colt single action army

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by yrralguthrie, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Better to get the education before shelling out five grand.

    Jim
  2. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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    This I don't understand ,if this gun was for sale here the asking price would be probably somwhere in the region between 1000$ and 1500$ and this includes import taxes,I payed 3500$ for the long flutes engraved single action with ivory grips , I cant believe that this guy wants 5000.$ for this gun and to tell you the truth the last purchase by me was a colt that was thousand dollars more than this 5K colt,but that was a mint condition pre/post war colt in his original box

    Reinhard
  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Well, the asking price can be anything. The seller could have asked a million dollars. The getting price is something else. If he asks a million and gets it, he can retire. If he doesn't get it, then he will reduce the price until he reaches a point at which the gun will sell.

    In this case, the seller either knowingly boosted the price, hoping some sucker would bite, or he really had no idea what he had and was asking top dollar based on what he had seen in a price guide. Either way, the old saying "caveat emptor" applies.

    Just FWIW, I don't think that gun was originally plated at all. I think it was a blue and case colored gun with a worn and rusted finish, so someone polished it down and had it plated. I doubt there are two different plating metals; more than likely a so-so plating job makes the finish look uneven.

    Jim
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  4. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Perhaps Jim has a better screen than me but the gun does not look refinished to me. That being said I would not bet $5000.00 on what I see in pictures meaning I would have to see the gun live and even then I have been be fooled.

    Ron
  5. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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    for close inspection you need to take your pictures outdoors
    picture of a 1880 original nickeled single action(not my property)

    Attached Files:

  6. yrralguthrie

    yrralguthrie New Member

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    When I first looked at the gun I was looking at the finish. It is actually quite good, better than the pictures show. After reading the replies here I know not to look at the finish but to look at the edges. The edges get rounded during much wear and during the refinishing process. This gun has rounded edges. It also has some nicks on the front of the cylinder that I hadn't noticed before. These nicks are plated.

    The owner doesn't really have any idea what he has. He's just guessing and also is just looking at the shiny finish.

    It has been refinished. Not uneven. I can't see how it would be possible to look at it and say it was originally blue or case hardened. I said I thought it was originally nickel simple because if I were to refinish a gun I would put it back as close to original as possible. A letter from Colt would determine this I expect.

    In any case the gun is still priced at $5000, but I'm confident it could be had for $2000. But refinished and chromed, it's not worth anything to me. I don't need a SAA shooter.



    ljg
  7. 45nut

    45nut New Member

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    Never ever under any circumstances buy any collectible firearm from a PAWN SHOP!! Are ya nuts? Those guys are in the business for one reason, to make lots of money on sometimes, unsuspecting customers.

    Mind you, I have done a lot of business with pawn shops, but I know a good deal about what I'm looking for. Be informed and occasionally, you can turn the tables on the Pawn Broker like 1shot did.

    You can find good deals, but collectible firearms and bamboo fly rods are all thought to be of great worth no matter condition or maker. Buyer beware.

    Oh, and of course it's a modern refinish. Plus the hammer and some other parts. It's a Single Action Frankenstein.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  8. yrralguthrie

    yrralguthrie New Member

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    reinhard,

    The gun is in a pawn shop. Take it outside to take the pictures??? That's asking a lot of the owner.

    ljg
  9. yrralguthrie

    yrralguthrie New Member

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    I realize I am hijacking my own thread, but the original question is answered so far as I'm concerned.

    Some mentioned, Colt SAA nickel plated guns being issued to the Indian Scouts. My personal opinion, No, simple because they would have been a "special gun" and the Army was not going to pay extra for Indian guns. And even if they did no way the guns would have not been hijacked by the officers.

    Then there is this: Officers wouldn't have wanted Remington's and they were no doubt cheaper than the Colts.

    Here's what was issued to Indian Police:

    In 1883, Remington supplied approximately 1300 nickle-plated revolvers to the Indian Police.

    Nothing is indicated in the Contract about particular markings, if any - but they were trying to cash in on Colt's Government Contracts and referred to the revolver as the "Model Furnished Interior Department for Indian Police".

    Often - Remington-Keene rifles are seen - stamped "U.S.I.D", as are Whitney-Kennedys and Winchesters.

    According to "Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms" - the caliber is quoted:

    "Caliber .45 Government listed in early Remington catalogs (actually .45 Long Colt), but specimens scarce and would be worth premium; buyer should exercise caution on this latter caliber."

    According to Wilson's "Price Guide to Gun Collecting" - the quote reads:
    "Model 1875 Army Revolver, .44 centerfire, later in .44-40 and .45 Long Colt, 7 1/2", 5 3/4" Barrels bring Premium with web below Barrel."

    Government purchase figures for U.S.I.D. are as indicated.

    No mention of the Model 1890 - since the Government only bought the Model 1875.

    There's more - but these are readily available references.

    Now as to the nickel-plated Colts - it's been pretty much disproved that they were for the Indian Scouts - but rather, they were private-purchase for Officers.


    No doubt (for me) the nickel plated SAA's in the pictures were Remingtons. However this does refer to the Indian Police in the Indian Territory, not to scout's.
  10. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Just to be picky again, but ".45 Government" is not .45 Colt (there really is no such thing as ".45 Long Colt").

    .45 Government is the same as .45 Colt, but has a shorter case and a lighter bullet; it was designed to work in both the Colt Model 1873 and the S&W Schofield. From about 1874 to 1909, it was the only pistol (revolver) cartridge made by Frankford Arsenal and the only one issued to the U.S. Army. In spite of many writings to the contrary, the Army never used the .45 Colt in the Indian wars or in the Philippines during that period.

    (One presumes, though, that the revolvers in question were actually chambered for .45 Colt, so that both cartridges would fit.)

    Jim
  11. yrralguthrie

    yrralguthrie New Member

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    In this case it is the guns themselves that are the important thing, not the cartridge fired in them. Pretty hard to tell that from the old photo's mentioned before in this post.

    I saw the ".45 long colt" and almost changed it because I knew someone would let me know about it. But those were the words as I found them. Not mine.

    I am simply suggesting that perhaps the SAA's looking guns found in the old Indian Scout picture might not be Colts. So that it would be pretty hard to use Colt production figures to determine if the Indian Scouts carried nickel plated SAA's.

    Pretty sure the gun in this Indians hand is a nickel plated Remington, not a Colt

    ljg

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    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  12. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Hi, yrralguthrie,

    I realize the term was not yours and wasn't really implying it was, just trying to let folks know that the term ".45 Government" referred to a different cartridge from the .45 Colt.

    I think both the guns shown in that picture are Remingtons; since they appear to be nickel plated, they almost certainly were part of the contract you mentioned.

    Jim
  13. oldcruiser

    oldcruiser New Member

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    Hmmm...I'll be picky for a change, since certain subjects are getting confusing pertaining to this hi-jacked thread.

    The Colt 1873, chambered in .45 colt, was ordered from Colt primarily for issue to the U.S. Cavalry during the time of the Indian wars West of the Mississippi River.

    ***added: The term "Indian wars West of the Mississippi" is commonly used to differentiate the Indian wars in the US, the "Indian wars East of the Mississippi" were in an earlier time period.***

    To establish a timeline period, these Indian wars were from 1823-1890. Two later battles were fought,1898 battle of Sugar Point (Minnesota), and 1918 battle of Bear Valley (Arizona).

    ***added: Refers to the "Indian wars West of the Mississippi", and identifies the time period.***

    The .45 S&W (Schofield) was manufactured for the S&W model 3 top break which was newly available on the civilian market. The .45 colt was a 250 grain slug, and the .45 S&W weighed in at 230 grains (and .15" shorter case).

    The original .45 S&W cartridge would fit into the .45 colt chamber, BUT the chamber could not be completely loaded due to its larger rim diameter. The .45 S&W cartridge was later redesigned as the M1877 ball cartridge which also had a smaller rim diameter. The redesign allowed the .45 S&W to fit the S&W model 3 and the Colt 1873. At that time, the 1873 Colt could have a fully loaded chamber. The Frankford Arsenal standardized the round later in the 1880's. It is to be noted the Colt 1873 was never chambered to fit the .45 S&W round.

    The S&W model 3 did see service within the U.S. Cavalry (8,000+ in 1879) due to the fact it could be loaded faster than the Colt in service. That made a difference, on horseback especially.

    ***added:A more detailed explanation pertaining to the S&W model 3 Schofield version is to be found in my next post as to not have to cover the same ground twice. Please note the 1873 Colt was ordered by, and put into use by the U.S. Cavalry prior to the development,orders placed,acceptance, and issuance of the Smith & Wesson model 3 Schofield version.***

    At no time did Colt manufacture a .45 Long Colt cartridge. That was a common term to differentiate the shells as the .45 colt would not chamber into the model 3. Hence the need for standardization if additional model 3's were to placed into service.

    After the Indian wars were supposedly over, the U.S. Cavalry were issued double action Colt .38s beginning in 1893. The turned in Cavalry .45s were still standard issue to the infantry and artillery divisions.

    In 1894, the Chief of Ordinance, Brigadier General D.W. Flagler, issued a request for a shorter length barreled 1873 Colt. That is another story in itself.

    The Spanish-American war of 1898, and the other later conflicts, still saw many, many Colt 1873s in service, and with .45 S&W issued ammo. The early first years of it combat service within the Indian wars, however, required .45 colt ammo. That is unless you wanted to ride into battle with only four rounds in a six round chamber.

    Since the early days of its production, the Colt single action has been chambered to include the following calibers:
    .22 rimfire/.32 rimfire/.32 colt/.32 s&w/.32-44/.32-20/.38 long colt/.38 s&w/.38 colt special/.38 s&w special/.38-44/.357 magnum/.380 eley/.38-40/.41 long colt/.44smoothbore/.44 rimfire/.44 German/ .44 Russian/.44 American/ .44special/.44-40/.45 colt/.45 smoothbore/ .45 ACP/ .450 boxer/.450 eley/.455 eley/.476 eley
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  14. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Hi, oldcruiser,

    Well, most of that seems not quite correct.

    The Model 1873 was adopted as the standard Army revolver; it was issued primarily to cavalry in the west because that was where the cavalry was. There was no different revolver issued in the east.

    First, even though the Schofield was a modified Model No. 3, I prefer to call the Model No. 3 by that name and call the Schofield by that name. I like to call the .45 S&W/Schofield the .45 Government, since it was made to function in both the Colt Model 1873 and the Schofield.

    The Model No. 3 was never made in any .45 caliber; a few of the New Model No.3 were made in the .45 Government, but there was never any contract for them. Some Model No.3's were used by the cavalry but they were in .44 American, not in .45 anything. There was, then, no "original" .45 S&W; no S&Ws were made in .45 until the Schofield was adopted.

    The .45 Government was designed and intended, from day one, to function in both revolvers. The first order to Frankford Arsenal for the dual-use cartridge was on August 20, 1874, so the Model 1873 Colt was in use with .45 Colt cartridges for only a short time. Production was with Benet priming. Later, a solid head (what we would call a balloon head) reloadable cartridge was adopted and standardized as the Model 1882. I can find no reference to a Model 1877 cartridge, although work on a reloadable cartridge began about that time. The Colt Model 1873 was, of course, never chambered for the .45 Government; it didn't need to be, since the .45 Government was simply a shortened .45 Colt. (That is like saying that a .357 Magnum revolver is "not chambered" for .38 Special.)

    I can find no reference to 8000 Model No.3 revolvers (not Schofields) being used the cavalry. 1000 were indeed purchased, but they were in .44 S&W American, not in .45.

    As to Colt manufacturing ".45 Long Colt", Colt did not make any ammunition, but I agree that the term .45 LONG Colt is a misnomer, though its origin is obscure.

    The story about being able to load only three rounds in the SAA cylinder has a basis in fact, but has nothing to do with S&W, the Schofield, or .45 Government ammunitiion.

    In 1909, the Army, not knowing if or when an acceptable .45 auto pistol would be found, adopted the Colt New Service in .45 Colt as the Model 1909 revolver. A problem was found, though when both commercial .45 Colt and .45 Government cartridges jumped the extractor due to the small rim. So the government developed its own cartridge, the .45 Revolver Ball Cartridge, Model 1909, with a larger rim. They had tried to make a cartridge that would work in both guns, but then decided the old Model 1873 was obsolete and went with a round that was made for the Model 1909 revolver. The Model 1873 could be loaded with those cartridges only every other chamber, so a six-shooter became a three-shooter (not four).

    BTW, David Brown's book is titled "The 36 Calibers of the Colt Single Action Army, so you seem to have missed a few.

    The picture shows (top) a .45 Colt cartridge and a Model 1909 cartridge, and (bottom) a .45 Government (Benet primed) and a .45 Colt.

    Jim

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  15. saa

    saa New Member

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    You're saying a chrome refinished colt is not original, not necessarily that it is an intentional "faked" gun. Correct? Lots of people do stupid things, like refinishing guns, old or not so old, and most have no deceptive intention other than to "make it look good again." I agree there are also scammers. Most refinished colts are just done by people who didn't know better. IMO. No disrespect intended to your initial point.
    saa.
  16. oakridge

    oakridge New Member

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    I see no connection between this gun and the so-called Indian scout or police Colts, which were nickel plated U. S. Cavalry models. Don't know why this was brought up. This SAA is a smokeless powder civilian model that appears from the photos to have a later re-finish (nickel or chrome). If this is the case, at least they kept the markings very legible.
  17. BullShoot

    BullShoot New Member

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    OK, Jim K, that garnered a BIG smile. Thanks.
  18. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    1st thing I noticed in the pictures is that the wear on the grips aren't in line with the wear on the finish of the gun.........:confused:
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