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LGS has a 4 3/4 blued case color frame in box with paperwork. Serial number dates it 1978. 45Long Colt. I would rate it between 92% and 95%. That being said what is the going rate on these? Any thoughts would be great Thanks
 

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This would be a 3rd Gen NF. As discussed in earlier Threads about the NF's, it is possible that barrels were changed in some, so you have to factor in the potential of the barrel not being original in estimating value. If the barrel is original, it could be worth in the $1600 to 2000 range. If the barrel has been replaced, it is in the $1000 range. These are my estimates. It is difficult to determine if the box and the NF were originally together or mated up at some time. Pictures would help.
 

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Colt made about 1106 of this 3rd Generation New Frontier variation. Not sure if it is one of the available barrel lengths in the recently re-introduced New Frontiers. It is not rare but would be a desirable gun to own. I would say in used condition with box and paperwork the value would be about $1000 to $1200 depending on local demand. As always, JMHO.
 

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Colt made about 1106 of this 3rd Generation New Frontier variation. Not sure if it is one of the available barrel lengths in the recently re-introduced New Frontiers. It is not rare but would be a desirable gun to own. I would say in used condition with box and paperwork the value would be about $1000 to $1200 depending on local demand. As always, JMHO.
I AGREE WITH THIS ASSESSMENT !! I would not pay a cent over 1200 and would scream bloddy murder about that. YOU can buy a BRAND NEW ISSUE one for around 1300 and it is indeed a nicer better pistol that that vintage of of 1978 NF pistols. I own the second COLT NF 4 3/4" 45COLT of the new issue guns now serial numbered in the NF20000 range, NF20009X. ITSA PEACH !!!
NOW HEAR THIS : WhenI buy another third generation NF SAA sixgun I automatically figure $400.00 in the price I pay to have the pistol brought up to snuff; only ONE needed it, the whole 400, but all the rest needed some correcting pistolsmithing.
The brand new NF 45 needed nothing except a touching up of the trigger and a CCH of the hammer so it looks like a real COLT now [think about it...]
ANd so it goes...
 

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Back in '78 or '79 I bought a new 7-1/2" 44 Spec. NF. Out of the box it had the roughest action and poorest build quality of any SAA I've ever owned. Once I had the action tuned, it shot great, but I could never get past the crappy fit and finish, and sold it soon after. I've had a couple of other early 3 gen SAAs, and while not as bad as that NF, the fit and finish was pretty poor compared to every other SAA I've ever owned.

I would never buy a typical early 3rd gen SAA unless I could get it at a real steal, there are too many better 2nd gen or late 3rd gen examples out there for not that much more.

Early 3rd gen SAAs are like British Leyland cars from the '70s; the occasional good one got out, but most had pretty poor build quality.

Best regards,
 

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Mine is 1981 production and I can find no fault in the finish or action.
I JUST REALIZED there is one difference between the pistol shown here and my " identical " new issue pistol. This one has the Colt ACCRO rear adjustable sight and the newly issued pistols have the Colt ELLIASON rear sight. DO NOT THINK this is a big step upward as the Eliason blade is easily banged up and/or broken and I've never seen an ACCRO blade get bunged up as it is so well protected in it's boss.
 

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swamprat,

Your NF looks very nice, and I didn't mean to imply that every early 3rd gen was poorly built. It's just that in general the assembly and build quality of the early 3rd gens is not at the level of the earlier and later guns.

My NF was pretty typical of what I saw at the time. There was end shake; the backstrap and trigger guard were obviously just pulled from a bin and not fitted or polished to the frame, not only could feel the mismatch between the trigger guard and the frame, you could see it; the radius of the "horns" at the top of the backstrap were overly ground/polished and didn't match the radius of the back of the hammer or the radius of the frame; edges that should have been crisp and sharp were a little rounded from poor polishing; the grips didn't even come close to fitting; and the action was very rough. You never saw any of this with 1st gen or even 2nd gen SAAs. When I bought mine, I compared it to 3 or 4 others we had in stock at the time, and they were all about the same; I chose and bought the one I did because the case colours were a little nicer, and because I wanted a NF.

The other 3rd gen SAAs that I've had were from build dates a couple years later, and the quality control was a little better, but still not near the level of the earlier guns. And while you can smooth and tune the actions on one of these guns to match anything Colt has ever built, there's not much you can do about fit and finish.

I don't have any experience of the more recent production SAAs, but from what I've heard, and the couple I've looked at, the build quality seems very nice.

Best regards,
 
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