I haven't been around in a while and don't know where the last year has gone but I have another question.
My nephew is a gunsmith and a customer has given him a blued Series 70 Colt 45ACP GM and he wants to have a beavertail grip safety, sights and a couple of other things done to it. Currently the pistol is stock and in about 95-98% condition.
How much is the pistol worth now and how much will the desired work affect that value? My nephew does excellent work so it is not a question of poor workmanship but he really doesn't like working on out of production Colts when they are in this good of a condition to start with.
Also the serial number is 66XXXB70 and the way I decipher the serial number chart in R.L. Wilson's Colt book it should have been made between 1979 and 1981 but it should be either a 38Super or 9MM. What am I missing?
Hi OHshooter......nice to see ya back again. Stick around and don't be a stranger.
First....in the serial #. That is a Gov't Model number, and the pistol was made in 1980. In 1979 Colt hit 99999G70, and then went over to 01000B70, finishing '79 with 30008B70. 1980 started with 30009B70 finished with 72989B70. In '81 they went to 70B until '83 when Series 70 manufacture ended.
The current Blue Book value on a standard Mk.IV Series 70 GM:
98% - $700
95% - $525
OK, on the modifications....right now, standard Series 70 Colt GMs aren't really collector pieces. The do bring a slight premium over the Series 80 and later models....but they're not really collector items.
However.....my gut instinct tells me that some years down the road, the Series 70 price differential over the later models will widen and that eventually the Series 70s will become collector guns.
Should you make these mods? It's your pistol. I'd say if these are drop-in parts requiring no cutting or much fitting (and you save the original parts), why not?
If you're really concerned about future collector value......keep it as is. Maybe buy a cheapie....something like a Charles Daly and customize to your heart's content.
It is actually a customer's gun but we were thinking about trying to talk him out of messing with it since he wants a beavertail grip safety. Maybe we can talk him into using one of the drop in types which are pretty ugly but don't involve cutting off the "ears".
It just doesn't seem right to start cutting on a nice 25 year old gun when there are other options.
Most aftermaket beavertails require cutting the frame, to a specified radius,around the thumb safety hole, to a .250 radius, as I recall; this metal, once cut, won't grow back.
In the best of all worlds, everyone would realise that once a gun is out of production, it's value will steadily increase, as the supply of unmolested specimens declines, if it is just kept as new,but none of us live in that world, 24/7.
If you are able to talk the guy out of the pistol, say, in a trade for a Kimber, of similar dimension, he would get a fie gun,already 'fixed', and you would have a potentially collectible Colt, of appreciating value.
In the early 70's, the pistol brought $125, NIB; now 5 times that, or more, depending on the caliber, and the finish, since no more are being made, and every day there are less remaining in that condition.
I agree with your conscience about molesting the pistol, but, unless you have unlimited resources, it is an expensive place to be.
Don't start no s**t and there won't be none, Terry