Whats this worth?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by minormedical, May 1, 2012.

  1. minormedical

    minormedical New Member

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    I would like to know any information about this gun I can get, including the value. On the barrel it says "Colt DA 41" and " Colt PT F A MFG CO HARTFORD CT USA" Above the trigger is says "PAT. SEPT 18 1871". Underneath that is says " " " 15 "74". Underneath that it says " " Jan 18 "75". On the trigger guard it says, "41 cal". That is all the markings I can see except for two sereal numbers??? both of which say, "23056". One of these numbers is on the trigger guard, the other on the frame. The picture doesn’t show great detail but the gun is heavily scrimshawed, but fairly worn. The grips seem to be mother of pearl. Also, while I have not shot it, everything seems to work.

    Attached Files:

  2. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

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    Need better pictures!
    Your gun appears to be factory engraved (not scrimshawed.) The finish appears to be original, as do the pearl grips.
  3. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    As Bill said, minor medical, you need better pictures. If that gun is right, I think it could be worth over $1,000, but with that picture, no one can say.
  4. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum, minormedical:

    None of the markings you list are visible at all in your photo:

    Take some pics in natural light without a flash, and use the 'macro' setting for closeups.
  5. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

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    Judging by the counter top it's laid upon...looks real to me. Those tops are expensive.
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The gun is the Colt Model 1877, also known as the "Thunderer"; the same gun in .38 caliber was called the "Lightning." Those guns were Colt's first effort at producing a double action revolver and shared general appearances as well as some features, with the famous Single Action Army.

    That looks to me like Colt factory engraving. I would definitely write to Colt and get a letter from them on it. The letter will say when the gun was shipped and to whom. Further, if the engraving and grips are factory, the letter will say so, considerably increasing its value. No. 23056 was made in 1880.

    Having seen only one side, it is hard to make an assessment (the other side could be a mass of rust), but if everything is good and the gun functions, and the enngraving/grips are factory, the value could run to $5000. (An ordinary Model 1877 in good shape will bring $1000 or close to it.)

    I wonder about the holes in the grip. Could they be the result of someone trying to find out if the grips are genuine mother of pearl? They look good, seem to fite and look right for the period, but there are good modern fake pearl grips, so you would want to check them.

    BTW, those mechanisms are very fragile and tend to break. Parts are as hard to find as gunsmiths who can work on them, so I strongly recommend it not be fired and that operating it be very limited.

    Jim
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  7. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    You are going to have to spend $100 or so to order a factory letter from Colt. It will tell you the date of manufacture and to whom it was shipped. More importantly, it will tell if the engraving was done by the factory and if the grips are original. Such a letter could possibly increase the value of the pistol by thousands of dollars. You have no choice, you must get the letter.
  8. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

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    A 100 to make more $$? That is a no brainer.
  9. minormedical

    minormedical New Member

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    Some better pics...

    Attached Files:

  10. minormedical

    minormedical New Member

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    The holes in the grip are how they are attached to the frame...via screw. I've had it for about 15 years and I've never shot it, nor dry fired it. However, it does seem to work perfectly. My grandfather owned a pawn shop in the 50's and 60's and I assume that’s were it came from. BTW, thanks everyone for your input.
  11. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    When I said "holes", I was referring to the black dot below the screw hole and the black mark at the top of the grip on the left side; they looked to me like holes.

    The engraving still looks like factory, but only a Colt letter would verify that. It is good work, and I think of an age with the gun, even if it is not factory original.

    Jim
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