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Old April 20, 2010, 03:26 PM   #1
Grady
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Identification help please

I need some help from you experts on what I have. My deceased Brother bought several of the Colt re-issue revolvers back in the 1970's-1980's (?) don't remember the exact date. Anyway, he left two to me, and while I know quite a bit about guns, I am at a loss as to the true identity of these two, and I want to identify them properly for my Grandchildren (they are now in glass top cases).

Gun #1 is a Navy-Army (?) I am guessing to be .44 caliber, serial #47XXX, no marks on the steel backstrap, round barrel, conventional blue and case hardening colors, scene on cylinder appears to depict a Naval scene, barrel marked -ADDRESS COL. SAM- COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA-' round brass trigger guard. This gun came in a maroon cardboard (?) box, well built with two brass snaps, round brass trigger guard. The interior was foam rubber cut out to fit the gun. At one time there was some Colt literature in the box.

Gun #2 is a Walker-Dragoon (?) I am guess to be .44 caliber, serial #49XXX, no marks on the steel backstrap, half round, half octagonal barrel, conventional blue and case hardening colors, scene on cylinder appears to depict men on horseback fighting Indians, barrel marked ADDRESS SAML (small L) COLT NEW-YORK CITY, square back brass trigger guard. It is marked US 1847 above the wedge screw. The grips are the ubiquitous Walker, with the rounded front. This gun came in a black cardboard (?) box, well built with two brass snaps, square back brass trigger guard. The interior was foam rubber cut out to fit the gun. At one time there was some Colt literature in the box.

I am familiar with and aware of the many reproduction firearms that abound today, and have owned a few myself. These two guns, from my own personal knowledge at the time, were represented as genuine Colt replicas, by a very reputable Arms Dealer. At this time, the hoopla that was associated with these guns was that Colt would number the new guns beginning with the final numbers of the first generation guns.

The foam rubber has rotted away in both boxes, I was quite surprised. There are no "Colt" or other markings on either box. Unfortunately, in storage before I got them, both boxes were pretty well crushed, but I have been fortunate to find wooden presentation boxes for both.

Neither gun has ever been cocked, and appear "as new" with the exception of the boxes and missing literature. My examination of serial numbers in these second and third generation Colts only confuse the more. I hope that one of you that read this will have a definitive listing of serial numbers or more knowledge that will put this to rest, and I do thank you.
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Old April 20, 2010, 05:58 PM   #2
mykeal
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Fingers or madcratebuilder will have better information that I do, I'm sure, but I'm just waiting for the ball game to start so I thought I'd send along my thoughts.

Sure sound like Colt's Manufacturing Company Second Generation guns to me. I hesitate to use the term 'replicas' as they are considered to be genuine Colts, simply made later than the first generation guns were.

I believe gun No. 1 is probably an F Series 1860 Army model. 7,593 were made with rebated cylinders from Nov 1978 to Nov 1982. Serial numbers 201000-212835. 2,670 were made with fluted cylinders from July 1980 to Oct 1981, serial numbers 207330-211250.

Gun No. 2 is undoubtedly an F Series 1847 Walker model. 2,573 were made from June 1980 through April 1982, serial numbers range from 1,200 to 4,120. Another 245 were made between May and Sept 1981, serial numbers 32256 through 32500.

Source: The Blue Book of Modern Black Powder Arms, Fifth Edition (2007).
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Old April 20, 2010, 06:06 PM   #3
Grady
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Identification

Thanks for the reply. There is no doubt in my mind that they are truly genuine Colt "Second" or "Third" Generation, the serial numbers do not seem to fall within those you posted, any thoughts ?
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Old April 20, 2010, 10:30 PM   #4
Fingers McGee
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Grady,

From the descriptions, it sounds like you have an 1860 Army and Walker reproduction. The serial numbers do not fall within the range of either 2nd Generation or Signature series Colt's, however. The description of the boxes they came in also do not match 2nd Gen or Sig Series Colt's (it's the "two brass snaps" part that throws me).

Pictures of the revolvers and boxes would help, also any other markings on them would help. Look under the loading levers.

Army San Marco made some Colt repros in the 70s that were marked the same as Colts.

FM
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Old April 21, 2010, 07:10 AM   #5
madcratebuilder
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I concur with fingers, the serial numbers are not even close the the 2nd or 3rd gen block of numbers.

Photo's would certainly help with correct ID. The Colt address on the top of the barrel indicates it may be ASM.

Do either of these revolvers have proof marks or "black powder only" stamped anywhere on them? ASM or Colt, they are a desirable set to own.
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Old April 21, 2010, 07:32 AM   #6
mykeal
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This is what I get for not paying attention. I missed the serial numbers the OP cited. The guns are likely not 2nd Gen Colts. And we lost the game - bad night all around.
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Old April 21, 2010, 05:40 PM   #7
Grady
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Thanks again for the interest and help. I have been trying to post pictures without success, is there a feature on the Forum as to how to do this ? I don't think pictures would help a great deal though, they look exactly like the scores I know you all have seen countless times. I was finally able to contact a retired employee of the Dealer that my Brother bought his guns from (among them were a pair of sequentially numbered Colt (genuine) .22 Derringers). He remembered well the times all this was going on, but did not recall anyone ever complaining about the guns not being Colt. He laughed and said he would be glad to buy them back for the same price my Brother paid! He suggested getting a good magnifying glass and a strong light and look under the loading lever. Viola! I have a "plastic" lens in my right eye and bad cataracts in the left, but, if one rubs talcum powder in the proper area, rubs it off, uses a very strong light at the proper angle, and a strong magnifying glass, again at the proper angle, one can barely make out,very faint,

on the Navy (?)
ARMI SAN MARCO- GARDONE VT under that is
BLACK POWDER ONLY CAL .44 MADE IN ITALY

on the Walker
ARMI SAN MARCO - GARDONE VT under that is
BLACK POWDER ONLY CAL. 44 MADE IN ITALY

I called him back this AM with my results. He was apologetic, even though he had no connection any longer with the store, selling out long ago. He vaguely remembered that perhaps ASM perhaps made guns for Colt at the same time others were, he vaguely remembered perhaps a law suit (?) but thought the guns had been sold in good faith, and that they had sold "a slew of them". He still offered to buy them back !

So, after a bit of Detective work, and help from you folks, I think what I have here are "clones" of the era of Colt's re-entry into the black powder field, which, through any set of circumstances were bought by my Brother, never the wiser and going to his grave thinking he had really done something for his family, and so it goes. Why they were stamped so faintly one can only guess, but with a bit of elbow grease and a piece of emery cloth, one could do wonders. I wonder now at the Colt literature originally in the boxes.

It would appear that the Navy (?) is .44 caliber, I thought that they were .36, but that opens up another can of worms. If I can figure out posting pictures, I will send pictures of the pair, to ascertain if it is an Army or Navy and year.
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Old April 21, 2010, 05:48 PM   #8
mykeal
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Your 'Navy' is actually an 1860 model Army revolver.

ASM did make copies of the 2nd Gen Colts, and applied to Colt's Manufacturing for a license to manufacture and sell. Unfortunately, they anticipated approval and jumped the gun (pun intended) a bit, producing and selling several before Colt's Manufacturing came back with a no. Colt's issued a cease and desist and ASM complied, but not before several dozen (hundred?) were out in the public's hands. You apparently have two of those 'escapes'.

You're very lucky to have them. They are not worth as much as a genuine 2nd Gen Colt, but they are rare and collectible; I'd love to have some. They are a market rarity; the used gun price books don't recognize them, so prices are really set by the buyer/seller marketplace.
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Old April 21, 2010, 05:53 PM   #9
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Mykeal is right on the money - as usual.

FM
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Old April 22, 2010, 04:55 PM   #10
Grady
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./.k/.l

Last edited by Grady; April 22, 2010 at 04:59 PM. Reason: delete
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Old April 23, 2010, 06:23 AM   #11
madcratebuilder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mykeal
You're very lucky to have them. They are not worth as much as a genuine 2nd Gen Colt, but they are rare and collectible; I'd love to have some. They are a market rarity; the used gun price books don't recognize them, so prices are really set by the buyer/seller marketplace.
+1

Some of the Italian replicas have become very collectible, these included. I can see a day when these ASM, Colt marked revolvers may become more valuable than the 2nd gen Colt counterparts. There are very few of the ASM/Colt marked revolvers compared to the number of 2nd gens and as more people learned about the story behind them, the collectability is going to increase.

I would treasure these and keep them a family heirloom.
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Old April 23, 2010, 10:01 AM   #12
Grady
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Yes Sir, I fully intend to keep them in the family, one of the very few things I have of my Brother's. I am attempting to put together a Presentation Box with the proper accessories at this time. They have never been cocked, and I hesitated to unlatch the loading levers to look for that reason, had I done so, I think it would have been obvious that they were a clone. I have had an opportunity to visit with a gentleman connected with one of the reproduction manufacturers, he knows a bit more of this convoluted story. It does seem that ASM did indeed make pistols to be sold as Third Generation Colts, and some were distributed, but, as we seem to have discovered, there were glitches and something happened to stop this. Now whether these guns were returned to ASM to be stamped or what, he did not know, but he was of the opinion that they were originally received by the vendors unstamped. This all comes from a man who is speaking from memory and hearsay. I mentioned that this stamping is very, very faint, and a judicial use of emery paper would probably convert it very quickly. I do not intend to do this, just oil them up and keep them for my Great Grand Children, and just hope and pray that the government does not see otherwise.
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Old April 23, 2010, 10:52 AM   #13
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I well recommend Bill's cases for a custom double case. He makes very nice cases, offers the accoutrements and the prices are very reasonable.

http://www.billscases.com/
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Old April 23, 2010, 11:14 AM   #14
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I mentioned that this stamping is very, very faint, and a judicial use of emery paper would probably convert it very quickly.
It makes you wonder how many have been treated to the emery, and how many other folks think they have genuine "re-issued" Colts, too.
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