I spoke to him, he said the email address was NOT the best way to get in touch. I spoke to him personally on the phone and he gave me a wealth of information. He lives in California, so the time zone difference might be a factor.

Jerry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
ThumbsUps, If you do call Mr. Kopec and send your pictures to him for his evaluation, and want to share what he said about your Colt, I think we'd all be interested to hear from a Colt expert. Thanks Jerry for Mr. Kopec's email adress and phone number. Rick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have been doing my homework. I called John Kopec as recommended. What a wonderful man, he has a new book coming out in the fall that will make his old one obsolete, it will be $129.00.

Along the way I found out how to test for genuine ivory: Touch a hot sewing needle to an inconspicuous area, it is melt it's plastic. If it don't it's ivory. Mine are ivory.

Here is the low down on my pistol: It began life as a military pistol in 1874. John has documentation that it was at Camp Keithley in the Philippines on 16 May 1908. He told me that the original trigger guard is on pistol xxxxx (I forget).


John told me to remove the trigger guard where I found a set of numbers 8 82 (Aug 82). This was when the pistol was returned to Colt and restored. This would explain the inconsistency with the barrel lettering (a new Colt barrel). The "432" number was a bin number to keep track of the parts during this process and the "B" is for blue. The "US" was buffed off at this time and restamped with the TYPE III patent dates.

So the revolver is a genuine Colt Military pistol that has been restored by Colt with genuine ivory grips. Given this information can I get a consensus as to it's value?

Thank you for all you direction in tracking down the history of this pistol. I hope my research was a contribution to the group.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Yup,those "Artillery Models"(rebuilt with barrel shortened-or replaced-to 5.5" from 7.5") continue to confuse a century or so after they were reworked.

Add to that,a Colt rebuild/refinish 24 years ago,and it gets confusing.

Glad it is NOT a reworked/counterfeit clone-as this was a "worry" among serious collectors when they first came out about 30 years ago,from Italy.

Bud
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Great job with your research and not giving up on your revolver. What a great history, and it's value, monetary wise, you can now pursue. Congratulations!! Rick
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top