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View Full Version : A "Colt Peacemaker" needs critique


Hardy
July 30, 2010, 09:36 PM
Serial # G or 632428A on frame, Colt pat 1871
July 2 72 Jan 18 1975 Great shape bought in mid 80's new. Maybe shot 50 rounds+/- since. Pristine. Is this worth sellin or keepin. 357 Mag!! Not sure of actual value (Kinda- but not sure enough) but thought you might want to look at it and advise:) I tell you, it's a bad boy in my book : I believe it's a 3rd but I have not yet looked it up in the "Gun Bible."
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/purrllbucket/StorePhotos069.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/purrllbucket/StorePhotos071.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/purrllbucket/StorePhotos074.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/purrllbucket/StorePhotos075.jpg

denster
July 30, 2010, 10:16 PM
Nice looking gun. Value currently is around $1300. If you don't need the money I'd keep it as it is only going to appreciate.

Hardy
July 30, 2010, 10:30 PM
Jeez thanks I was figuring around $1000. but Marshall Dillon shot a man facin him down the road at the beginning of Gunsmoke with one. By the way -who was that man? damn good trivi ques! but that man did shoot first. Bet the Smokin Gun might know that one. I don't:rolleyes:

Model-P
July 30, 2010, 11:23 PM
It is probably S32428A which would place it after 1993. The serial numbers in the mid-80s ran with SA as a prefix, eg SAxxxxx.

Colt is your competition. Brand new Colt SAAs sell new for about $1200. The latest SAAs are usually better quality than the Colt SAAs from the '80s and '90s. You would be lucky to get $1000 for yours, but that still represents a good retained value nonetheless.

Now, if the serial happens to be 63242SA, then you are talking about a 2nd generation SAA from the early '70s. If this is the case, your gun would have more value, perhaps in the $1300-1700 range.

denster
July 30, 2010, 11:43 PM
Model-P I was basing my opinion on his misreading the S as an 8 and that he bought it in the mid 80s.

Model-P
July 31, 2010, 12:23 AM
That's O.K., except that 63242SA would place it in the early '70s. The serial and the mid-80s timeframe don't add up. I hope Hardy will get a magnifier and ascertain what the numbers actually read. The value will depend on that, as well as on the condition. Better pictures would help.

I would keep it and shoot it if I were he.

flatheadsal
July 31, 2010, 01:52 AM
the original man in black in the opening scene of Gunsmoke was Arvo Ojala, holster maker and fast draw teacher to hollywoods biggest stars, flathead

Model-P
July 31, 2010, 02:43 AM
Cool! I didn't know that! I'll have to check it out next time. I have one of his fast draw booklets. Thanks!

denster
July 31, 2010, 07:40 AM
Model-P. Just going on my experience from that time frame. I bought a couple of SAA made in the 70s new in the box in the 80s. At least in my area of Ohio the longer barrel ones in calibers other than 45 Colt just sat in the cases. My how times have changed. Got a hefty discount when I bought them. Wish I still had them. I agree I'd just keep it in good shape and shoot it.

madcratebuilder
July 31, 2010, 10:32 AM
There are a lot of 2nd and 3rd gen SAA .357's on GB. They aren't getting $1100 opening bids.

Hardy
July 31, 2010, 05:23 PM
Thanks Flat-- I can probably win money on the gunsmoke man. How did you know that !? Anyway it is a 6 on front of serial on this here peacemaker. I bought the gun from a store in 1987. I didn't get a box or paperwork but I remember he had several on display including 45's. I think I paid around $280 new for it. Anyway, since I started my store, I brought it back out of hiding. I loaded it up w/38 specials. It does have a fine line on cylinder(as it should) the end of the barrel has a little bluin worn off but I touched that up w/pen. I can't find too much else wrong but a few t-tiny nics here and there on right side of barrel but not really noticable unless anal scrutinization by a collector looks. It is loud!!! I guess I will ask $1100. for it and thanks everyone.

Now, I have a 3'rd gen unfired colt Walker in case w/ flask/ colt cap box and a small Bull Duram burlap sack of balls:D. What I like about this gun is that it was a 150 year aniversary edition with less than 800 made-I think- and replicas now cost 380 to 480 if you can get them. We have the ubertis on back order for months now.What I don't like about it is that the wooden box does not appear to be a Colt and the powder flask is brass. I assume that flask is not what came w/gun but I'm sure they aren't cheap anyway I know little about Walkers and never fired one. I don't think I'm gonna fire this one. I'll send pics and serial # later since it is not here at this writing if anybody cares.

Model-P
July 31, 2010, 06:47 PM
Well, if you're sure about that 6, then it must be 63242SA (what you thought was an 8 must be an S). You may have bought it in 1987, but that serial number indicates a 1972 production, making it a 2nd generation and worth more than a typical 3rd generation. If that is the case, you may well be able to get up around $1800 or more for it, though something about the color case on the right rear of the frame doesn't look quite right to me.

Good luck.

Gaucho Gringo
July 31, 2010, 06:48 PM
Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke didn't carry a Colt, it was a Great Western copy.

denster
July 31, 2010, 09:16 PM
Hardy

I'm curious. Why do you feel it "should" have a faint line around the cylinder?

Hardy
July 31, 2010, 09:51 PM
because it has been fired and enough cylinder rotation to wear a small groove

denster
July 31, 2010, 10:25 PM
Actually if the bolt is carried down properly there should be no line no matter how many times it has been fired as the bolt should not contact the cylinder until it drops into the leads. Might want to check that.

Hardy
July 31, 2010, 10:38 PM
The line really comes on the c/b repos of 1858 which I see alot. After examining cylinder on this one it is not a groove or enough to take bluing off -just a line that might be noticed by some serious collectors. Will take better pics tommorow. But it is time for a beer for now :D

Hardy
August 3, 2010, 05:46 PM
More pics as promised -
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/purrllbucket/Guns/StorePhotos080-1.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/purrllbucket/Guns/StorePhotos080.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/purrllbucket/Guns/StorePhotos081.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/purrllbucket/Guns/StorePhotos082.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/purrllbucket/Guns/StorePhotos076.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/purrllbucket/Guns/StorePhotos077.jpg

Hardy
August 3, 2010, 05:48 PM
the last two:
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/purrllbucket/Guns/StorePhotos078.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/purrllbucket/Guns/StorePhotos079.jpg

4V50 Gary
August 3, 2010, 05:56 PM
Purdy. All I have is a New Frontier (22 LR) and an original Bisley which the previous owner converted to .38 Special. I should write Colt and find out what the original barrel length and caliber is.

denster
August 3, 2010, 07:30 PM
Might want to check your bolt. It looks like the bolt is not being carried down far enough to clear the cylinder completely. I see raised ticks on the outboard edges of the cylinder notches followed by a line on the cylinder that indicates to me the bolt is staying in light contact with the cylinder during rotation.

Hardy
August 3, 2010, 09:11 PM
Denster- I'd rather raise chicks than ticks :D Now, I know what you're saying and most top frame guns I've seen have this after use. None of these type guns are perfect. So I wouldn't know how to work on it or much less replace it. Polish it maybe? Or since it's a 2nd just quit cocking it. My Uberties and Colts and Piettas get ticks in the notches after so much wear. But Hell, I asked for critique and that's what I want. This has to give insight for others too.

arcticap
August 3, 2010, 10:37 PM
It looks pretty good by golly, and I wouldn't let just any ol' smith go fiddling around with my prized Colt Peacemaker either. ;)

Jimmy10mm
August 3, 2010, 10:54 PM
Actually if the bolt is carried down properly there should be no line no matter how many times it has been fired as the bolt should not contact the cylinder until it drops into the leads. Might want to check that. Just IMHO, I have yet to see a Colt or a Smith DA or SA revolver that will not show a line from the cylinder being turned. IME it is normal wear, at least in the revolvers I have and have had. In a SA at half cock the bolt is completely retracted but not before or after reaching half cock. Unless I'm badly mistaken. If I am I don't know how that line got there on all of 'em.

Model-P
August 3, 2010, 11:23 PM
In a SA at half cock the bolt is completely retracted but not before or after reaching half cock. Unless I'm badly mistaken. If I am I don't know how that line got there on all of 'em.

On a Colt type single action, that line usually comes from people who lower the hammer from half cock, instead of fully cocking the hammer from half cock before lowering.

The bolt should clear the cylinder notch just before the cylinder begins to rotate.

I did, however, have a Colt SAA in which I had the bolt replaced by a supposed single action expert gunsmith where he set the bolt to where it just skimmed the surface of my newly charcoal blued cylinder. Luckily, I detected it and fixed it before the cylinder got ringed. The bolt should retract flush or just below the opening in the frame when fully retracted. There is no reason for it to ring the cylinder under normal handling.

Double action guns and Ruger type single actions are another story. It's nearly impossible to avoid rings on them due to their inherent designs.

Much better pictures there, Hardy. You have a nice looking Single Action Army of which you can be proud. Thanks for sharing.

denster
August 4, 2010, 12:10 AM
Hardy. Sorry I mentioned it. Hey it's your gun and if you don't care I don't care. I like my guns to work properly. Different strokes I guess.

JimmyDAO. You're badly mistaken. Like Model-P said Ruger SA and S&WDA and others use a different system where an arm on the trigger retracts the bolt then drops it as the cylinder starts to turn. You just live with the line. SA on the Colt design the bolt should be clear of the cylinder before it starts to turn and not touch the cylinder again until it drops in the leads. But hey if you like ticks in your notches and lines on your cylinder go for it.

Model_P. Of course I agree with everything you said. Generally though most of the boneheads who lower the hammer from halfcock and then turn the cylilnder into battery do so in the direction of rotation and you see the line from mid cylinder to the leads. From the tick on the outboard side then the line it seemed more probable the bolt was the cause.

Model-P
August 4, 2010, 12:43 AM
Model_P. Of course I agree with everything you said. Generally though most of the boneheads who lower the hammer from halfcock and then turn the cylilnder into battery do so in the direction of rotation and you see the line from mid cylinder to the leads. From the tick on the outboard side then the line it seemed more probable the bolt was the cause.

True.
The rangemaster at the range last week was checking that my SAA was unloaded when I entered the range as usual, but this guy rotated the cylinder with the hammer partially pulled back, then let the hammer down without cocking it:mad: Needless to say I will do all of my own gun handling during safety checks from now on! Luckily he did not also proceed to index the cylinder with the bolt against it, as I tried to grab it from him as quickly but gently as possible before he did so. This is to say that a turn line is not always a reflection on the owner. Some people just never learned, other people could have handled the gun, and sometimes the timing is just off. Hey, I was a bonehead too before someone explained it to me;)

Hardy
August 4, 2010, 03:56 PM
Metal against metal will wear. That's why metal moving parts in cars, etc have bearings. But these guns were invented before that. Now--I have had some cheap Remingtons that drove a line after several rotations. But this gun was produced in 1975. I think there is very little wear considering its age and has been treated as a firable weapon since 1986+/-. I have a R E Lee in box. If I play with it over time it'll get ticks. That's why it's in a box. The collectible unfired Colts don't but you shoot them over awhile you can't argue there is gonna be wear where metal eventually touches metal. The Bonehead Army is a good Army.

denster
August 4, 2010, 04:13 PM
I have five SAA that together have fired over 8000 rounds and the only one that has a line around the cylinder is one I bought used that way. I also have 12 Remington and Colt C&B revolvers that have been fired svereal thousand rounds and none have ticks or lines. I must be doing something wrong.
I was only trying to be helpful and maybe keep you from further damaging a valuable gun. Like I said though it's your gun and if you don't care I don't care.

arcticap
August 4, 2010, 04:28 PM
I have five SAA that together have fired over 8000 or more rounds and the only one that has a line around the cylinder is one I bought used that way. I also have 12 Remington and Colt C&B revolvers that have been fired svereal thousand rounds and none have ticks or lines

What's interesting about the statement is that those guns have an average of 3 times or more actual wear compared to Hardy's SAA round count.
That shows that one can't judge a book by it's cover. I'd rather buy the gun with less of a round count and a line on the cylinder.
That cylinder line of Hardy's just shows the amount of honest wear on his gun.
On his gun the cylinder line doesn't look disfiguring, it just looks like a reflection of it's honest wear.
Not everyone wants to spend money to go to a gunsmith for every fine line. Some of them can even make things worse.
I've seen enough problems created by gunsmiths, even though the smiths aren't bad but are usually quite good. And they're still more expensive than the amount of devaluation that can show up on a gun due to honest wear.
What's the devaluation for the cylinder line that's on Hardy's gun verses the risk of damage and the cost of a gunsmith's parts & labor to fix it?
It doesn't always make sense to go to a gunsmith if the gun isn't really broken.
Not everyone is a gunsmith or wants to learn how to do everything themselves, which is what it takes to make it cost effective enough to fix.
Sometimes things get better with time and sometimes they get worse. That's why there's factory replacement parts and new screws to replace all of the boogered ones.
Just sending a gun out to a good gunsmith costs a lot of money nowdays. Knowing that a gun is virgin about not having been cracked open before is something to be admired. Hardy's gun is in factory original condition as it left the factory.
There's nothing wrong with that and in some cases it's desirable as already mentioned about the low round count. It's a trade off verses guns with high round counts that can have hidden wear. Just because it's not externally viewable doesn't mean that it's not there and can't be found.

Hardy
August 4, 2010, 04:45 PM
denster-- I like and appreciate what you've said. Really I do. I'm just stating that anytime metal touches metal in friction, you're gonna get some wear. But I salute you for that not happening in all your rounds of shooting on your guns. I guess you know these guns pretty good. But anyway, I still think my Peacemaker looks good after 25+ years of shootin here and there. When I bought it, I just thought I bought a gun and we went out and fired it. Month later did the same, etc. I guess I deceived myself when I thought only 50 rounds were fired. 100 maybe over these years off and on. Then it went into hiding and in 1990 my father and I went and fired off 12 rounds. Then I put it away after cleaning it briefly w/ gun kit. I shot it in the last year maybe 15 rounds, broke it down and cleaned and polished it. I have books on all these guns and never looked THIS ONE up. I wanted all your opinions and appreciate all those that have commented and critiqued. I love these guns too! Here is a good question...
Should I just sell it for 1200 and buy a brand new one/w no nicks or ticks:) Or keep on shootin it or just keep it and not fire it any more? Denster-I don't like lines, scratches nics etc but I just thought it be normal on dis one. PEACE

arcticap
August 4, 2010, 04:59 PM
I think that you should continue shooting it and enjoying it until the day you die, or sell it and trade down to a Ruger or a USFA or whatever.
It makes no sense to sell it to buy the same. You shoot it so little that it won't lose any more value over time but should only gain.
Go for something else in stainless and you can still save money on the swap.
It's either or. In my opinion yours is a good one. The economy will only get better and your gun will only age to maintain its same high present value over time just like a fine wine. :)

denster
August 4, 2010, 05:04 PM
Arcticap. Little of what you said makes any sense and that is unusual for you. The only point I was making regarding round count is that this is not normal honest wear on Hardy's gun. This is not rocket science for gods sake. If you can change the bolt in an 1860 Army you can do so in a Colt SAA they work the same. In fact you could get a Pietta GWII bolt for a lot less than a Colt bolt and it would work just fine.
Hardy. If it was mine I would change the bolt and shoot the heck out of it or sell it and get a USFA Colt clone and shoot the heck out of it. But if you keep it and shoot it the problem is only going to get worse. By the way it is easy enough to check just take the cylinder out and cycle the hammer the bolt should go at least flush with the frame or below it. If it doesn't it isn't right no matter what Arcticap thinks.

arcticap
August 4, 2010, 05:08 PM
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/purrllbucket/Guns/StorePhotos082.jpg

Hardy
August 4, 2010, 06:20 PM
thanks arti. I bet when I bought that gun, I spun the cylinder like a roulette wheel with a big grin on my face--probably dry fired it and spun it again for days. It was a toy to me then. But I had fun. Of course I didn't have it loaded. Anyway, I still hold firm it looks, operates and is what it is the way it "should be" after all these years.

denster
August 4, 2010, 08:15 PM
You're right a picture is worth a thousand word. The top gun is an AWA peacekeeper with Turnbull case colors and according to the guy I bought it from had less than 800 rounds through it. He said it just started out as a faint line. Should have been worth around $500 but I got it for $250 because no one would buy it with that line on it. Paid $14 for a new bolt and I haven't decided yet whether to have the cylinder reblued or buy a new one.
The bottom gun is an USFA Rodeo with over 2000 rounds through it. See any difference?

Hardy
August 5, 2010, 08:00 PM
Yeah, a picture is worth a 1000 words. Arti--you got somethin to add to this. This post was meant to critique a collectible COLT -not replicas-

denster
August 5, 2010, 08:15 PM
Hardy, you just don't get it do you. You didn't want a critique you wanted your head patted and to be told what a wonderful gun you have. OK you have a wonderful gun now sell it quick to someone who understands it before you damage it any further. Before you do though put the correct screw in the bottom of the backstrap the one sticking out like that looks ugly.
That's it I'm done with this thread.:(

Hardy
August 5, 2010, 08:29 PM
Well Denster is done w/this. I just wanted to know a little more about this gun from all you that know more than me. I guess I opened a can of worms. Wasn't lookin for a pat on the back. But everyone likes a pat on the back. I guess all of us post things we're proud of and we like sharing pics and admiring other's pics. I love looking at cowboy guns posted. By the way, all the screws on this gun are original. Maybe I shoulda tightened the grip screw better. Sorry:o

Jimmy10mm
August 5, 2010, 09:03 PM
Thanks for the tip denster and glad i read this thread. Just checked my SAA NF 357 and 44spl. Both 2nd gen and made in the '60s. I brought them to half cock and held them up against a light to see the bolt retracted below flush with the frame. I didn't ever think about it before.

Also used to pull to half cock and lower the hammer. I won't anymore but will take it to full cock before lowering the hammer. Fortunately the 44 barely has a line and the 357 just a smidgen of one. I'm gonna die with them anyhow so ..... :p

Hardy, as for what to do with your SAA, That is a nice one. I would keep it and shoot it and enjoy it. Seems like most of the time when I've sold a gun I have seller's remorse eventually. Sometimes years later.

Hardy
August 6, 2010, 06:40 PM
Denster--I got it. You taught us alot here about how to keep cylinder from scratching. I guess I thought when bolt hits notch it's gonna eventually wear. I learned. Thanks. I was more focused at time with what the gun was worth in its present condition. I found a 2nd gen colt box for sale on gunsinternational and am debating to whether to buy it. I think so and keep this gun and w/your recommendations hopefully it'l stay in it's present shape with care. And I do like your peacemakers--wish I had them.