Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by reinhard, Jun 28, 2010.
Very, very nice! Congratulations.
thanks old cruiser,i think this was the deal of a lifetime
If the letter is for the SAA, you have a big problem. The gun has b een refinished.
While the gun could probably be granted amnesty, smooth bore pistols are NFA items, if the barrel is under 16 inches.
Re: my prize winning 45 smooth-bore saa
Bill, I always respect your opinion but why do you think the gun has been refinished. It appears to me to be original in that it has all those little fine hairline scratches that only age brings to nickle. As for NFA, wouldn't the fact that it is pre 1899 negate that issue.
My biggest problem with the deal is that if reinhard traded off all those other engraved Colts that I have drooled over the last few days for this one gun I would have much rather had the engraved Colts. Original or redone they are beautiful and I would love to own all of them than this one Colt smooth bore and all.
hi ron, on a given point you have to make a decission what you want to collect,fancy newley engraved colts or the original stuff ?
think i am going for that last one,you always can buy engraved guns but i think this gun has to much history to let go,i see things different now ;too bad i could not keep the guns , thats life my friend making sometimes you have too make choises
I think what Bill is basing his opinion is that the Colt letter says the gun was shipped with a blue finish. The letter is either incorrect or the gun was refinished after leaving the factory and therefor cannot be considered as having the "original" finish.
this is a page of the colt encyclydia
So which one do we believe, the "Colt Encyclopedia" (compiled by ????) or the official Colt Factory letter??
I understand and please don't think I fault you for your decision but for me I would enjoy looking at and fondling your four engraved guns more than I would this one gun. I guess I am not so much into rare as I am art. That is a lot to say for a guy who owns a one of kind LeFever three barrel gun which I might add is also a work of art.
Enclosed is a picture of an early second generation gun I use to own. Pay very close attention to the ejector rod end, it has been skeletonized to slide over the cylinder base pin so it will fully eject.
nice gun and what looks to me real ivory ,just love these old genuine grips Ron, but the barrel seems shorter than the 4 3/4 or is it my eyes
take a look at my favorit sidearm a late 2nd gener.and i adaptad it to fit my small hands,this is a real workhorse and nothing more cal is 44-40
and of course it is not a winning colt ! the whole coltdisplay stand was rewarded
can i see some pics of the rifle?
Man, I gotta tell ya after reading the Colt Letter and the highlighted section in the Colt Encyclopedia there's DEFINITELY something "fishy" about this SAA. The letter states "blue" finish. The gun should be blue... No exceptions that I know of! If it were sent to London to be nickeled it would NOT say "blue". Also, the Colt Encyclopedia states "rubber" grips. It has definitely been changed from it's original configuration and that really hurts the collector value.
Even if your information is correct, there is no corroboration in the known text books and that leaves too many questions and speculation.
Sorry man... I hate to go back on what I said earlier but I didn't have all of the information and wanted to tell you this ASAP so hopefully you can get this figured out.
I'm curious as to just what the "Colt Encyclopedia" being referenced is.
Who published it, and when? I see other reference in it to Doc Carver, Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley, all members of the Wild West Show at that time. It's almost seems as if it is "suggesting" that these guns belonged to them but doesn't come right out and claim it. If it could be attributed to Cody it may be worth the price paid but it will take more than being listed in some "Encyclopedia" of unknown provenance.
I would be suspicious that these guns were fancied up by some London entrepreneur hoping to cash in on the popularity of the Wild West Show that was touring Europe at the time. (Kind of like the "action figures" that follow movie releases today.) This would add value, but I don't think all that much.
This needs a lot more research. I might suggest you also post over on the Colt Forum, there's a good number of experts there.
For those interested, here's something I found on a website for Julia Auctions. This pistol is in their archives:
"1523AB. *COLT NICKEL SINMGLE ACTION REVOLVER WITH SHOULDER STOCK; POSSIBLE BUFFALO BILL COLLECTION. Ser. 128863. Cal. 45 smooth bore, 7 1/2” barrel. This lot accompanied by an original factory letter that the finish was blue, that it was shipped to the Colts Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company the London Agency; 14 Pal Mal London, England October 10th, 1889. It was at this very time that Buffalo Bill was just across the channel at his Wild West show and at about this same time of the famous Paris International Exposition. Buffalo Bill was purchased a number of Colt smooth bore revolvers from the Colt manufacturing company. He and some of the other “expert shots” who performed at the time usually used shot and thus smooth bore pistols so they could not miss! It is believed the pistol may have been made for Buffalo Bill because of his frequent usage of this type of weapon and because of the near proximity and the time that it was delivered. However, the Paris Exposition was also taking place at the same time and it is known that Colt prepared a wide array of firearms that were shipped to their London office for use in display at the Paris Exposition. The Information on this serial number exists in the Colt Peacemaker Encyclopedia, Vol. 2 on page 350 and 410 by Keith Cochran and specifically states “128,863 7 1/2.45 smooth bore, nickel finish, rubber grips, British proof marks, extended hammer screw for shoulder stock, shipped London Agency, October 10th 1889, Buffalo Bill was in Paris at this time for the Paris International Exposition.” This gun retains British proof marks on the barrel and cylinder with nickel finish. The finish is definitely factory quality and was applied after the proof marks. The shoulder stock has been modified by adding a walnut plate and grinding the buttplate flush with the sides of the stock. The case is modern and has been made to accept the gun, shoulder stock and cartridges. Owner has put together a number of other items with this lot which include a Paris 1889 Exposition medal with the name Rafael Arenas, an article by Buffalo Bill from Colliers Weekly, April 13th, 1901 and a Buffalo Bill’s sweepstake dime novel. CONDITION. The revolver appears to be unused and almost of all the nickel remains. The stock retains most of its nickel except on the sides of the buttplate where it has been ground to brass. The case and other articles are in fine condition. 4-41826 (20,000-25,000)"
So maybe there is some provenance here. Still scares me.
By the way, Just thought I'd share... here's my most recent "Colt" acquisition. Not quite as romantic as an SAA but it's quite rare and may actually be "unfired":
It's a Model 1905. It was the first Semi Automatic Model that Colt ever made in 45 ACP. This one is possibly the best one in existance.
I'm with you, possible, maybe even plausible. Or just happenstance? Definitely sounds like the "assembly of artifacts" was done not too many years ago.
I noticed that Julia was very careful not to make any claims that couldn't be verified. Is it worth 4 modern engraved SAA's + $4,000? I guess it depends on how much it rings your chimes.
BTW: Did the archive have a "Values Received" section? If so, did it sell and for how much? (and when)
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