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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There is this Special Edition Signature Series 1860 Army below. The silver was both made to look antique, and the silver also now has tarnished on it to a significant degree. It now looks like pewter. Some would remove the tarnish so it could be “nice and shiny”. After all, it is technically not an antique. Others like myself want to treat it like an antique. I think the tarnish is making it look more like an authentic antique then the antique finish that was originally placed on it.

How would you treat this reproduction antique pistol? Would you clean the silver, removing the tarnish?
 

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Like the OP stated, the Navy was made with what was described as an “antique silver finish”, whatever that means, so it probably wouldn’t look good all shined up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Like the OP stated, the Navy was made with what was described as an “antique silver finish”, whatever that means, so it probably wouldn’t look good all shined up.
Yes, thank you very much for your opinion. I think I will purchase it and apply Renaissance Wax. I just cannot pass up an engraved pistol. I think this was done by hand in their custom shop, since that is where many Special Editions came from. I have always wanted an engraved pistol, but never able to afford it with an original.

Update: Just bit the bullet, so to speak, and purchased it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
[Duplicate post]
 

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IMNSHO you made the right decision to protect it with Renaissance Wax and otherwise leave it alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Is it really silver finish???
I had a good conversation with Dennis Russell who wrote that guide on the Colt reproductions. He said it is plated silver, with a technique to make it look more as an antique, whatever that means. It looked like pewter to me. Now that it has a type of patina, it is actually looking like more of an antique, probably more so than the so called “antique” look they originally gave it. So it is essentially plated silver that has tarnished. For $950 I think it is a good purchase by me. Dennis told me that this price is what it is selling for in the current market.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It is a Custer 1861 Navy .36 caliber Signature Series Colt. They are not very cheap. If you mess with it, you will ruin the value. I would leave it alone.
How rare is this pistol? I have paid $1000 for it. I would thing the production of a special edition would be limited, but the 1860 Army original had allot produced.
 

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The Ninth Edition of the Blue Book of Modern Black Powder Arms by John Allen states: ".36 cal. Model 1861 Navy, General Custer Edition Revolver with Creeping Style Loading Lever, 6 shot non rebated cylinder, 7 1/2 inch round barrel, steel backstrap and trigger guard, N.Y. Address, Sam Colt signature engraved on backstrap, antiqued silver finish, 70% Nimschke style engraving on barrel, loading lever, cylinder, frame, hammer, trigger guard, and backstrap, rosewood stocks with carved eagle and shield on left, checkered on right. Manufactured 1996-2002." However, it does not give information as to how many produced. Last MSR on the revolver was $1295.00. I've seen a few of them for sale on different auction sites from $1000-$1200, so I think you did well. I thought about possibly getting one a while back but I stumbled into a smoking deal on a 2nd Generation 1860 Army. I wouldn't classify them as rare but certainly as fairly scarce. Good job!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've got that book that is pictured with the revolver. That would be a sweet gun to own.
I have horrendous debts. However, as you can see, I still have my priorities straight. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes, I will not clean it. Nothing touches it except wax or oil. the safe kind.
 

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How rare is this pistol?
In my serial number list, the highest 1861 Custer (Model F1308) is 45028, the lowest is 44729. That is a range of 299 pistols. However, the standard 1861 Navy (Model F1301) occurs in this range...60% F1301 40% F1308, so correcting it for that we can, perhaps, assume around 120 F1308 Custer models were made. My data is very limited though and I am not sure I can stand behind that number. I would love to have the serial number of your 1861, it would help immensely. If so, you can post here or PM me. And if you want to keep it private, XX out the last 2 digits or let me know you want it private. I will not disclose the full number if that is your desire. All I am trying to do is get a handle on these signature series revolvers. I just love them and no data is out there.
 

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If I recall Guns of The Old West did an article on Custer's real 1861 Navy pair a year or two ago. The Sig Series is a pretty good imitation except Custer's were silver plated with gold plated cylinders and loading levers and the handles were ivory.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
In my serial number list, the highest 1861 Custer (Model F1308) is 45028, the lowest is 44729. That is a range of 299 pistols. However, the standard 1861 Navy (Model F1301) occurs in this range...60% F1301 40% F1308, so correcting it for that we can, perhaps, assume around 120 F1308 Custer models were made. My data is very limited though and I am not sure I can stand behind that number. I would love to have the serial number of your 1861, it would help immensely. If so, you can post here or PM me. And if you want to keep it private, XX out the last 2 digits or let me know you want it private. I will not disclose the full number if that is your desire. All I am trying to do is get a handle on these signature series revolvers. I just love them and no data is out there.
Of course I will get you the serial number. I do not understand the "X" ing out of last digits of the serial number. We are not talking about a high dollar purchase here.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I have the Russell book now. I mentioned my purchase, so he eagerly gave me some information. This person is a walking encyclopedia, a fountain of knowledge. I have published some excerpts below. I do not think he will mind. He did tell me that the tarnish is so significant that I will not be able to remove it without damage to the silver finish. Tomorrow I will call the place that is holding the pistol for me, and have them give me the serial number, and to see if the serial number is hand inscribed.

"There are at least four variations of the Custer 1861 Navy that have come to light. They are as follows:

Antique silver plated with normal machine stamped serial numbers.
Antique silver plated with hand engraved serial numbers.
Full blue finish with silver washed engraving.
Full blue finish with gold washed engraving."

"The two antique silver variations are the most common and came from the original production run in the mid to late 1990’s. Since the Custer’s were limited editions, more care and attention to detail was given to them — at least visually."

"At that time, Colt Blackpowder Arms was building all sorts of strange variations just to use up parts inventory and create some buzz. It was sort of like going to work each morning thinking “what kind of strange revolver can we build today.” The blued Custer’s are a product of that mentality. Very few blued Custer’s were built — only a handful of each — with gold or silver washed engraving. These revolvers command a higher price than the silver plated version solely because of their scarcity."

"See the attached photos of how a Custer 1861 Navy (Model # F1308) should look."
 

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