Colt D.A. 41 Thunderer - inherited


June 24, 2011, 07:24 PM
I inherited this smoke wagon from my grandfather... I have no idea what its value or rarity are. Any information or opinion on this gun would be much appreciated. I did look up the serial on proofhouse, it was made in 1903. There seems to be a little corrosion on the outside of the cylinder only over the area of where one round goes. I don't see any other corrosion. I do know that a lot of these were nickel plated, this one is not (don't know if that's a good thing or bad).

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June 24, 2011, 07:54 PM
My 2007 Fjestads Blue Book states 975 at 70%, 1150 at 80%, 1600 at 90%.

Flaydermans states around 425 for "very good" for most variants and up to around $1500 for excellent for "excellent."

He also states that Billy the kid was carrying one (however it was a lightning) the night he was shot by Pat Garrett, and that John Wesley Hardin was known to have carried the Thunderer.

Blue Book states subtract 15% for nickel plating. In my opinion, bluing looks nicer on these. It is pretty well agreed that these have fragile mechanisms.

Some of the readers of this post will remember I found a rare variant, a .32 Rainmaker, which was kind of like hitting the lottery. The guy I sold it to loves them and tells me he is very knowledgeable about fixing these up as they are a strong interest of his. Don't know about his credentials but could find his info if you need it for anything.

In my opinion, you have a sharp looking gun, looks the wear is nice and honest from what I can tell... Thanks for sharing.

June 24, 2011, 07:59 PM
PS I think Flaydermans would be low on value for very good condition (IMO). Double check with closed auctions on Gunbroker for more of an idea of what these may be going for.

June 24, 2011, 08:16 PM
Thanks for the info! Now I have to figure out what to do with it...

Jim Watson
June 24, 2011, 09:48 PM
If I had one of my Grandfathers' guns, I would clean and wax it and display it proudly. I have a gun of my Uncle's and my Mother's, but not my Dad or Grandparents.

Jim K
June 24, 2011, 11:27 PM
That gun was and is blued and case hardened. The barrel, cylinder and grip straps are blued; the frame is color case hardened. Nickel plated guns are more common and are often chipped or peeling, which is why they bring less.

On that gun, there are signs of disassembly and I see several places where there appears to be rust, but it looks like the gun is in pretty good shape.

I will WAG at around $1200, maybe more if PROPERLY cleaned, and IF the gun is fully functional; the mechanism is delicate and many of those guns don't work. Worse, there are almost no parts any more and few gunsmiths who know how to fix them.


June 25, 2011, 12:41 AM
The mech is fully functional, everything works nice and smooth. The original holster with it is branded with someone's initials and the date 1917, I suspect that it hasn't been shot much in the past 50-60 years or so, (my grandfather has had it most of that time, and I know he never took it out).

Jim K
June 27, 2011, 03:23 PM
My gut feeling is to say not to fire it, for the reasons mentioned above.

Cleaning should be limited to using something like G96 Gun Treatment and applying a nice coat of a good gun oil.


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