Colt SAA Serial Number


October 11, 2011, 03:56 PM
I inherited a Colt SAA in .44 Special that I am trying to value for a trade. (I shoot all of my other guns and I don't believe in safe queens.)

The serial number reads SA203xx, but that doesn't seem to match the naming convention. It is my understanding that first generation guns have a numeric-only naming convention, second generation guns are have an SA suffix, and third generation guns have a SA prefix but starts at SA80,000. Does anyone know what is up with my gun? Also, where would should I look to independently find the value of my gun? I will attach pictures this evening when I get home.

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October 11, 2011, 05:08 PM
According to After number 99999SA numbers started at SA01001

October 11, 2011, 05:14 PM
According to my book.
1956 - 1978 used SA suffix. (99999SA was the last one)
Then they went to the SA prefix. (First was SA01001)

Your SA203xx would be 1979.

Value I can't help you with.
It varies considerably depending on condition.


October 11, 2011, 05:18 PM
I would also think twice about selling an inherited gun, you may very well regret it later.

October 11, 2011, 05:21 PM

Especially a .44 Special SAA!!


October 11, 2011, 06:59 PM
As promised, here are a few photos.

October 11, 2011, 07:29 PM
My stepdad primarily collected guns as investments and this one doesn't have any particular sentimental value. I'm sure that he would much rather me trade it in on something that I use than hide it away in my safe. I inherited a number of other guns that mean a lot more to me.

October 11, 2011, 08:04 PM
It's a gun for God's sake, it was meant to be shot. I have a Colt single action in .44-40 and I really enjoy taking it to the range and blasting away. In my opinion there is no real collector value in the third generation SAA's although they do sell for decent money.

You just might find that it really isn't a safe queen.

1984 Frontier Six Shooter (.44-40) w/blackpowder frame

October 12, 2011, 01:08 AM
For what you could sell the pistol for---you probably wouldn't want. Realisticaly the value would be about $1200 tops. I was offered one like yours for $900 and did not buy it. Sorry---I did not mean to fooend you---just be truthfull.


October 12, 2011, 09:05 AM
Thanks everyone for the feedback.

highpower, I completely agree that guns should be shot. This one just isn't quite as fun as some of my others and gets left behind far too often. I also have a number of guns on my wish list. I think that I (and my son when he gets a few years older) would get much more use out of a Diamondback or a 617.

Ronin, no offense taken. A gun is only worth what someone is willing to pay. I just want to make sure that I do my homework and get fair value. Before my stepdad passed, he had it on consignment for $1800 which seemed a little high to me. I must have been right since it never sold.

October 12, 2011, 10:53 AM
Realisticaly the value would be about $1200 tops.Maybe for a 3rd. Gen gun.

You show me a 2nd. Gen 4 3/4" Colt SAA .44 Spl in that condition for $900 or $1,200 though!


Old Fuff
October 12, 2011, 04:39 PM
It's a gun for God's sake, it was meant to be shot.

Ah.... Maybe not.

The owner's manual that comes with this revolvers from the manufacturer (Colt) specifically says that they should not be fired! :what:


October 12, 2011, 06:39 PM
It's a good thing that I don't have the owner's manual anymore.:neener:

Anyone have any ideas on a place to double check my LGS on the appraisal value?

Frank V
October 12, 2011, 07:22 PM
I'm firmly in the camp of DON'T sell an inherited gun. You will almost be guranteed of regreting the sale or trade later. A gun like that should stay in your family.
That said, the .44 Special is one of the best handgun cartridges out there. It's an accurate easy to shoot cartridge with factory loads. If you handload, it's a great hunting cartridge.
The Colt SAA is one of the most historic handguns there is, they had ancestors at the Custer fight in 1876. They are very nice guns & a lot of fun to shoot. If it were me, I'd keep it & enjoy it.

October 12, 2011, 08:36 PM
With a serial number that starts with the SA prefix it is an early third generation gun probably made around 1979. The one that I posted the picture of, I bought NIB three months ago for $1100. There MAY be a slight premium for yours because it is in .44 special and has a 4 3/4" barrel, but I know that I wouldn't pay any more for it because of that.

Old Fluff, I think the "don't fire your new gun" thing is just a myth. I just checked the owners manual for my Colt and I could not find where it said to not fire the weapon. There is three pages of warnings of things not to do, you know, like don't point it at anything you don't intend to shoot etc.. In fact, they specifically mention that they want you to enjoy shooting it.

Edited to ad one more thought: I don't know what other kind of firearms you are interested in, but I wouldn't get rid of a gun with the soul of a genuine Colt SAA for two Glock/Sig/HK 'leventytwo shot plastic wonder guns.

October 13, 2011, 12:37 AM
Possibly not in the next 6 months you won't regret selling it, but 10 years down the road......... That particular revolver doesn't look as though its even been shot/fired {How's that ol' Fuff}. As someone who's inherited firearms from a deceased family member, I'll treasure mine until I'm gone, don't get rid of it!

October 13, 2011, 09:47 AM
I have an old Colt SAA in 32-20 that belonged to my Great Grandfather, it was made in 1901. When my Dad got it in the early '60s he was a young 20 something kid who had no interest in it, it was just an old gun. He proceded to trade it for something else (he doesn't even remember for what). My Aunt (his older sister) found out and made him go get it back. I'm glad she did for if she hadn't it wouldn't be in my possesion now!!

It is a cherished family heirloom and it's not going anywhere except to be passed down to my children sometime in the future. With the agreement it stay in the family of course.

Edit to add: We also shoot it from time to time, it doesn't just sit in the safe:)

October 13, 2011, 11:22 AM
I appreciate the sentiment, but I inherited plenty of heirloom guns that I actually use AND have sentimental value. Those guns will never leave my hands.

Not to get into the whole backstory, but with the number of guns that my stepdad owned, I would be foolish/greedy to treat each one as sacred (my house isn't big enough ... seriously). Granted, this SAA is a very nice gun, but to me, it's still just a gun. It didn't have any special meaning to him nor to me. I'd much rather this gun become someone else's heirloom/shooter than sit underappreciated in my safe. I don't believe in owning stuff just for the sake of owning it. Use it or lose it, you know?

October 13, 2011, 11:26 AM
In that case my opinion is you could price it for a quick sale at $1200 but I think you could get $1500 pretty easily.

October 18, 2011, 10:14 AM
I visited my mom this weekend and happened upon the original box for the gun. Does anyone know what this does to the value of my gun?

Also, I found the box for a Diamondback with a 6 inch barrel, which is the gun that I want. Unfortunately, I didn't know that my stepdad owned one before it had been sold by the estate. Oh well.

December 15, 2011, 11:23 AM
Update: After a bit more research, I was able to confirm that it was a 3rd generation SAA. I was able to get $1100 for it. I bought a few shooters including a nice Colt Official Police in .22 with the 4 inch barrel. I appreciate everyone's help and advice.

Jim K
December 15, 2011, 09:06 PM
Hi, Fuff,

You wrote, "The owner's manual that comes with this revolvers from the manufacturer (Colt) specifically says that they should not be fired!"

Huh? I have some post-war Colt SAA's and none of the manuals say that. Any chance of a photo?

The manual does say that "collectors of fine firearms" should be aware that "firing this revolver will cause immediate extreme loss of collector's value", which would be true except that those guns have damall collectors value anyway. And that is not the same as saying the gun should not be fired, and the rest of the manual tells how to load and fire the gun.


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