2nd Generation Colt SAA Info Needed


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Randy63
September 16, 2003, 10:37 AM
Hello All,
I'm looking at an early 2nd Generation (1957) Colt SAA in .38 Special. The back of the cylinder is stamped with the rampant Colt and the front of the cylinder is stamped with a 3 digit number that matches the number on the back of the loading gate. Would this be the original cylinder to the gun? I've read somewhere that with the first generation guns if the back of the cylinder is stamped with the rampant Colt the cylinder has been replaced. Would this be the case with the 2nd generation guns as well?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated,

K22

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Old Fuff
September 16, 2003, 02:10 PM
After World War Two, Colt did not resume production of the Single Action Army until 1956, but in the meantime they did supply parts for rebuilding older guns, and these included cylinders and barrels in .38 Special or .45 Colt. Because other companies were also making barrels and cylinders Colt marked their products to show they were the genuine article. Hence the "horse" stamp on the back of the cylinder.

The number you refer too on the cylinder and gate are assemby numbers. You should find the same number on the back or bottom of the frame if you remove the backstrap and trigger guard. Sometimes you can see it (or part of it) if you remove the grips and look at the back of the frame. Assembly numbers insured that the right parts would be put back on the particular frame they were fitted to before any finish was applied.

The .38 Special chambering was one of two origanilly offered in 1956 (the other being .45 Colt). When Colt introduced the revolver in .357 Magnum in 1960 the demand for .38's dropped sharply, and the .38 Special option was ended 1964 and never resumed. Approximately 11,710 were made. Within the 2nd. Generation total, only 1 out of 6 revolvers is a .38 Special. The most common barrel length is 5 1/2 inches, followed by 7 1/2 inches, with 4 3/4 inches in last place. Only 510 were factory nickel plated. Look out for aftermarket refinishes.

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