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Forum > Gunsmithing > Gunsmithing > colt single action .45

colt single action .45

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kenneth719124
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 3
Posted: December 27, 2012 10:18 PM
[strong]hello, i inherited a nice colt sa army .45 it looks like it may be from the fifties but i'm not sure. it has a nitre blue finish on the frame, trigger, hammer and cylinder but the barrel is dark blued or almost black which makes me think it is not the original barrel. is the any way to strip the revolver down and have the whole gun nitre blued? i think it looks very authentic that way and i don't want to devalue it any more. it just doesn't look right with the two different types of bluing. what would be about the price of having a gunsmith do the nitre blue? thanx for any information. [/strong]
Ezequiel
Joined: August 2011
Posts: 5695
Posted: December 28, 2012 09:47 AM

Question, When you say Colt Army .45 are you speaking of a COLT brand of revovoler or are you speaking of another brand(besides Colt) that is chambered for the .45 Colt round? In answer to your question, any bluing specialist(like Jeb Stewert on these pages) can deal with the rebluing Stripping the old finish is a standard practice. That said  If this is a Colt brand firearm and a Single Action Army model then it has collector value and even vigorous cleaning can devalue it. The Colt SAA in .45 Colt date back to the late 1800's..The older..the more valuable..any alteration of any sort is a BIG NO-NO...the biggest error would be to refinish the gun. FWIW, there are serial number charts that you can access to date your gun. One book to check(at your local library is The Standard Catalog of Colt Firearms by Rick Sapp and published by Gun Digest Books) So, first determine EXACTLY what you have and its value before you decide to clean it up and make it pretty. Any such act can devalue the piece by more than half. The catalog cited shows several bi-color finished versions where the frame appears to be mottled(called Color-Case Hardening) while the barrel and cylinder is almost black in color. FWIW..some of the older SAA revolvers in NIB condition will sell for 5 figures($50,000 is not unheard of) and even 3rd generation SAA's can pull in $3-4000 dollars  exercise caution til you know exactly what you have..if you wish to get a pro appraisal of your specimen, go to www.bluebookinc.com  There is a fee(was $20 the last time I used it) and have the gun, amagnifying glass a small screwdriver and a tape measure at hand when you go there. Good Luck...

kenneth719124
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 3
Posted: December 30, 2012 01:59 AM

the revolver has written on the barrel...colt single action army .45     the frame has written...pat sept. 19, 1871 july2, 72 jan 19, 75      with the engraving of the horse

the serial number is 12---SA  i'm pretty sure it is the real deal but it is in way to good condition to be from the 19 century. i know the pattent dates just depict the model style and the year they were first put in production and not the year the revolver was manufactured. maybe the serial number can shed some light on the age of it. thank you for the help. i won't do anything with the finish until i hear otherwise.

capt55
Joined: March 2010
Posts: 78
Posted: January 20, 2013 12:25 PM

kenneth719124 : e-mail me the entire serial number and I can tell you when it was manufactured.  I have several old books with manufacture dates based on serial numbers.

Zeke or any other gunsmith probably can do the same thing.  They all keep manufacturing records for date of man.

 

mailto:geo6238hh@att.net

 

Capt55

Ezequiel
Joined: August 2011
Posts: 5695
Posted: January 21, 2013 09:54 AM

The "SA" suffix was added in 1956 and changed to a Prefix in 1978. The 1956 serial number range is: 0001SA to 8799SA As per The Standard Catalog of Colt the value of a Colt Post War SAA in .45 LC are: NIB=$2,000...EXC+$1.650...VG=$1,400...Good=$1,000...Fair=$900 and Poor=$750  these values are for the  7.5" bbl version. For a 4.75" bbl +25%...For a 5.5"bbl +15%  For a nickle finish +20% and for factory Ivory grips +$250