Colt SAA - 38 Special - what did I find today?


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dhcustomwork
February 3, 2013, 02:30 PM
Ok folks. I need some expert opinions and input on today's gun show find. I'm still very new to single actions, and a total beginner to the Colt SAA world. One thing I did know; was to not pass up this beauty when I had the chance to bring it home.

Now comes the big question .... What did I bring home?!?Here's what I know: Colt SAA - 38 Special - 5 1/2" barrel - real ivory 1 piece stocks - S/N 281XXX

I've included several pics, and can post more if needed. What I'd like to know is when it was made, and if this one was refinished by possibly Turnbull or the factory. I'm not sure how Doug marks his refinished pieces.

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps3a2bc697.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps2ad781fa.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps7e893b3a.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zpsbf7a0f4a.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps683125ec.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps17fb4de7.jpg

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rcmodel
February 3, 2013, 02:41 PM
If there is no SA prefix or suffix in the serial number, it was made in 1906.

If it is 281xxxSA it is 1959.

"SA" suffix 1956 - 1978
"SA" prefix 1978 - 1984

Can't help with who refinished it, but they did good!

rc

tipoc
February 3, 2013, 02:43 PM
This may also help...

www.proofhouse.com


tipoc

dhcustomwork
February 3, 2013, 03:03 PM
Thx gentlemen. Definitely a 1st gen. with the serial falling in the 1906 range. I've since read that there were only around 100 original 1st gens manufactured and marked as 38 special. The likelyhood of this being in that group is slim, but ...


It does not look to be a 50s era refinish/re-chamber job. Having been told those finishes looked very different when case hardened & blued. My guess is that it's a Turnbull. Anyone know for sure if you can still call them with a S/N to verify if they did a refinish? In either case, I think it's probably worth a Colt letter.

I agree; whomever was responsible for the refinish work, did one outstanding job!!

Jim Watson
February 3, 2013, 06:53 PM
I daresay if you sent a gun to Colt requesting a top-notch refurbishment like this, right down to fire blued screws and ivory grip, they would just turn right around and send it out to Turnbull or maybe Ron's.

The case colors are good but look a little muted on the sides of the receiver. Maybe the gun was in good enough condition they did not have to redo the case hardening.

I don't have good enough references to say when theyfirst offered .38 Special but I think there is a fair chance that it has new barrel and cylinder.

It will cost $100 for a factory letter describing the original configuration and when/where shipped.
http://www.coltsmfg.com/CustomerServices/ArchiveServices.aspx

Driftwood Johnson
February 3, 2013, 09:12 PM
Howdy

According to Kuhnhausen your SN does place the gun as having been made in 1906.

Also according to Kuhnhausen there were only 27 First Gen SAAs chambered for 38 Special, 25 in the standard configuration and 2 target models.

HOWEVER, Kuhnhausen also states that Colt did not chamber the SAA for 38 Special until 1930, despite the fact that S&W developed the cartridge in 1899.

So I think it is pretty clear that your SAA had a new cylinder and barrel installed at some point.

Which makes a lot of sense when you think about it. A SAA made in 1906 would likely have a lot of wear on it. If somebody went to the trouble to install a new barrel and cylinder, it makes a lot of sense they would get the gun refinished at the same time. Judging by how pristine the finish is, I would say it was reworked quite recently.

Regardless, it is a very attractive gun, and I sure would not mind owning it.

Yes, you can still get a Colt letter for $100. But be forewarned, the last time I got a Colt letter it took three months before I got it.

Trad Archer
February 3, 2013, 10:44 PM
Beautiful gun. I am jealous.

bannockburn
February 4, 2013, 06:43 AM
Still a fine looking gun even if it has been refurbished. Definitely one I would get a factory letter for. Enjoy and thanks for sharing.

highpower
February 4, 2013, 09:07 AM
Congratulations on a very nice SAA! Whoever did the refinish on it did an absolute first rate job.

As for the muted look of the case colors, that is the way they look if there is no wax, oil, or clear paint on them. Here is a picture of the frame of my Frontier Six Shooter. Note that it has a kind of a matte look to it.

Please pardon the lint.
http://highpower.smugmug.com/Firearms/Colt-Single-action/i-d23cHGC/0/XL/003-XL.jpg

Russ Jackson
February 4, 2013, 09:12 AM
Somebody really took care of that. Nice find. Any history on its life from the seller?

BCCL
February 4, 2013, 10:57 AM
You found a damn fine looking sixgun!

dhcustomwork
February 4, 2013, 11:35 AM
Managed a quick call to Turnbull this morn. They will research my serial # and let me know in 24-48 hrs if it's ever been in their hands. Very nice of them to do this. Tried calling Colt, but it's been constantly busy. No surprise there.

Russ Jackson
February 4, 2013, 12:09 PM
You could try this person also.
http://www.johnakopec.com/

Arkansas Paul
February 4, 2013, 12:29 PM
I am smitten with six-gun envy. That is gorgeous. Love some SAAs and love some .38 Special.

dhcustomwork
February 4, 2013, 03:40 PM
Thank you all again for all of your help, knowledge, and comments. Makes this learning process so much easier and tolerable.

Having the T as an inspection stamp makes much more sense than anything. It also lends itself more to be in keeping with all the other original markings/stamps. I am leaning more toward the frame having been left alone, but my eye just isn't truly qualified to make the yes/no call.

Got through to Colt's archive dept. only to get a voicemail asking me to call back tmrw because they're off today. 45 mins of hold time i'll never get back. LoL. I was also surprised when I removed the stocks that even the mainspring retention screw is fire blued. Not something I'd have expected to find; especially in a resto.

A few new pics:

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zpsf65614ba.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zpse43ee805.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps4473283e.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps2858d6d8.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps11c120d3.jpg

rio nueces
February 4, 2013, 04:11 PM
Alan Harton of Houston does restorations that look as good as that.
Might be one of his.

http://www.gunblast.com/AlanHarton.htm

CraigC
February 4, 2013, 04:41 PM
Gorgeous old Colt! I really like the nitre blued screws, trigger and ejector. I would say that the assessments above are correct. It would've shipped in another chambering but was converted to .38Spl sometime later. That sometime, probably recently, the old sixgun was restored and completely refinished. Whoever it was did a wonderful job. I would say that somebody sunk at least a couple thousand dollars into it and it's worth at least that much.

1KPerDay
February 4, 2013, 05:14 PM
Gracious, what a beauty!

dhcustomwork
February 4, 2013, 05:30 PM
One thing that I had intentionally left out was the question of value. I usually feel that things are only worth what someone else is willing to pay. I honestly am not all that concerned with sale value. One of the few pieces that will likely be here a very very long time. However, having recently dealt with homeowners insurance replacement claims, I would like your opinions in a reasonable insurance value. I was leaning toward $2000-2500. Too much or not enough?

More pics, because there can never be too many, IMHO.

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zpsc114650b.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps310696f9.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zpsafe427fe.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps8b7a1abe.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps14d6ccca.jpg

CraigC
February 4, 2013, 05:44 PM
Value is difficult to ascertain. It's not original, has been modified and refinished. However, it was all done professionally and what you have is probably in some ways better than it was when new. I would say quite a bit more than $2000. The ivory alone is $500 without batting an eye. I'm not an expert on old Colt's but I would say at least $3000-$4000. Perhaps more. Original, pitted, rusted and worn out beater 1st generation guns that have been refinished go for at least $2000. Some as much as $3000-$4000 and to me, this sixgun is more valuable.

red rick
February 4, 2013, 06:17 PM
Very nice looking Colt.

SlamFire1
February 4, 2013, 06:17 PM
Crap, now I have to wipe the drool off my keyboard. :o

That is one pretty six shooter.

Russ Jackson
February 4, 2013, 06:23 PM
I would stop taking screws out and cycling the cylinder on that one. If those grips are original its amazing. I would not play with it at all until you find out what you have there.

dhcustomwork
February 4, 2013, 06:34 PM
I would stop taking screws out and cycling the cylinder on that one. If those grips are original its amazing. I would not play with it at all until you find out what you have there.
Done! Didn't want to look at it all, but could tell someone had peeked before. Even wore surgical gloves when handling and taking pics. Don't suspect it'll turn out super rare, but hey; you never know.

CraigC
February 4, 2013, 06:35 PM
As long as you don't lower the hammer from the half cock notch it'll all be okay.

With properly fitting screwdrivers, no harm in removing screws either.

BCCL
February 4, 2013, 06:41 PM
That very first picture makes a nice desktop wallpaper! :)

dhcustomwork
February 4, 2013, 08:14 PM
That very first picture makes a nice desktop wallpaper! :)
Hey now!! ;)


Thanks.

Jim Watson
February 4, 2013, 09:07 PM
Wouldn't the purchase price be a good basis for insurance?

dhcustomwork
February 4, 2013, 09:17 PM
Wouldn't the purchase price be a good basis for insurance?


Unless there was only a trade to go by; and that trade value was turning out much lower than what I'd guesstimate the replacement value really is. :D

dhcustomwork
February 7, 2013, 03:06 PM
Just talked to Paul from Colt. As supspected, this did not leave the factory as a 38spl., but we already knew that.

The gun was shipped to Hibbard Spencer Bartlett & Co. at the State Street Bridge main store in Chicago. Shipped on Sept. 4, 1906 in a shipment of 42 same type guns. Original caliber was 44-40; 5 1/2" barrel; blued finish. No stocks type listed.

Still on the hunt for did this fantastic refinish tuning job.


http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zpsb0572f28.jpg

BCRider
February 7, 2013, 03:28 PM
Reworked or not that is still a mighty fine looking piece.

And I agree with BCCL that the picture is desktop worthy or even would look nice on a THR calender... :D

CraigC
February 7, 2013, 04:01 PM
I agree, the pics are excellent!

dhcustomwork
February 7, 2013, 04:53 PM
Thanks gentlemen. Here's another one that I'm fond of myself:



http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps682492a1.jpg

BCRider
February 7, 2013, 11:20 PM
STOP THAT !

You're making my guns feel like the red headed step child ! ! ! ! :D



At least I can take solace in the fact that the contrast is a touch high on this last picture.... yeah, I'm picking at nits just to ease my envy.... :D

ArchAngelCD
February 8, 2013, 02:24 AM
As long as you don't lower the hammer from the half cock notch it'll all be okay.

With properly fitting screwdrivers, no harm in removing screws either.
The OP will want to buy this set
http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/handgun-tools/bits/colt-screwdriver-set-prod25554.aspx?ttver=2

Or even this screwdriver for his Colt SAA.
http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/handgun-tools/bits/colt-single-action-screwdriver-prod25458.aspx?ttver=2

Both are good and it depends upon what type of screwdriver you like. (I like the wooden handles)

That revolver is a piece of art, not just a six-gun!

dhcustomwork
February 8, 2013, 08:46 AM
I know, I know, I know ..... Already?!?!? But even though I had every intention of keeping this around a long time, I've had an offer that I'm not sure any of us could refuse. You tell me .... please. What would you do? My SAA for BOTH of these:


1920 Commercial 1911 - 80%+ - all original:

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps2bad4686.jpg


1914 US Property 1911- 80%+ - Springfield barrel upgrade for WWII

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps53e4bdda.jpg

CraigC
February 8, 2013, 11:26 AM
I have no idea what those guns are worth but if a collector is offering both those guns for your SAA, he probably knows it's worth more. ;)

scramasax
February 8, 2013, 01:52 PM
Very nice looking revolver. I've got a Colt 38spl as well. It does not look as pratty as yours and has stag stocks. One of my favorite shooters. That is why it will never look that nice. Am thinking about getting one of the Turnbull SAs with a 7 1/2 bbl as well.
Anyway congrats on having one of the prettiest SAs I've seen.

Cheers,

ts

dhcustomwork
February 8, 2013, 06:04 PM
I have no idea what those guns are worth but if a collector is offering both those guns for your SAA, he probably knows it's worth more. ;)
That could be true. As I've been hit with a few offers since my original post, and after scouring countless pages on the net, I'm just not very confident I could sell the SAA for what I could purchase those two pieces for. Now of course they're completely different animals. My feeling is that SAA is worth it's top value to a small few people who want it for a specified reason .... a pimped out modified saa shooter. The vintage original pieces have a much wider collector base and will hold their value and probably continue to increase over time. It's not all about the money really, but that certainly solidifies things when it's all said and done.

If you can't tell; I'm going for it. And I have been given the option of hands on inspection before sending mine.

CraigC
February 8, 2013, 06:13 PM
Are they worth $5000? Here's an example for perspective. Now, yours is not original and has a 2nd generation barrel and cylinder but this one has also has a new barrel. It might give you an idea of what a restored 1st generation Colt is worth and that ivory still adds at least $500.

http://www.turnbullmfg.com/store.asp?pid=37108

What are the other two guns worth? What do you figure your Colt is worth?

dhcustomwork
February 8, 2013, 06:32 PM
Craig,

No, they're not worth $5k, even in this market. But neither is my SAA IMO. It's not a Turnbull job; it's in a less popular caliber, it's not a brand new resto, and there's no way to proove who did the work on it until the exact person was tracked down and documents were provided. I'm guesstimating mine to be in the $2500-3000 range as sold by me, an individual. If it was coming from the one who did the work, then maybe more could be asked. I'm also estimating the two would be worth in the $3000+ range. This is mostly from viewing tons of previous auction results from the last few years on different sites.

Are you offering $4k? ;) I really do appreciate your help here. Good to know good people out there willing to help and watch out for others.

I may be all wrong. And if I take a bath on this, I'll regret it. But I hope I'm doing ok.



* On another note; I'll be getting access to the older gentleman's (that I got this saa from) other "really good stuff" when I personally deliver his holster rig. To him this didn't qualify to be in that group, so I'm excited to see what does!!

Old Fuff
February 8, 2013, 10:46 PM
The two Colt pistols have a collector's value in that they are original, and should you want to dispose of either one or both it might be easier (and probably more profitable) then trying to sell the one revolver.

The single action is exceptionally nice, but I'm not sure it would go for more then a similar one from today's Colt Custom Shop. If it was in that condition, but still original as it came out of the factory - well that would be something else.

Jim K
February 9, 2013, 01:48 AM
Jarring notes are the front sight and the "fire blue" screws. The screws are beautiful, but Colt SAA screws didn't look like that. It sure looks like Turnbull work.

Jim

ArchAngelCD
February 9, 2013, 02:08 AM
Jarring notes are the front sight and the "fire blue" screws. The screws are beautiful, but Colt SAA screws didn't look like that. It sure looks like Turnbull work.

Jim
I agree, it sure does look like Doug Turmbull's work alright.

To the OP, you never did say what you paid for that revolver. I have a feeling it was considerably less that what those two 1911 pistols are worth. IMO if you think the deal is right then it's right, especially since you are probably turning a good profit on the deal.

Jim K
February 9, 2013, 02:23 AM
I also would check on those grips; they are also too good to be true, plus there are several indications that the frame and straps might have been in worse condition that they would now appear. Picture #15 indicates a possible problem area.

BTW, that 1914 Colt pistol has WWII plastic grips. No big deal, but it is not original.

Jim

CraigC
February 9, 2013, 02:12 PM
No, I'm not offering $4000 but I would gladly pay $2500 if it was a 4" or 7" .44Spl or .38-40.


I'm not sure it would go for more then a similar one from today's Colt Custom Shop.
Sorry Fluffer but I can't go along with that. Not by a long shot. You know damn good and well that any 1st generation Colt is worth more than a new one in virtually any condition.

Old Fuff
February 9, 2013, 03:40 PM
Sorry Fluffer but I can't go along with that. Not by a long shot. You know damn good and well that any 1st generation Colt is worth more than a new one in virtually any condition.

Not necessarily.

I will speculate that the original condition of this revolver wasn't all that good, especially the barrel and cylinder (including chambers and bore). If both had been in reasonable shape the restoration work would have been done "as is" rather then to go to an out-of-period .38 Special set-up. That could have brought the value before restoration to $1,200 or less. Obviously I am not including the ivory stocks in this - and I will presume for argument that they are genuine.

I occasionally see "junk grade" SAA's as low as $600.

CraigC
February 10, 2013, 11:43 AM
I've never seen a 1st generation SAA under $1500, in any condition. Even those that have been refinished with mismatched parts. The work that has been done to this sixgun alone is worth at least $1200, depending on how involved it was. It's got $500-$600 worth of finish work alone. It'll be at least $400-$500 to fit one with a new 2nd generation barrel and cylinder. It is also painfully obvious we're looking at real ivory that has been fitted to THIS frame and that is nothing if not $500. Sorry folks but even in the world of custom guns, you don't take a hit like that. Most are selling for near replacement cost and I don't see anyone replacing this one for less than $2500-$3000 at an absolute minimum.

It doesn't matter if Turnbull did the work or not. The work speaks for itself and that is all that matters.

highpower
February 10, 2013, 11:50 AM
I would do that trade in a heartbeat. In today's market, the 1911's are going for big bucks. Add to the equation that the SAA is refinished, and to me, it;s a no-brainer.

Yes the Peacemaker is nice, but it is always going to be a refinished gun. The .45 autos are in original condition.

CraigC
February 10, 2013, 12:12 PM
Sorry but there's a HUGE difference between a refinish and a restoration. Most folks would assume incorrectly, as you have.

Old Fuff
February 10, 2013, 12:31 PM
I wouldn't argue that someone didn't pay a lot of money to restore the revolver to the condition that it's in today, nor that the quality of the work isn't top drawer. What I will question is how much someone would pay to buy it.

The only way to tell this would be to put it up for auction on one of the better houses that specialize in high-quality collectables. I note that when a figure of $4,000 was hinted at no one jumped in with a counter offer. Of course it may be that this particular thread probably isn't being followed by serious potential buyers.

At the other end of the scale I have a black powder era SAA of which the only remaining original parts are the frame (including the gate), backstrap and trigger guard. I think I might have the ejector tube somewhere. These parts are in good condition, but no original finish remains. I got it for a yet unfinished project, and didn't pay anything close to $1,500. No way could I sell it for that figure to anyone who was sober.

highpower
February 10, 2013, 01:49 PM
Sorry but there's a HUGE difference between a refinish and a restoration. Most folks would assume incorrectly, as you have.

While that may be a very nice restoration, it is still not an original gun. In my experience no matter how nice a restoration is, they just don't bring the same money as a gun that still has most of the original finish.

So what is it worth???? If I was looking at it and was in the buying mood I wouldn't pay more than 3-3.5K for it. For me that would be absolute top dollar for a restored SAA that has no special provenance. Others might be willing to give more, but not me.

I do know the difference between a refinished gun and one that has been professionally restored. I agree that whoever did that one was one of the best. Perhaps Eddie Janis?

Those two 1911's are nice. and they would easily sell for more than the revolver is worth.

CraigC
February 10, 2013, 02:16 PM
Is it going to be worth whatever an original gun in the same condition would be, of course not. That's kind of the whole point. To have an old gun that is like new without paying the massive premium a like new gun that old would command. Is it worth more than it was? Probably so. Is it worth more than an original but well-used, well worn and pitted gun? Absolutely. There are cheap old guns and there are nice old guns but there are no cheap, nice old guns. The restoration meets somewhere in the middle and is typically worth every penny invested. Take a well worn $1500 gun, invest another $1500 in it and you have a very nice, $3000 sixgun that looks like a $10,000 sixgun. You guys act as if it's worth less than the $1500 after the restoration and that is just not true. IMHO, there's far too much myth and legend surrounding this issue.

dhcustomwork
February 10, 2013, 02:23 PM
I spoke with a few of the top resto/refinish guys out there, as well as a few collectors. One thing that they all had in common in their assessment was that in no uncertain terms ... this is NOT a restoration. No matter how well it was done or how much the work cost, it was a re-chambered and refinished gun. There is no arguing that some out there are willing to pay up to $3k for this kind of work to be done ( otherwise there would be no Turnbull and such). That does not mean that they are willing to buy this kind of work second hand. I'm sure over time and with the right marketing or auction site, it may well have brought $3000 or a little more. But that would take time and money just to find out. Even with all of that done, I doubt I would have made enough to buy the two 1911s.

Funny thing is; I really wasn't planning on selling or trading at all. This particular offer came up and is something I didn't feel I could pass up. I may or may not ever shoot the 1914, but know I will shoot the commercial a few times a year. There is no chance I would EVER have fired the SAA. When I'm ready or when I find one; I would much rather have an honest all original SAA anyway; and one that I could actually shoot as well.

As a note; not one offer for more than $2k cash was presented, but more than one trade offer with values over $3k came up. This just happened to be the most intriguing and fun. I've always wanted a US ARMY M1911 and have the history of it in my hands. Oh man, the stories it might tell if only it could.

bannockburn
February 10, 2013, 02:52 PM
dhcustomwork

When all is said and done concerning the Colt SAA, if I had an offer such as yours I would make the deal, provided of course both M1911s checked out as represented to you. I love single action revolvers and as nice as it would be to have that Colt, the two M1911s in their original condition would be an offer I couldn't pass on either.

CraigC
February 11, 2013, 01:07 PM
In t his context, the chambering and new parts have zero to do with it being a "restoration". In a refinish, parts are polished and reblued or color case hardened. Perhaps some minor imperfections are removed. We will never know without learning exactly what was done but we can safely assume a few things.

1. People typically don't replace the barrel and cylinder of a 1st generation SAA unless they are pitted and beyond repair.

2. Assuming the barrel and cylinder were bad enough to replace, the frame would've been in bad shape too. Be it from age, rust and pitting or from poorly done refinishes.

Based on those two things, it is safe to assume that the frame was not simply refinished but that it had to be restored. Which means you are not just giving it a good polish and re-coloring it but that pits have to be filled in or removed. Old refinishes which were poorly done have to be corrected. Which could mean welding and a lot of filing and hand polishing to bring back what was lost. The lettering would have to be redone and this sixgun obviously has a 2nd generation style rear sight notch. So there was potentially a lot of work done and that makes it a restoration, not a refinish. That the barrel and cylinder were replaced and the chambering changed from original is irrelevant. IMHO, the only issue with the restoration is that it was finished in modern hot salt blue, rather than period correct carbona blue.


That does not mean that they are willing to buy this kind of work second hand.
Not true at all. While this may have been the case at some point, I see custom guns going for near replacement cost all the time. You may not get full replacement cost for a restored Colt SAA but you surely will not lose your hat on it. Depending on how much you spent on the base gun and how much the work cost.


There is no chance I would EVER have fired the SAA.
Why??? A restored Colt is the best for shooting. It's a fine sixgun but you know you're not negatively affecting the value of a minty 1st generation gun. IMHO, it's value would be as a shooter.

I think you lucked into a peach of a SAA with real one-piece ivory and it blows my mind that you would trade it for a couple of freckled 1911's. It's your gun to do with as you wish but do you really think a collector would offer you two 1911's that are worth more than your SAA?

Russ Jackson
February 11, 2013, 04:16 PM
Heck the grips have to be worth $800. They are real and look flawless. Its a great looking weapon. No way I trade it unless I needed the money. That gun will draw crowds. Someone is always willing to pay for quality craftsmanship. That gun is the finest looking I have ever seen which means somebody would buy it at a premium. No way I sell it for 3K. The case hardening is great and all the stamped numbers and are extremely clean without buffing marks or wear. They are are so crisp and there is so little wear on the case hardening and hammer. There is a story behind that gun you might never discover. I doubt the barrel and cylinder were changed because of wear. Send it to this guy he might have some answers. http://www.johnakopec.com/

Chances are somebody might have dropped it or hurt the finish on the barrel and they decided to do something special with it. Are you guys sure that barrel was refinished and not original? It shows no signs of it.

dhcustomwork
February 11, 2013, 05:50 PM
Well, maybe I'm just getting screwed then. I just can't fathom getting $3k+ cash for this SAA selling on my own; and IMO it would take the right auction house and plenty of marketing to bring in that much or more at auction. Then take off 20-30% commission and I'm right back where I started.

If someone would have offered more that would have been great.

And I'll say this - if a collector wants something like this, isn't a 1911 guy, and has considerably less invested in them than they're currently worth; then yes they'd offer them up being equal or slightly more valuable.

CraigC
February 11, 2013, 07:25 PM
I'd say you've come a long way in 8 days. :rolleyes:

From this:
I need some expert opinions and input on today's gun show find. I'm still very new to single actions, and a total beginner to the Colt SAA world.
To this:
I just can't fathom getting $3k+ cash for this SAA selling on my own

Have you tried or even considered it? Did you buy it to sell or to keep? Are you just trying to go from one good deal to another? The ink is barely dry on the initial purchase and you're already 3 days deep into trying to trade it away. I don't know if you're getting screwed or not but I don't think you do either. Just seems to me that you're acting in haste on just a few days of research. I would suggest simmering on it for a while. Post it for sale on Gunbroker with a low opening bid to encourage bidding but a high enough reserve that you won't be upset if it sells, just to see where you stand with it. You only have to pay when it sells so it won't hurt to try. Hell, set the reserve for $4000. You surely don't need to send it to an auction house to get top dollar for it. The bids you get will give you a better idea of what it's worth than any internet forum.

tipoc
February 11, 2013, 11:01 PM
I just can't fathom getting $3k+ cash for this SAA selling on my own; and IMO it would take the right auction house and plenty of marketing to bring in that much or more at auction.

Why plenty of marketing? If you went the auction house route they would assess it, they would place a pic and description of it in a catalog which gets distributed internationally, they would conduct the auction and take their cut. Not much for you to do.

Post it for sale on Gunbroker with a low opening bid to encourage bidding but a high enough reserve that you won't be upset if it sells, just to see where you stand with it. You only have to pay when it sells so it won't hurt to try. Hell, set the reserve for $4000. You surely don't need to send it to an auction house to get top dollar for it. The bids you get will give you a better idea of what it's worth than any internet forum.

GunBroker or Auction Arms would both work. Put it up for what you paid for it with a reserve of $3000.00 or whatever, let it set for 30 days watch how many views it gets, questions, and bids or offers.

tipoc

Jim K
February 13, 2013, 01:45 PM
It probably makes no difference, but I would make a small wager that the caliber change was done back when Numrich was practically giving away SAA barrel and cylinder sets for .38 Special. Later someone, possibly a subsequent owner, decided to have the gun restored. The restorer, not knowing or caring that the caliber was not original, did his thing, and we have a new-looking SAA in a chambering that Colt didn't use when the gun was made.

Jim

snakeman
February 13, 2013, 03:11 PM
I want one!

SlamFire1
February 15, 2013, 11:27 AM
I spoke with a few of the top resto/refinish guys out there, as well as a few collectors. One thing that they all had in common in their assessment was that in no uncertain terms ... this is NOT a restoration.

I guess what you are saying is that it was a 44/40 but a later owner sent it back to the factory to have it converted to 38 Special?

How does factory rework effect values?

tipoc
February 15, 2013, 01:54 PM
How does factory rework effect values?

It depends on the work done and the factory.

The gun here is not a factory rework though. It's a caliber conversion, refinish and partial restoration (they restamped the rollmarks for example) done by a custom shop.

It's value is less than the value of an original in very good condition. It's value is also likely less than if Colt had done the work at some point decades back. Colt would have done the work differently though.

It's possible this gun was done for cowboy action shooting within the last decade or two.

tipoc

dhcustomwork
February 16, 2013, 08:58 AM
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/ashlea30/new%20pics/image_zps1e35e9a0.jpg


I think I did ok. Fair trade, both happy, new friend ..... all good.

StrawHat
February 16, 2013, 10:22 AM
Congratulations!

Russ Jackson
February 17, 2013, 08:54 PM
I hope you do not regret it. It was a bad looking wheel gun. Maybe the sharpest I have seen. I sure would have liked to see it in person.

bannockburn
February 18, 2013, 12:06 PM
dhcustomwork

I think you did okay too and since both parties are happy and satisfied with the deal, then indeed, all is good. Enjoy and thanks for sharing all the pics with us, especially the Colt SAA.

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