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I just acquired a SSA with serial number 170162. The serial number look-up dates the gun to 1897. The serial numbers are the same on the frame, trigger guard, and grip frame. I compared the gun to the pictures on the sticky showing the various periods of construction. The gun looks consistent with the pictures of the parts used in the 1897 period with the exception of the grips. The grips in the sticky are shown as one piece oiled wood. My gun has two piece oiled grips. It is obvious that these grips have been on the gun a long time as the wear on the grip frame is consistent with the wear on the rest of the gun. The serial number on the grip frame is on two lines. Were two piece grips ever fitted by Colt in this time frame? I think I am going to order a letter as this gun has been well maintained, but has obviously been out and about in the world and used. If I could figure out how to post pictures, I would like to post pictures of one.
 

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I do not recall seeing two-piece wood grips on SAA's in that SN range. Someone probably wanted to replace some broken gutta percha grips and decided to use two-piece wood since the SAA had the alignment pin in place at the base of the trigger-guard.
 
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