Colt SAA value?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Psssniper, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Psssniper

    Psssniper New Member

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    Howdy, a friend has a Colt SAA serial #97xxx finish is worn at muzzle and edges, Was supposedly converted to .38 special by the Colt factory in the 20's or30's. Colts SAA's are something I know nothing about :confused: Whats she worth? Would it be a good idea it to get a factory letter and then restore it to original caliber? Does Colt do that type of restoration or is there someone who does? Thank you gentlemen for your help.
    Paul

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  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Hi Paul.....welcome to TFF. :)

    Trying to value your friend's Colt SAA is going to be quite a challenge.

    IF it were in it's original caliber of .45 Colt (or possibly .44-40), it would be fairly straightforward.....

    Your friend's SAA is what's known at an Intermediate Blackpowder SAA, manufactured from 1876 to 1890, in serial # range 22,000 to 130,000, in calbers .45 Colt, and .44-40 (after 1878). Your friend's gun, #97xxx was made in 1883, and the original caliber would've been .45 Colt.

    .38 Special wasn't even invented until 1902. And, there's the problem.

    IF the gun were in it's original caliber, and IF that's the original finish, the gun would be quite valueable.....easily in the 5-figure dollar range.

    IF the caliber conversion was a Colt FACTORY job, and IF it has a FACTORY refinish, all is not lost! It would still have quite a bit of value, but probably not quite as much as if it were in original condition and caliber.

    For this particular gun, I'd say that a Colt Historical Archive Letter (http://www.coltsmfg.com/cmci/historical.asp) is an ABSOLUTE MUST to determine that this was a factory conversion.

    As to whether or not to reconvert it, I'd say to LEAVE IT ALONE until you can determine what've you've got! (via an Historical Letter)

    I don't believe Colt does this sort of work anymore, and if a reconversion were to be done by somebody else, I believe it would ruin the present value of the gun.....whatever that is!

    I can give you the Blue Book value of an original gun in original caliber and with the original finish.....but that would no longer apply to this particular gun.

    Please let us know what you find out from the Historical Letter.....and maybe we can go from there.....
  3. Psssniper

    Psssniper New Member

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    Xracer,
    Thanks for all that info. Upon closer inspection I noticed that 44CF was stamped on the left side of the trigger guard where it meets the frame. Could we assume that this was a 44-40? l also noted that the loading gate had four numbers that did not match the other numbers on the gun. Tried to get a look down the barrel and the rifling was hard to see and almost looked shot out near the forcing cone area but at the muzzle it looked better. Is that normal or am I just used to seeing modern guns with strong rifling? Supposedly the grips are original?For fun lets assume that this is just a parts gun and was put together by Bubba in his garage. What would it sell for? I am trying to come up with an offer on the gun and appreciate all your help. Thanks man!
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  4. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    I think so. Since the SAA was first made in .44-40 in 1878 and your gun was made in 1883, that's entirely possible.

    Whether the caliber conversion was a factory job or a "Bubba job", the cylinder would have to be changed and probably the loading gate was changed at the same time, so the numbers would be different than the rest of the gun.

    I'm not sure about the rifling.

    The grips look original and factory fitted.....they normally would be walnut or "gutta purcha" (hard rubber), but you could also order ivory, pearl, stag, or bone.

    Oh WOW! Here I'm way out of my depth.....I can look up and see the values of factory guns, but I'm no expert on valuing custom made guns.

    If you want a guess (and that's all that it is)....If it's a factory job, I'd guess a value in the low 5-figures.

    If it's a "Bubba Job", it looks like a nicely done one, so I'd guess maybe a value of $2,000-$3,000 as a very nice 1st Generation "shooter".

    Sorry.....that's the best I can do. :(

    Anybody else have any input?
  5. Goody

    Goody Member

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    I have seen some of the guns converted by outside smiths. They seem to run around 800-1200. The problem I would have with this one, and any gun from the era, is the black powder frame. I simply would not trust them with even a mild smokeless load. The frames are simply not as strong as the later ones due to materials used.
  6. Yendor

    Yendor New Member

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    Paul:
    The particular Colt you pictured by all indications has been completly reworked . As previously stated the Value has been greatly depreciated by this "Rework" and inasmuch the Colt now has a value of approximately $1200-1500. 00. If you are considering selling the piece, I would be interested in purchasing it as I do restorations on Colt's and could use the parts . To Restore your colt to Original configuration would run approximately $4000.00 considering it is a first Generation . Then only if the parts are available . Please let me know . You can E-mail me at wr1947@hotmail.com.

    Thanks
    Regards
    Jim
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