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Discussion Starter #21
This is really great stuff, a lot of information that has to be sifted through. One of the points I forgot to mention but has been addressed here somewhat is the 'parts barrel ' finds. If I understand this right there would be no way of telling apart an arsenal rebuild from a gun put together with authentic cavalry parts. So the arsenal rebuild is really the key to this or am I missing something? What if someone found authentic parts at shows or swap meets over time and finally had the pieces to build an artillery, would that be a fake?
 

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The key to collecting ANYTHING, from baseball cards to stamps to guns is knowledge. This is a very specific area of collecting within the world of firearms. It isn’t for the faint of heart because all of these guns are quite expensive.
Yes they are a niche market and you can get burned badly if you’re not careful but artillery guns have a following because of the history. I know that there is a general opinion within the firearms collector market that goes along the lines of “buy the gun, not the story”. But, there are a number of guns in the “artillery” sub-group that the story, or potential story IS what makes the gun valuable. Just my 2 cents, which isn’t worth much more than that!
 

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So the arsenal rebuild is really the key to this or am I missing something? What if someone found authentic parts at shows or swap meets over time and finally had the pieces to build an artillery, would that be a fake?
This is no different than many other US military firearms that went through multiple wars and rebuild programs during their service life, including 1911s, Garands, 03 Springfields, etc. They are all collectible, but separating the wheat from the chaff and evaluating originality takes knowledge and an experienced eye.
 

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Any 1st gen guns owned by historically significant individuals does that, and can be authenticated, justifying the pricing. History alone does not justify the pricing for these guns.
The “Historic” value of these firearms is in the eye of the beholder. However, that said, if buyers are willing to part with cash for these guns, then it’s hard to dispute that the value is there. Now, you might not like the value and may disagree, but it only takes ONE ready, willing and able buyer to justify the asking price.
This brings us to the subject of “inexperienced or uninformed” buyers... Yes, they do tend to increase prices but they are part of a free market economy and must be included, just as “panic” buying in the current market. Something is worth what a buyer (that has the means and desire) is willing to pay. It’s the most simple adage in economics.
 

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saintclair said:
If you want to see an example of a poorly faked late 1st gen SAA, check here Colt SAA 45 LC MFG1932 for sale

This is one of very, very many faked 1st gen SAA's. The key to collecting anything is education.
I get what you are trying to show here but would disagree with the label "fake".

I'd call a Pietta or a Armi San Marco that one might "fake" Ist Gen. Armi San Marco frame will take a 1st or 2nd Gen barrel, This GB item shown is a rebuilt, refinished and totally misrepresented 1st Gen. But short of a re-stamped serial number it isn't a fake, just totally represented as far as condition, box, grips ect.

US martial guns on the other hand are fakes the moment someone adds a US to the frame.
 

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1stgen1916saa said:
So the arsenal rebuild is really the key to this or am I missing something? What if someone found authentic parts at shows or swap meets over time and finally had the pieces to build an artillery, would that be a fake?
There is the rub. Prove it is not a arsenal rebuild? If you start with a legit Cav frame and add parts from known Cav serial numbered guns you have a "artillery" by the numbers. Springfield rebuild right? Everything mentioned is easy enough to do except properly cutting the barrel to a 5.5".

But even then if it is a original Cav barrel you can still have a legit "Artillery" no matter what the barrel length is under 5.5".
 

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People can collect anything they want. None of us get's to dictate what is or is not collectible.

Some people collect balls of string, or strands of barb wire. I have a friend that collects the "lowly" Mossberg .22s. I saw people in NE collecting (and I did too) sea glass, broken, worn bits of colorful glass.

What do all these things have in common? History. Like the reply said above.
 

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Well-meaning, but well-heeled collectors who spend hundreds of thousands at auctions on altered and "upgraded" guns that have no idea what they are buying, are what have ruined most of gun collecting. It has skewed the curve of prices and provided the impetus for the 'Smitty's to get out their fake stamps and associated tools of the trade.
hello, lance; . .their grandfathers were busy back in the 30s, we had them in the 50s, their fathers in the 90s, and may have their children again in the 2030s. they are descendants of the insatiable depraved victorian collectors who ravished classical regions in their time.
regards, bro
 

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When I said "History" as an appeal of Artillery models it was not limited to the History of ownership. In fact, very few Artilleries can be traced to ownership or use other than the US Gov't. There is history in the evolution of each individual part in an artillery. Each part under went changes in design or manufacturing procedures. The parts mostly have stamps of inspectors who can be studied to the years they were involved in the manufacture. The Sub-Inspectors are unique to time periods. You can disassemble an artillery model and spend hours going over the different parts, logging markings and researching their history. It is a area for a student of Colt SAA's and may not be understood by a shooter or even a fan of Colt's or movies or whatever. There are books written exclusively on Colt Artillery models and some Colt SAA books devote a chapter to them. To me it is history to do this. Justify the price? I don't know. Supply and demand usually determines prices. I wish they weren't so expensive so I could enjoy more of them....I can only justify one at a time. Study it, enjoy it and then move on to the next one and do the same all over again. I hope this makes sense. Regards,
 

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1stgen,
Just curious, what type Colt SAA's do you collect ? could we see a few pic's ? any Artillery's ? ..Thanks
 

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The military has always used parts of original items to rebuild or convert original items. I have a collection of military arms that were used when I was on active duty in the Navy (late 50's early 60's) they are all rebuilds. That is what we were using.
Jim
 

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Great comments in your Thread 1stgen 1916saa. Thanks for starting it. The thing that I cannot fully understand is why 'collectors' and others pay so much for Turnbull rebuilds. It must be their drive to have to have 'a perfect example' of a historic gun.
 

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There was earlier discussion on folks building Artilleries from an accumulation of U.S. parts. No doubt it has been done, and probably still being done, in some degree. The upside to this for the serious collector, and again student of U.S. SAA's, is there are ways to tell, generally. Which brings up the discussion a fellow collector (now deceased) and I used to have about faking guns. Our conclusion was if it was done so well that NO ONE could tell if it was authentic or fake then it has to be accepted as real....regards.
 

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I agree that it has been done, and likely will be tried again in the future. There’s too much value / temptation there for would be scammers. Now, I know that John Kopec has an extensive data base on US models as well as documentation of certain “spare parts” re: SAA’s particularly artilleries. I don’t know what the data base currently includes but I bet it could be utilized to catch fakes.
 

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Throughout U.S. military history, the weapons have gone through rebuild as necessary. If only those weapons that had never been through rebuild were now collectible there would be very few of any military weapon to choose from. No attempt to keep original parts together has ever been used.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
1stgen,
Just curious, what type Colt SAA's do you collect ? could we see a few pic's ? any Artillery's ? ..Thanks
No, I don't touch artillery models for the reasons I stated above. I collect original 1st gens between 1873 and 1919, I don't care for the changes Colt made after 1919. I would love to have a legitimate cavalry model but prices preclude this for now. The oldest 1st gen I own is an 1878 7 1/2 inch 45LC. And I have posted pics before, not of all of my guns, some are in a safe deposit box including the only 2nd gen gun I own ( my dad's 1958 45LC ).
 

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No, I don't touch artillery models for the reasons I stated above. I collect original 1st gens between 1873 and 1919, I don't care for the changes Colt made after 1919. I would love to have a legitimate cavalry model but prices preclude this for now. The oldest 1st gen I own is an 1878 7 1/2 inch 45LC. And I have posted pics before, not of all of my guns, some are in a safe deposit box including the only 2nd gen gun I own ( my dad's 1958 45LC ).
If you have no interest in collecting artilleries, perhaps I don’t understand the reasoning behind the post? You spoke about the “myths” associated with these guns and that you wanted to dispel or perpetuate them... it seems as though your mind is made up however so this must be the later of the two? I have no interest in collecting Mossberg’s but I also don’t post on that site (if there is one)?😎
 
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