Family Heirloom. Any idea what gun?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by losttyper, May 17, 2012.

  1. oneshot onekill

    oneshot onekill New Member

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    Looks like a Colt but may have been rebuilt at some point. To be a true 4.75" SAA the the address stamp on top of the barrel will be in 2 lines. Longer Colts that have been cut down to 4.75" are easy to tell because of the single line address stamp on top of the barrel. I think the ejector should be the bullseye type for that year. The screws do look too good. The rifling should look like thin lines twisting thru the bore. Not lands and grooves like modern rifling. We need to see the top and bottom of the pistol to authenticate it being a real Colt.

    You should not shoot that pistol. Not without having it inspected by a gunsmith... And only with black powder or extremely reduced loads. I've shot similar looking real Colts but would not recommend it.
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    IMHO, it is genuine. The barrel has been cut and the sight moved or a new one put on; I can't tell the original barrel length. I am virtually certain that the blurred area behind the patent dates originally had the letters "U.S", and the wood grip would be consistent with a military revolver. Whether it is one of the so-called "artillery models" or was cut down after service, I have no idea. The three line patent marking is consistent with the serial number. It looks like the top of the trigger is broken, so do not fire that gun until you have it checked over.

    I strongly recommend getting a Colt letter on that gun.

    Jim
  3. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    IMHO it's the real deal except the screws, ejector rod and cylinder pin. The bullseye ejector was discontinued in 1882 and the screws and cylinder pin look new compared to the rest of it. The ejector could be a period replacement as the bullseye was notorious for catching on just about everything but it's not original to the gun.
  4. Twicepop

    Twicepop Well-Known Member

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    I just read a short story about Colt SAA revolvers that werew used during what was called the Phillipine Insurrection. The military had switched over to Colt double action .38 caliber revolvers and had stripped the retired SAA's down to their components. During the Phillipine Insurection, while fighting the Moro insurectionists, they found that the .38 caliber was not an efective man stopper. The military then went to their stock pile of gun parts and assembled as many good and functional .45 caliber SAA revolvers as they had parts to do so. The barrels were shortened from the original 7.5" also. Not up on the Colt SAA enough to tell if it's the real deal or not. A letter or e-mail to Mike Venturino who writes for Guns Magazine, American Handgunner, and Reloader magazine may help you find out what you have for sure. He frequently has stories about the variations in the SAA and the history of them as well.


    those who beat their guns into plowshares, will plow for those who didn't
  5. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    I'd spend the hundred bucks or however much it is now to get a factory letter.
  6. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

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    That story makes sense. They would get all hopped up on drugs and fight and the .38 was not stopping them. The same reason we should have never stopped using the .45 in the military.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The story is only partly true; the Army did have barrels of the Model 1873 cut down, by both Colt and Springfield Armory, but the guns were not "assembled from a parts stockpile"; they were re-assembled after the work was done, but on some batches, Colt made no effort to keep the parts together, so many of those so-called "Artillery Models" have mixed parts. That work was not especially related to the Spanish American War or the Philippine Insurrection; the work was well underway 2-3 years before the war. But the hurried assembly from parts makes a better story and people who write for those magazines are story tellers, not historians.

    As for the screws, I noticed that they look in better condition than the rest of the gun; they may be replacements, but I don't think recent ones.

    Jim
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