View Full Version : Fake Colt SSA ?

February 18, 2002, 02:23 PM
I have come into possesion of what appears to be a pristine Colt SSA. I am concerned that it may be a fake because the serial number does not coorespond to the correct cylinder axis pin retention and the Colt logo does not appear to be in quite the right place on the frame. The logo is also inset in circle, unlike other Colt SSA's I have seen. The cylinder axis pin is retained by a spring loaded push button instead of a screw, but the serial number is 169550, (matching on frame, trigger guard and bottom strap,) which should be before push button retention. The top of the barrel is stamped "COLT'S PT. FA. MFG. CO. HARTFORD CT. USA." and the side of the barrel is stamped "COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY .45" There is a two line patent and the Colt logo is stamped on the face of the cylinder. The back strap is engraved with the initials "E G" and the grips are nicely checkered walnut do not have external side panel screws. I have not dissasembled the gun yet, are there any internal clues is should be looking for and has anyone ever seen the colt logo stamped with a circle around it ? Anybody have a Colt Encyclopedia that might help?

Jim Watson
February 18, 2002, 03:26 PM
I am not a Colt specialist but your base pin latch is OK.
According to the Blue Book, SN 169550 was made in 1897. According to Venturino, Colt went to the spring latch in regular production in 1896 and had been using both screw and latch since 1892.

I cannot help with the markings except to say that a number of OTHER model Colts had the horse in a circle.

4V50 Gary
February 19, 2002, 02:47 PM
I'm not Colt expert, but I think Jim is right in that the cylinder retention evolved over a period of time.

BTW, the last fake I looked at has a single piece frame and grip.

James K
February 19, 2002, 11:28 PM
Colt started using the circled colt logo around 1890; the serial number often given for the cylinder latch change is 165,000, so your gun would be well above that.


Joe W
January 18, 2005, 08:01 PM
I am not an expert, far far from it but I can offer you some info. I doubt that your Colt is a "fake" but it most likely was re-barreled. Many old SAA were converted to .45 cal. by re-barreling and changing the cylinder. The reason I say it was re-barreled is because it was not until 1929 that the wording "Colt Single Action Army" was placed on the barrel. Prior to 1929 only the caliber markings were put on the barrel, such as .45 COLT, 32-20 W.C.F., etc.

The Rampant Colt within the circle is correct for guns manufactured between 1890 & 1912 which would include yours, which was manufactured in early 1897.

I am not sure that 1st generation Colts had the Colt logo stamped on the face of the cylinder or not. The rampant Colt logo is lightly stamped on the rear of my cylinder between the chambers but my cylinder is 2nd generation.
If you compare a 1st gen. cylinder to a 2nd gen. you will see that the front of the 1st. generation is beveled while the 2nd is not. If you compare the two it is quite obvious.

A good web site, where I got most of my info. is Ray Meibaum's page.
Go to www.coltsaa.com click on "Colt Info" on right side of page,
then click on: " A closer look at the sublle changes in the Colt SAA revolver 1873-1940" This page should answer most of your questions.

Your proberly better off that it has been re-barreled etc. because you can go out and enjoy shooting it. Have fun.