my prize winning 45 smoothbore saa

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by reinhard, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. oldcruiser

    oldcruiser New Member

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    To help shed a little more light.

    At that period in time Colt had two manufacturing facilities, one in the USA and the London location (established 1853). The London factory resulted, in part, due to the overwhelming response the Colt Exhibition of 1851 received at the London Crystal Exposition Palace. The London factory was opened nearly two years prior to Colt's completion of their new USA facility in NH.

    The London Agency was the distributor for the London factory. The factory did produce firearms, e.g. London Navy Models, etc., and also received shipments from the USA.

    Shipments of completed revolvers from the USA would ship to Colt's London factory. Once there, they would be made ready. Made ready would involve inspection, GB proofing, caliber adjustments if required, e.g. Eley, etc., special finishes, basically made ready for shipment to, or to fill orders from, the London Agency.

    One interesting item involves the Model 1860 trigger guard. Colt USA produced the 1860 with a brass trigger guard. Colt London would replace the trigger guard with blued steel due to the fact the British customers thought the brass looked out of place. Colt was in business to make and sell firearms.

    Colt USA letters reflect what processes (think build sheet) were completed, and to whom the piece was shipped to (distributor). Colt London would in turn have a build sheet listing what had been done to the imported item. It was not uncommon for a Colt USA revolver to be sent to Colt London and then be worked on again prior to their shipping to their distributor (London Agency) for customer sale as ordered. As far as the rubber versus wooden grips, that could have transpired at the London agency upon customer sale and inspection.

    Not all shoulder stocks were made by Colt USA or Colt London. Shoulder stocks were often made by other vendors for Colt. (I have seen shoulder stocks that sold for much more than the revolvers they were with.) The same holds true for wooden presentation boxes.

    The pics appear to show a nice piece from the period, and should bear further inspection and research. The dollar amount invested seems fair enough, based only at seeing the pics. If the revolver, shoulder stock, and presentation case are all Colt manufactured, the trades he has invested may very well be worthwhile.
  2. oneshot onekill

    oneshot onekill New Member

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    That's great information oldcruiser! Now I'd have to ask if there is any way to get the London "Build Sheet" to validate the changes made to the pistol? Without such documentation the time and reasoning behind the changes are still speculation and value is difficult to ascertain. All in all I think it's an extremely interesting SAA and I really want to believe the history but I've been stung one too many times to be so trusting.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  3. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about Colt, but S&W's main agent in that time period was M.W.Robinson in NYC,NY. Many guns sent to Robinson's were "embellished" by the distributor with pearl grips, engraving, etc. These embelishments are not considered "factory" by collectors and will not letter as such. Although two identical guns engraved by Nimschke may be identical in quality, there is a fairly large difference in value depending on whether the factory commissioned the work or it was commissioned by the distributor.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  4. oneshot onekill

    oneshot onekill New Member

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    I dug around their site but was unable to find the actual selling price. The auction estimate was $20,000-$25,000 if I read it correctly.
  5. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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    ;;;;;;
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  6. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    one shot: What do mean not as romantic? Your auto is as cool as it gets and the condition. OMG

    Ron
  7. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Reinhard: The Colt is a 3.5 inch and has two a two line address on top of the barrel. The ejector end piece has been skeletonized to go over the cylinder retaining pin. Who ever made up the gun did an excellent job. It is a first year second generation gun.

    Your 44-40 is really cool I like the hammer and the cut around the cylinder especially.

    Are you familar with a Grover Improved Number Five?

    Ron

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  8. oneshot onekill

    oneshot onekill New Member

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    I guess what I meant was the SAA has a very storied history and a huge following while the 1905 sort of slips through the cracks in history. When asked about rare 45ACP pistols most will recognize the 45 Luger or even the Savage 1907 but I rarely hear mention of the true "father" of the 1911.
    When I first got this 1905 I was so excited and wanted to show it to the guys that hang out at a local gun shop. Literally NO ONE knew what it was or how lucky they were to be able to fondle it. One guy even asked if it was an old "Colt Copy" of some sort. Anyway, that's all I meant. Thanks for appreciating it!

    John
  9. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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  10. macrylinda1

    macrylinda1 New Member

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    if you mean that the gun is refinished from bleu to chrome than i have to say that you are possibly may be wrong,the gun was chromed in london because of the milky color you had when colt did the chroming,the gun is listed in the colt encyclopidia as chromed and this is still the original finsish the gun has still al markings very sharp ,tommorow i wil post detailled pics of the gun
    taken in daylite and as a i can assure u the gun is not in the us at this moment

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