Colt SAA Mystery!


April 22, 2007, 05:15 PM
Hey all. I was asked by a sick family member to try and appraise his gun collection for him. The only one I have had problems with is this SAA. So far all the research I have done has made me more confused. Starting with the basics: It is a Colt SAA, 5 1/2" barrel, blue, black hard rubber grips. It has the screw in the front correct for a blackpowder frame. I have included a picture and the condition is about 85-90 percent, clylinder ring, some muzzle wear etc. The serial number is 794XX (marked in 3 places and consistent) which my research has told me was made in 1882. Here is where the confussion comes in, the caliber is marked on the barrel as ".38 Special". From what I know the .38 Special was not available until 1902, it was first a blackpowder cartridge but again not until 1902. He does not have the money for a Colt Historical letter at the momment and before I lay out the cash for him I wanted to try other resources. Thanks in advance for any help.

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Vern Humphrey
April 22, 2007, 05:26 PM
This gun has been rebarreled and has a new cylinder. The cylinder shown does not have the "black powder chamfer" on the front edge.

It's still a great gun -- just not all original.

April 22, 2007, 05:31 PM
Any of us could hope to look that good at 125! (Even with a few replacement parts.)

April 22, 2007, 05:36 PM
Thanks guys, that was quick, the grips also have the Rampant Colt that were also from later models. Any clue as to a value?

Jim Watson
April 22, 2007, 05:49 PM
It is also a rather heavily buffed reblue with the case colors long gone, the patent dates smeared, and the screw holes dished.

The best way to value it would be to look for similarly rehashed SAAs on and closed auctions on Gunbroker and Auctionarms.

April 23, 2007, 04:24 AM

If you have items of arms, armor, sporting guns or militaria you would be interested in offering at auction, or if you just want to get an idea of the value of your items, we are happy to render free appraisals from photographs, or in person. Please contact at us at the phone numbers or e-mail addresses shown to the right.

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Old Fuff
April 23, 2007, 11:11 AM
Following World War Two, but before Colt returned the Single Action to production in the mid 50's, a lot of older six-shooters were rebuilt and refinished. Among others, Colt did such work. New barrels and cylinders were available in .45 Colt and .38 Special. The .38 conversion was recommended for black powder era revolvers.

You can roughly date when the barrel (and probably the cylinder) were made by the exact wording of the Colt address on the side or top of the barrel.

April 23, 2007, 04:54 PM
Thanks again guys. I called Colt today and they said that they do not keep any records of rebuilds prior to 1970. So in this case it does not look like a letter would even help. They did confirm that they did quite a few rebuilds post war and prior to the introduction of the third edition/series. The most common calibers were .38 and .45 Colt exactly as Old Fuff stated. The woman did pass on that if the rebuild was done by Colt it will have a Star or Ampersand (&) stamped on the trigger guard. I have found a few listings of guns with similar histories and they all appear to be in the 1500 to 2000 range. None have been able to verify that they were rebuilt by Colt so I imagine this information could add a few dollars to the price. Thanks again for all your help, Bill

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