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I thought you Colt guys might enjoy this post I made on the Smith & Wesson Forum sometime ago. It covers a couple of "dreaded" refinished guns I own which are very dear to me.

Both are Indian war veterans The Cavalry is of early 1874 vintage and the 1st Model Schofield was in the first contract order delivered to the U.S. Army in 1875. So these two old war horses might have served together.







At the risk of rambling , let me explain why these old warriors facinate me. Both were returned to their respective factories for repair, which I believe included refinishing. The Schofield was done in 1926. As Colt did not keep return work records, The date the Cavalry was returned to Colt is in question. John Kopec feels it was done in the 1920's-30's based on the rerolled barrel address and certain small parts updates. Other experts I spoken with feel it was refinished in the early 1900's based mainly on the similarity of the reblue to the reblues on Colt factory refurbished Artillries of that period.

Other than 1920's -30's style blue on the Schofield. both guns approximate high condition examples of the guns as they were originialy issued. What I find fascinating is that, except for Colt's customary address reroll and caliber stamping on the Colt, the people who refinished these guns took great steps to preserve their originality. I also like to believe that at the time there were still people at both Colt and Smith and Wesson who had first hand knowledge of the processes the factories used to assemble and finish the original guns. I like to think that they took extra pride in refurba=ishing these old boys.







Both guns must have had very crisp metal and little wear when returned give the quality of the refinished results. The respective factorys made great efforts to preserve the originality, original parts and martial stampings on both guns, especially with the Schofield.





The Schofield was Ordinance inspected by Lewis (although the "L" and "P' on the barrel bottom don't appear to be stamped with Ordinance Inspector dies based on observed examples).





The Colt was Ordinance inspected by Ainsworth. This Cavalry somehow survived the Ordinance Dept's 1893 recall for alteration.





I believe the Schofield's grips are original, with both original and restamped SN's and the original cartouche.






The Colt retains its original parts but show some the "update" changes Colt typically made on factory reworks. These include added cylinder stop approaches(Early SAA's had none).The cylinder is original as the "A" stamp and evidence of the SN remain.




The original italic barral address is gone, having a later "block" rerolled address and "45 Colt " stamped on the left side.







However, the barral retains its SN and inspector stamps.




Its interesting that the Type I ejector housing is unaltered (Colt typically updated these to a Type III upon factory return.




Also the ejector housing is SN'ed to the gun, which Colt did only for a short period and with in a small SN range which includes the SN of the Cavalry.




Thanks for looking.

BRush
 

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Great looking old warriors; thanks for posting those pictures! Colt certainly did a nice job on that old Single Action!
 

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Those are stunning...refinished or not. Nothing to "dread" about those :)
Thank you so much for posting. This is a fantastic photo log of two wonderful and CLASSIC war horses from the days of old.
 

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That Schofield is amazing as well as the Calvalry.I sometimes think that a factory rework or refinish can be better than the original.Since there is an appreciable amount of time between new and the rework and the Co. has perfected some of their process' and materials.Just my thoughts and those two revolvers are good examples.
Thanks for sharing.
 

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Great post and narrative! Your expertise about these handguns is very impressive.
I am mostly interested in 20th century S&Ws and Colts but reading this really stokes the imagination.
Thank you.
 

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Thanks for sharing. I love that Colt! I'll bet the ejector was not replaced with the later type because by the early 20th Century the historical significance of the originals was beginning to be respected.
 

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Beautiful - thanks for letting us enjoy them.
 
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