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Old January 14, 2013, 06:51 PM   #1
11b
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Colt SAA 1873 CIRCA DEC 1876 MFG VALUE?

I have a blued Colt SAA model 1873 with a Factory letter stating it could be one of two batches delivered in Dec. 1876 with this same serial number 31,625. One batch of 80 pistol went to Spies, Kissam and Co or it could be one of a batch of 200 pistols that went to the U.S. Ordnance Dept. My question is this... the pistol has the inspection mark of L.D. FOR LEWIS DRAPER who was a U.S. Ordnance Inspector. The single letter C is under his initials and it has the single line name and address on the barrel COLT'S MFG. CO. HARTFORD CONN. U.S.A. On the opposite side in a single line it says COLT'S SINGLE ACTION ARMY .45. IT HAS THE STANDARD 2 LINE PATENT INSCRIPTION OF 1871 and 1872. IT IS A 5.5 INCH BARREL WITH RAMPANT COLT GRIPS. THE CYLINDER APPEARS ORIGINAL AND IS NUMBERED TO THE GUN. THE BORE IS SHINEY AND HAS NO PITTING AND APPEARS TO BE FIRED VERY LITTLE FOR IT'S AGE. The gun was refinished at some time but was very WELL DONE [IN MY OPINION, I AM NOT A COLT COLLECTOR].I am going to the Vegas gun show and was wondering what some of you SAA experts thought the pistol MIGHT be worth. I also have a lettered MODEL 1873 MFG'd in 1905, a .41LC that has been nickeled with a 4.75 in. barrel and the same grips...good bore. Both function well. Any info would be greatly appreciated.





Last edited by 11b; January 14, 2013 at 07:25 PM.
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Old January 14, 2013, 08:08 PM   #2
royal barnes
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Your Colt is not in it's original Lewis Draper inspected configuration, It should have a 7 1/2" barrel and walnut stocks. It could have been sent back to Colt in the 1890's and reconfigured as an Artillery Model with a 5 1/2" barrel but I would think it would have a second inspectors mark for that. What you seem to have is a non standard Colt that has been rebarelled or has had the barrel shortened, with incorrect stocks, and has been refinished. My guess would be in the $3000 range.
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Old January 15, 2013, 07:47 AM   #3
highpower3006
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Better pictures (in focus) and more of them, would help to verify what you have there. As was stated, the original SAA's were delivered to the government with 7 1/2" barrels and one piece walnut grips so it has definitely been altered if it is one of those delivered to the army.

Is there a U.S. stamped on the left side of the frame below the cylinder?

All of the original Colt SAA's that I have seen that were sent back to the factory in the 1890's to be refurbished and have the barrels shortened to 5 1/2" have mismatched serial numbers. Your pictures are too out of focus for me to really see the if the triggerguard and frame numbers still match, but if they do and it IS a ordnance ordered factory rework, it would be unusual.
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Old January 15, 2013, 12:01 PM   #4
11b
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Aswers

There is no U.S. but the frame and the cylinder numbers match. Do you know what the letter C means, centered under the L.D.? Thanks Jerry
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Old January 15, 2013, 03:32 PM   #5
hoghunting
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Quote:
I have a blued Colt SAA model 1873 with a Factory letter
Does your factory letter state the barrel length and grips when it shipped?
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Old January 15, 2013, 04:20 PM   #6
11b
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My letter(s), I have 2 guns neither have the barrel length or the stocks specified. HTH Jerry
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Old January 15, 2013, 07:53 PM   #7
royal barnes
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A little further research shows a sub inspector named A.O. Casey who inspected revolvers during the same time period as Draper. It would not be uncommon to see more than one inspector's mark. Also no martial Colts were marked with the U.S. after serial number 30,000 according to my reference books.
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Old January 15, 2013, 09:17 PM   #8
11b
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Thanks

You have been most helpful and enlightening. My specialty is Griffin and Howe Pre-War Sporters [1903 Springfields and 98 Mausers] I bought these 2 pistols from a friend of mine when he became critically ill and didn't want him to have to go to the weasels that would take advantage of his situation. He passed away and now my daughter is getting married [wedding$$$$!] and I thought I would see what they would bring at the Vegas show. Thanks Again Jerry
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Old January 16, 2013, 10:45 PM   #9
James K
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My sources show an A.P. Casey, who used the letters APC. The only inspector I can find using the single letter C is too early for the SAA.

As I understand it, the Colt records mention only those details that differ from the standard. At that time, the standard would be .45 caliber, with wood grips and a 7 1/2" barrel, so in the absence of any notes to the contrary, that should have been the original configuration.

I would like to see sharp clear pictures of those frame and trigger guard serial numbers.

Jim
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