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colt single action army

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

  1. oneshot onekill

    oneshot onekill New Member

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    Definitely looks like a refinished SAA to me. Also looks like the hammer may be a replacement.
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Theoretical discussions on the number of Colts that can dance on the head of an Indian Scout are wonderful things, but that gun is not. It has been polished and corners rounded, then plated with what appears to be chrome, not nickel. IMHO, it is not worth even $1000, let alone $5000.

    Jim
  3. yrralguthrie

    yrralguthrie New Member

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    Now that you point it out, it's pretty obvious it has been polished and refinished. I never thought about the process of refinishing, and can see where it would require polishing and rounding to remove nicks.

    But explain about the chrome vs. nickel, why do you say that? I actually believe you, I just want to be able to tell the difference myself.

    ljg
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  4. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I can't be sure from just pictures, but many people who try to fake old guns have them plated with chrome, a cheaper metal than nickel, plus there are a lot of places doing chrome plating because of the auto restoration business, where not many do nickel.

    Both metals have a silvery color, but chrome has a "cold" look, with bluish tinges, where nickel is "warmer" with more of a yellowish tinge. There is no real good way to explain except to have looked at a lot of guns and, I admit, sometimes I find it hard to tell the difference in some lights. But Colt did NOT chrome plate SAA's (or AFAIK anything else), so a chromed Colt is a refinished fake.

    Jim
  5. yrralguthrie

    yrralguthrie New Member

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    The answers in this thread made me curious so I did some searching on the internet. "chrome vs nickel plating"

    Turns out that it is not all that hard to tell them apart.

    There are two types of chrome plating; hard chrome which is thicker say 1/1000 of an inch. Used on wear parts like the inside of a barrel. It's not really harder but wears better because it's thicker.

    Then regular chrome plating which is millionths of an inch thick. The item is nickel plated first for protection and shine, then the chrome is applied to keep the nickel plating from tarnishing.

    And as has been said the nickel plated item will have a easily seen yellowish cast to it. Looks kind of silver/blue. Soft (not literally) a soft look. The chrome plate makes the item look very hard, with a bluish cast and a deep shine. Very reflective.

    So the gun in question was likely nickel plated originally, had some severe wear. It was then polished, but all the nickel wasn't removed and then chrome plated. Not even the correct way to chrome plate.

    Excellent post for me.

    ljg
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Better to get the education before shelling out five grand.

    Jim
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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:

  11. 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
  12. 45nut

    45nut Active 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
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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
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