Colt Single Action Army 38/40

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by M1Anut, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. M1Anut

    M1Anut New Member

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    Have a SAA that has been refinished, matching numbers and original grips. Can anyone give me an idea of the value. Here are some pics.
     

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  2. racer_x

    racer_x New Member

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    All i know is I want one lol no matter the value I wish
     

  3. M1Anut

    M1Anut New Member

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    It is for sale! Lol
     
  4. towboater

    towboater Well-Known Member

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    Not sure bout its worth. But the gold plating knocks a bunch off if I were the buyer.
     
  5. M1Anut

    M1Anut New Member

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    I know, it sucks! Wish it was original, but it's not. Would like to find a ballpark figure on its value.
     
  6. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    This may not be appraised value, but I would not give more than $400.
    By the time spent to restore it properly (Turnbull), I would have to invest too much.
     
  7. towboater

    towboater Well-Known Member

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    If I were selling it. I'd put it on gunbroker with a pretty high reserve. See what kinda bites ya get.
     
  8. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    What Generation 1st or 2nd? These valuable guns can be restored without hurting the value too much. The cost for a proper restoration is high but those are high priced guns in good condition. In 80 % condition I would expect $1,800 + in your condition $700.:)
     
  9. gunsmoke11

    gunsmoke11 New Member

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    Give the fist few numbers of the ser# to begin with in order to date it. How is it functioning? You should have 4 clicks when cocking. Push the hammer forward after each click to see if it holds well. How's the bore? It's not BP cause the frame doesn't have a base pin screw. Check to see if the cylinder spins in either direction, cause it should only turn clockwise. Peacemaker Specialists in Ca., which I and friends of mine have done business with, was John Kopec's company which he sold, but they are exc when it comes to SAA's and can re-finish it like the original and their prices are very reasonable. Kopec is a former Colt gunsmith and knew how to blue and caseharden exactly like Colt and is number one in the country as far as being a Colt expert. Also, Kopec lives across the street from them keeps an eye on what they're doing. The one thing I would do is send for a letter from Colt, which will cost around $150. They will let you know when it was made and where it was sent, as well as what it's configuration was. The letter adds to the gun value. Then I'd re-finish it to what it was originally. Turnbull is way overpriced. As far as giving a value more must be known. I've seen originals done with gold as well. I collect old Colts and will say that on an average the re-finished ones sell for over a thousand dollars and depending on how well it's done can go for a bit more. Colt SA's are highly collectable, especially 1st generations and pre-'98's bring in more. Towboater's idea about putting it on Gunbroker with a very high reserve is a good way as any to see what people would pay, but doing a little research on the net can answer many of your questions and it costs nothing just a little bit of your time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  10. M1Anut

    M1Anut New Member

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    Thanks guys, had an old gentleman check it out, he said it was made in 1902, first gen. I think gunbroker is probably what I'll do. The action is awesome on it, cylinder locks up tight and good hammer springs.
     
  11. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Not one to question an old timer, but isn't that "1975" stamped on the frame in the first picture?
     
  12. M1Anut

    M1Anut New Member

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    It's stamped "Jan 19. 75", you can see a period after the 19. It's kinda hard to see.
     
  13. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Colt did not stamp the year of production on the frames. The Colt Modl. 1873 was stamped on the frame. The barrel dates refer to patents. I would get the letter from Colt which tells you it was shipped in what caliber barrel etc. Provided none of these things have been altered I would have it restored. And if the letter says it was shipped to the Texas Rangers or Wyatt Earp you just got a boost in your retirement funds.:)
     
  14. M1Anut

    M1Anut New Member

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    You can see in the pics at the beginning of the post, that the dates stamped on the frame are only Pat. dates, the seriel # ref shows it was made in 1902. 38 W.C.F. Is stamped on the barrel.
     
  15. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    These guns were often returned to Colt. Many were rebarreled or rechambered with Colt Parts by Gun works such as the famous Cheyenne Armory run by the Freund Bros. back in the day. That is why these Colts have to have a Birth Certificate.:)
     
  16. gunsmoke11

    gunsmoke11 New Member

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    This is an example of one that started out in 1891 as a 44-40 with a 4 3/4" barrel that is now a 45LC with a 5 1/2" barrel. Visually everything is a perfect match. All stag grips were not original factory. I even have a Bisley mfg in 1906 that was converted by Colt into a SAA and may be the only example. Many things were done to those guns, but there's still value there and in the case of the Bisley increased it.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. towboater

    towboater Well-Known Member

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    Gunsmoke. What do ya recon the gold plated one would be worth on gunbroker??
     
  18. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    That is why you need a birth certificate from Mother Colt. Most collectors will not pay top price for guns that have been altered after orginal sale. :)
     
  19. gunsmoke11

    gunsmoke11 New Member

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    Towboater, it's hard to tell value without personally checking it out. I've seen a number of originals with gold, but it's usually the cylinder that's plated. The gold can turn people off and there's no denying that. Roy Rogers had a pair of gold plated Colts that were sold at his auction a year ago that I would've loved to own. I've been to many shows, which includes the Vegas antique arms collector show, which is the biggest, that had people like Phil Spangenberger there and I saw restored SA's in the 2 and 3,000+ dollar range that were nothing special.

    If the hammer notches are OK and the hand and locking bolt are fine, then just as a rough guess it will still be somewhere near a grand. If it were pre 98 then it would bring 2-3 hundred more. He has what appears to be the correct grips and they look fine to me. The patent dates and rampant colt look decent as well. Usually when these guns are re-finished they polish the hell out of them and mess up ser#'s, barrel addresses and caliber on the barrel. If that gun were to be restored by having a nickel job done, which is the cheapest way to go, then it would definitely bring more money if done properly. I'd even add some fire blued screws to dress it up. That could be a great shooter and looker as well, cause it's modern and many people would gladly pay the money for an old original, even if it's been re-finished. The 45LC generally brings more, but I happen to love the 38-40 and many others do as well. Peacemaker Specialists will refuse to refinish any collectable Colt that has any of it's original finish remaining. So obviously they respect originality when it comes to the old guns.

    Nitestalker, you're basically correct about people wanting guns that are untouched and completely original. I personally prefer one with 20, or 30% that is original to one that's been messed with. But sometimes you can get away with doing things to them and not lose anything. As an example, if you had a SA that Bob Munden worked on then you got a jewel. Even a Turnbull gun that was re-finished will increase value.

    I have a 2nd generation that I bought in 1970 from Abercrombie & Fitch on Madison Ave. in NYC, which was prior to the incident where someone had walked in and loaded one of their shotguns and blew his brains out that ended gun sales forever. I became friendly with this elderly German salesman there and even bought 2 more guns from him. I had seen a photo of an outlaw's gun that was nickel and blue with ivories. It could've been 2 guns pieced together, but I didn't care, cause I really liked the way it looked and decided to have mine look like that and have the action worked on as well. Anyway, he sent it out for me and I got it back the way I wanted it and I've been extremely pleased with it ever since. But instead of ivory I had stag grips fitted instead. I still kept the original stagecoach box and grips as well as the paperwork. I've been offered money over the years that is more than I would get if it weren't touched, though some prefer the original appearance to the current one. Even John Wayne had a Bisley converted to a SAA and that gun's worth a bundle. Check out Gary Johnston's article written in the American Rifleman Oct/2007 issue giving the story about the Duke's gun. I spoke to Mr. Johnston about a year ago in reference to my gun and it was interesting to say the least. You can find this article out on the internet.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to write this much. I have a blurry photo of my 2nd so I may as well show it. The rig is a copy of one from Guns Of The Gunfighters that was made for me by Jake Johnson, who's involved with the movie industry.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  20. M1Anut

    M1Anut New Member

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    Took the SAA to one of our LGS, got 1400 for it, so all is well! Thanks for yalls info! Have a merry Christmas!