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Discussion Starter #1

Hi I am new to the forum and glad to be here.
I was wondering if you guys could tell me more
about this SAA.Was purchaced from a gun shop in Hearne
Tx. in 1978 for 200 $,the numbers on the grip frame
are 1208 with an A.
The cylinder frame numbers 7415 with US stamped on it.
The loading gate numbers are 724 and nothing on the barrel
I can see.The bottom of the grip frame has either an L or a D on it. N ot trying to sell it but we never researched it
before, oh and thanks for all the useful info.I have read on here in the last two months and thanks in advance for the
info on this gun.

44
 

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[ QUOTE ]

The cylinder frame numbers 7415

[/ QUOTE ]

By cylinder frame numbers, do you mean the numbers in front of the cylinder below the screw that goes up into the frame on a angle that you had to loosen to remove the cylinder pin?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]

The cylinder frame numbers 7415

[/ QUOTE ]

By cylinder frame numbers, do you mean the numbers in front of the cylinder below the screw that goes up into the frame on a angle that you had to loosen to remove the cylinder pin?

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes,in front of the cylinder and below the screw.
 

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Then the gun was made in 1874.
A guy at a gunshow this past weekend had one with a very close serial number to yours from 1874, with all matching numbers, in nickel. It appeared to be in a little better shape than one you have pictured and as I said everything matched. His price was $15,000 and turned down an offer for $12,000.

If it were me, I would get the gun lettered though Colt and have someone who knows his SAAs look it over really good and give you and opinion, 'cause it is real hard to tell with Internet photos about condition.

HTH
 

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Hi 44Fan,
This looks to be a US Alteration... it is hard to tell from the information you gave. The Army altered 14000 plus of the 37000 plus single action Army contract models in the 1895 to 1904 period. The alterations included shortening the barrel from 7 1/2 inches to 5 1/2 inches. The parts were "mixed" when reassembled. By examining each part and noting the numbers and military inspectors stamps you can tell what revolver contracts they came from. More information is needed to identify your gun completely. I would buy "Colt Single Action Army Revolvers - US Alterations" by Ken Moore. It is one of the better references on these alterations. Also "Cavalry and Artillery Revolvers" by Kopec and Penn. Keep in mind that these revolvers are very easy to "doctor". There are several collectors that have extensive databases on these guns and a lot of the "enhanced" alterations are known. Enhancement affects price ... US Alterations go from about $1800 to $5K or $6K depend on condition and provenance... I am somewhat skeptical of a dealer turning down $12K for a gun in similiar condition to yours unless it had some special provenance with it... Check some of the auction house catalogs like Rock Island Auction and J. D. Julia for some realistic estimates.
The small "A" you mentioned is the Army sub-inspector's acceptance marking. The "A" was used by "Ainsworth". The US marking should be on the left side of the frame to the right of the patent dates. A number of the original contract revolvers in this range went to the New York Militia... Check the other parts for inspector's initials and there should be serial numbers on the bottom of the barrel, the cylinder, the toe of the frame, the front of the trigger guard and the butt of the revolver. The numbers on the loading gate are assembly numbers and will only match the other assembly number on the frame under the trigger guard... Looks like a GREAT FIND! I would keep it in the family! Hope that helps... Bob Best
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey thanks guys,
The gun is pretty wore out as most of the numbers on the gun are gone or very faint,I guess its been refinished
sometime in the past and was sanded on too many times.
It is hard to see the patent date and I cant find any numbers on the barrel.
Thanks for the information and glad I found this forum.
 

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COLTDAGUY, the reason this guy had $15,000 on his SAA was that it was in about 92-95% condition, nickel, with near perfect original stocks and all matching "crisp" serial numbers throughout the gun. Probably one of the nicest I have ever seen outside of a museum and appeared to be completely original and unaltered. He probably can get much more for it.
 

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Hi Diamondback,
I agree with you that a correct early all matching nickeled single action in the condition described will probably bring $15K or more... The US Alterations haven't reached that price bracket yet unless they have some special provenance... I was alluding to the fact that dealers sometimes "blow smoke" about past offers and such to get the buyer to pay more... and if his gun was a US Alteration it wouldn't be worth that much... I missed the "all matching" in your post. I thought it was a US Alteration that you were describing... Sorry! No offense intended!Bob Best
 

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No offense taken Bob, you are much more knowledgeable than I on SAAs, but you would have drooled if you had seen this piece. The guy wasn't a dealer, but old "salty dog" showing the piece outside in the smoking area. I have no doubt someone will pay his price. The guy that offered him $12,000 was a dealer and I am sure he knew he could make a nice (read that hefty) profit off of it, but you have to know if you have the right buyer to invest that kind of money in one gun. As you know, they are out there.

Five years ago, a small dealer, near here, had his own private collection of 12 SAAs for sale, all with stories, provenance and "checkered pasts" up for $18,000, two of which were easily worth $4,000-5,000 each and I had just built a new house and didn't have that kind of money to invest, wish I had. Guy also had an original Sharps. Go figure.
 
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