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Old February 24, 2013, 01:24 PM   #1
Southern_Partisan
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Centaure Question

Hey from Texas!! First-time poster, long-time Lurker. This is a great forum. I have learned alot from y'all and I really appreciate it.

Although I have a TC Hawken in .50 caliber that I've owned for many years, I am unfamiliar with blackpowder pistols and have yet to purchase one. I would like to own an 1860 Army in .44 caliber, and recently had an opportunity present itself to me.

My Uncle's best friend recently passed, and now his friend's widow is selling off her late-husband's small collection of firearms. Among them is a new-in-the-box, unfired Belgian Centaure. Serial No. 27## with "Made in Belgium" on the bottom of the backstrap, rampant Centaur on the left side just ahead of the brass triggerguard, and "CENTENNIAL Trade Mark" followed by "1960 New Model Army" on the 8" barrel. I don't know a whole lot about these, but from what I've read they sound pretty nice and I think this one is a 1st Model RNMA manufactured in 1962 or 1963??

First question - How is the quality of these Centaure pistols?? Will it stand up to regular loads and usage?? Are the specs of the various components good so that I won't have to have alot of gunsmith work performed to correct the arbor length, timing of cylinders, etc. so that it will function reliably?? I don't own safe queens and would like to shoot it every now and then.

Second question - I want to be fair and reasonable. I don't want to steal the pistol from the lady, and I don't want to get gouged on the price either. I could buy a new Uberti for around $325. What would be a fair price for this Belgian Centaure??

Thanks!!
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Old February 24, 2013, 01:30 PM   #2
deerslayer303
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From what I know, Go get in your vehicle and drive over there AS FAST AS YOU CAN AND BUY IT TODAY!!!
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Old February 24, 2013, 01:40 PM   #3
Willie Sutton
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Anything less than $500 would be very fair if it's unfired.

They are worth much more than a new Uberti.


And:

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not shoot it.

If you want a Centare to shoot, I'll be happy to trade you a REALLY nice shooter and some cash for an unshot one to be a safe queen. You will take $200 off of the value the first time you load it. Do posterity a favor and let that one stay as-is. PM if you want to wrangle.


Willie


.
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Old February 24, 2013, 01:42 PM   #4
woodnbow
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What deerslayer said... The last one that sold on Gunbroker was unfired apparently, not in the box and went for 480 plus 20 shipping. I have no idea what the box would be worth, to a collector in good condition it might bring 150 or more into the equation. The one you're looking at has an early serial # so it has the largest chambers, equivalent to the originals and is generally in the era of the "best" production years which is to say much better than any of the other replicas.

Here's a link to the Centaure fanatics associates... http://www.1960nma.org/

Check the piece carefully to be certain it is an Army model and not the Civilian model. The Civilians are exceedingly rare and in the condition you describe would probably be quite valuable.

I have my own in route as we speak, also in the box.
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Old February 24, 2013, 01:55 PM   #5
Southern_Partisan
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I guess I mis-stated part of what I said. Rather than "new-in-the-box", I should simply have said "new". I casually stated new-in-the-box thinking it was just an expression and didn't give any thought to an actual box adding value. I'm pretty sure this one does not have the original box.
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Old February 24, 2013, 02:08 PM   #6
Willie Sutton
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A box serialized to the revolver adds $100-$200 to the value to a collector. the better the revolver, the more value is added by the box. A beat up revolver in the box... "Meh" on the box. A new unturned one in the box... it's worth $200.



Without the box...

NEW and UNTURNED is NEW!!

NEW (unfired) is "New".

Excellent is Excellent.

Used is Used

and

Abused is Abused.


If it's a REALLY nice one, preserve it. Makes no difference if it's NEW or just... "new".

If you want a shooter, you can find a shooter that has already lost it's value as a collector and preserve this one. Just don't take a really nice one and make a daily shooter out of it. One that's already shot 500 rounds will be worth the same after it's shot 5000. One that is new or nearly new will be worth the same as the one that's shot 5000 after it's shot 50.


Willie

.
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Old February 24, 2013, 02:48 PM   #7
Doc Hoy
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Someone who knows, please do us a favor...

First of all, Welcome to the forum.

I will describe what I know about these revolvers which will give you a hint as to why you are getting the responses you are.

There is a site which you should visit right away for some good gouge.

www.1960NMA.org

FAL intended to manufacture these revolvers in the 19th century under license (I think it was a licensing arrangement) from Colt.

The drawings were the actual drawings provided by Colt and so the specs were (I think) identical to the Colt 1860 Army. I don't know about the metalurgy. I also don't know if any revolvers were actually made in the 1800's under that license.

Then in the middle of the twentieth century, the resurgence of interest in cap and ball revolvers, drove FAL to re-release the revolver based upon the drawings they still had.

They called it the 1960 New Model Army. It was very high in quality for the period of manufacture. But what is notable is that is it a truer representation of the original revolver than even the Imperato sponsored second and third gen Colts.

To find an unfired one is rare and boy it you got the box and papers with it, it is a real find.

It is easily worth the 325.00 you would pay for a new Uberti but in the end you would be well advised to buy a shooter since this revolver should be considered to be a collector revolver and should be handled as little as possible.

I have one. (SN952) I like it but in truth it does not perform all that much better than the other 1860 clones I have. Make no mistake. I would not part with it, but I don't shoot it any more.

Others on the forum are better informed on these excellent revolvers and I am hoping soemone will wade in and confirm or debunk what I have said.

In short, don't let that revolver out of your sight.
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Old February 24, 2013, 03:03 PM   #8
4V50 Gary
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We expect you to post pics after you buy it.
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Old February 24, 2013, 04:54 PM   #9
asmith
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I will vote with the rest of the guys, buy and not shoot it, I just recently bought a Uberti 1860 Army .44 from Dixie for $290 + shipping.
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Old February 24, 2013, 05:54 PM   #10
Old Dragoon
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Depends on the real condition. I just bought one that has never been fired, but it was stored badly and has pits and such from being in a leather holster for 50 years. Collector value is nil, but she's as tight as a drum. and I will shoot her. She aint purtymous as a NIB non fired one, but she'll do.
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Old February 25, 2013, 08:00 AM   #11
Bootsie
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Sotheren_Partisan - what the other pards said plus:
Please, download a data sheet from www.1960nma.org - left navigation bar - complete it with the data of your hopefully by now liberated Centaure, and mail it to me at wolf@1960nma.org.
I would like to add the data to our Centaure survey. Helps with the research project.
And since you are in Texas I am planning on being in your great State during fall to attend CAS shoots in the Columbus and Clarendon area with 2 of my Centaure conversions.
If you happen to be available for some coffee let's talk Centaure.
Thanks & regards from Germany,
Long Johns Wolf aka Bootsie
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Old February 26, 2013, 11:16 AM   #12
wap41
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Buy it you'll like it.I have two,the are excellant quality if you get an early one{pre 1970}and very accurate.I bought mine several years ago on gunbroker and paid $385.each
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