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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I got this early 2nd gen a few weeks ago and it has really grown on me. I've never owned a .38 special or a long barrel before and I like it. The best part about this gun is that it is serial number 1441SA. If what I have read is correct, then second gens started at 1001SA. Being one of the first 440 made, mine may have even been made in January of '56. I don't know if anyone else cares but I think that is pretty cool. In the pics below you can see the early firing pin, hammer knurling, fonts, and the tapered triggerguard found on early 2nd gens. The grips you see are some I stole from my late 2nd and the stags that it came with. I'm hoping that this can be a (short) reference for early SAA's so if you want to see anything else just let me know














 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
2nd gen made in 73 for comparison. Floating firing pin, pointy firing pin, and "blocky" fonts that have been heavily stamped. The last pic shows the fine checkering of the later hammers on the left and the coarse checkering of the early ones on the right.






Early cylinder with the wider approaches and the deeper bevel vs the smaller approaches and smaller bevel.

Early


Later



Early wide triggerguard bevel


Later, smaller bevel
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Can you explain the difference between 'flat top' and 'round top' for me (and posterity)? I've been looking at these and I can't see a difference (besides those already mentioned).
 

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Nice Colt SAA from the early second generation. I have #1204 .45 X 51/2" that I purchased from the original owner well over 54 years ago For $125, just what he paid for it brand new from a local (at the time you had to be an authorized Colt Dealer) dealer. This gent cast, loaded and fired it hundreds of times in the 7 years he had it. I always had pre wars and this was ideal for me at the time. I always wanted an engraved Colt SAA since the advent of TV in my area, (circa 1948) so after a few years I chose a gent named Jim Riggs to engrave it for me. I shoot it quite often and take care in handling it as the original owner did as not to fast draw or fan it, so's not much of a bolt drag shows. It still has the factory mechanics and locks up tight to this day. Along with this Colt SAA came the original GuttaPercha hard rubber grips, a set of nice Stag grips, (still on it Today, as I've loved stag grips since I was a kid) and a set of REAL PEARL grips that I sold for the price I paid for the gun. I added a George Lawrence Floral Carved #35 belt and #130 holster about 30 years ago and maybe worn it once or twice. As you can tell I'm up their in years an my collection has dwindled to one pre war carved Ivory, this second generation, and an early Nickel & Ivory 3rd Generation. I don't get on here too much, but enjoy reading about you finds. Thanks for reading this post If'n you've taken the time.
 

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Can you explain the difference between 'flat top' and 'round top' for me (and posterity)? I've been looking at these and I can't see a difference (besides those already mentioned).

As you can see on your early 2nd gen, the hammer has a flat area at its very top and it sets a bit above the frame when resting. The later round top hammer is rounded off at the top and its apex does not even reach the top of the hammer groove in the frame.
 

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Nice gun.

I believe the action screws have been replaced at some point with later manufacture examples. All the screws on the early guns had a satin / brushed service finish like the base pin release in your pictures. High polish screws came later.

A first year 2nd deserves a Colt letter IMO. If you get one make sure you ask for the manufacture date to be included.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Nice Colt SAA from the early second generation. I have #1204 .45 X 51/2" that I purchased from the original owner well over 54 years ago For $125, just what he paid for it brand new from a local (at the time you had to be an authorized Colt Dealer) dealer. This gent cast, loaded and fired it hundreds of times in the 7 years he had it. I always had pre wars and this was ideal for me at the time. I always wanted an engraved Colt SAA since the advent of TV in my area, (circa 1948) so after a few years I chose a gent named Jim Riggs to engrave it for me. I shoot it quite often and take care in handling it as the original owner did as not to fast draw or fan it, so's not much of a bolt drag shows. It still has the factory mechanics and locks up tight to this day. Along with this Colt SAA came the original GuttaPercha hard rubber grips, a set of nice Stag grips, (still on it Today, as I've loved stag grips since I was a kid) and a set of REAL PEARL grips that I sold for the price I paid for the gun. I added a George Lawrence Floral Carved #35 belt and #130 holster about 30 years ago and maybe worn it once or twice. As you can tell I'm up their in years an my collection has dwindled to one pre war carved Ivory, this second generation, and an early Nickel & Ivory 3rd Generation. I don't get on here too much, but enjoy reading about you finds. Thanks for reading this post If'n you've taken the time.
That's pretty cool. I've only been looking for a few weeks but that is the lowest serial number I have seen.


I doubt I will get a letter. I can't imagine what it could say that would add any interest. My experience with letters is that they only tell you when it shipped and not when it was manufactured.

I'll try and get some pics of the difference between early and late base pins later today. Let me know if there is anything else I can get pics of.
 

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I prefer the early hammers. My favorite of all. I believe Colt went to the round top for ease in fanning the gun.

The hammer u refer to was called "low profile" when it came out & wasn't developed for fanning,Colt brought it out because a lot of people in fast draw that were thumbing the gun were getting cut by the sharp square edges on the front of the hammer when they were cocking the gun in the holster.Back then every gun I tuned I gently rounded all the sharp edges on the front of the hammer as part of the action work.
 

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Thanks Saintclair. I have been dong a little bit of reading and from what I have read it seems that Colt changed back to a flat hammer in '72 or '73. That is why my '73 looks just like my '56,

I doubt I will get a letter. I can't imagine what it could say that would add any interest. My experience with letters is that they only tell you when it shipped and not when it was manufactured.

of.
As I mentioned, you can request the manufacture date and it will be included in the letter.
 
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