View Full Version : Colt SAA

December 2, 2004, 05:23 PM
I have recently came into possession of a NIB Colt SAA 44special. It is nickel plated with ivory grips. Form the serial number it appears to be manufactured in 1980. My question is should I keep it that way or go ahead and shoot it. I appreciate any input

Sir William
December 2, 2004, 09:53 PM
How does it look? Is there a ring around the cylinder? Powder residue? Bore? Is it obvious that it has been fired? An absolutely pristine example? No, I would sell it. I don't keep what I won't use. If it is a used and less than perfect example, shoot it. After the first cylinder there will probably be areas that you feel need attention. Use a qualified gunsmith to change anything or effect repairs. Use only genuine Colt parts. Your revolver, your decision.

gordo b.
December 2, 2004, 10:03 PM
I just bought one exactly like that for $950. I golly well plan on shooting it! :cool:

December 2, 2004, 10:28 PM
Reckon I'd go ahead and shoot it, but that's just me.

I recently came into possession of a first gen Colt in .45 made in October of 1876, according to Colt's Letter of Provenance. It has no known historical significance, so I shoot it fairly often with 28 grains FFF and a 230 grain cast lead bullet. It was a loooong way from NIB though!

December 7, 2004, 02:49 AM

I am a shooter, not a collector. I don't have many guns, don't display them in glass-covered wooden boxes, and don't keep them in their original cartons; in a safe, for "investment purposes" either. If you like that caliber, keep it, and most definitely shoot it! I recently bought my first Colt SAA. It was a never fired, pre-owned, 1983 vintage, Colt P1670 (99.9% fine). It is the sweetest handling gun that I have ever shot, but after putting 150 rounds through it, I realized that what I have always really wanted, is a Colt P1840 (4 3/4" barrel, .45 Colt, blued and case hardened). And as a companion piece, a P1850 (5 1/2", .45 Colt, nickel plated, and factory engraved level "B" coverage). Not rich though, oh well.

Happy Holidays!

PS: The P1670 is on consignment now, and I'm picking-up the P1840 tomorrow. :D

December 7, 2004, 03:01 AM
I recently came into possession of a first gen Colt in .45 made in October of 1876, according to Colt's Letter of Provenance. It has no known historical significance,

I know what you mean, i.e., it wasn't slung by Wyatt Earp, or Judge Roy Bean, but hey, Colt's Model P tamed the West! And usually without a shot too (all that Hollywood TV gun-fighting stuff is almost 99% B.S.) And you are complaining about owning a 1st generation Colt Model P??? :rolleyes: Hmm, maybe we can work out a trade? How's about swapping yours for my 3rd generation P1670, and if you throw in a box of cast bullets, I'll pay the shipping (e-mail pics)! Deal? :)

Happy Holidays with your historically boring, 1st Generation Model P! ;)

December 7, 2004, 05:10 AM
:D I have an original Trapdoor Springfield to go with it too. It's quite a thrill to shoot them and think that when they were new, "The West" was in it's heyday. Wild Bill's death and Custer's fiasco here were still current news and things like the shootout at the OK Corral were still a few years in the future. Mountain man Jim Bridger was still alive, and the Earps & Doc Holliday were young men in their twenties. The Trapdoor gets the same treatment, but usually with light charges of 5744 instead of BP.

January 3, 2005, 09:38 PM
I shot a third gen nickle .44 special last week. It hit a bit left and low. By contrast, this second generation made in 1956 hit point of aim and is way easier to shoot than the shorter ones.

If you leave it in the box, you're just saving it for the guy who gets it after you croak.

January 3, 2005, 10:41 PM
Yours is shinier than mine. :D All numbers match, but sometime in the distant past, someone replaced the front sight blade with one fashioned from a silver quarter. The holster has been with the gun since at least 1931, and perhaps dates back to when it was new in 1876.


January 4, 2005, 11:01 AM
But for my self "Shoot that sucker" but be prepaired for a big smile on your face.
Since it was never carried by Billy the kid, or wiat its only going to go up a little bit so keep it clean, treat it like a good friend and shoot that sucker.
A little story I heard about Colt SA.
After Billy the Kid was killed many people would go back to his home town and knock on his mothers door and ask to buy on of billy's guns. It happend so many times that she got sick on people knocking on her door.
So she started selling them.
Any where from 30 to 60 dollars wich was a bunch of money in the late 1800's.
Just to show you how smart she was, she would go to hardware stores and buy up the crapiest junk revolvers she could find for 2 or 3 dollars and sell them to people wanting one of Billy's guns.
She made enough money to keep herself in a house and food for the rest of her life.
One western expert wrote that at last count there are close to 240 and a good number of them were cap and ball. And Billy never carried a cap and ball.
I have a colt myself and it has a truck load of 45 through it.
Its one of the guns in my colection that there isnt enough money to buy from me.
But if your interested in a nice Remengtion 44 cap and ball that was carried by Billy the Kid!

January 4, 2005, 12:42 PM
that 1876 revolver is a highly desirable piece regardless of the front sight. That just goes to show that a reall shooter had it at one time and wanted it to hit to the sights. Heck, all of them are interesting. A letter of provenance from Colt would be interesting. A lot of them came though hardware stores in St Louis and not a few- right up until the Middle 1920s were sent to the San Antonio police department.

January 4, 2005, 05:30 PM
That one, s/n 26XXX was included in a shipment of 50 to the Schuyler, Hartley, & Graham sporting goods company in New York City on October 18, 1876. From there on, nothing more is known until it was found under the mattress of a dead drifter in a hotel room in the Elk Park/Butte area of Montana in 1931. Since then it has been in the possession of the deputy who found it, who has long since passed on, and his son, also a retired sheriff's deputy in the same county, who passed it on to me shortly before his own death recently. To the best of my knowledge, neither of them ever fired it, so it had an extended hiatus of some 72 years before being put to use again. I've put 6 rounds of original "magnum" loads through it, consisting of 40 grains of FF in old balloon head cases and a cast 255 grain LFN bullet, just to "live the experience", but have used 28 grains (plus filler) with a 230 grain cast LFN bullet ever since those first six. The 28 grain BP/230 grain bullet was the standard army loading in the 1890's. Lots of theories why; soldiers said the original load kicked too much, the Schofield load was 28/230, etc. Anybody know for sure?

(edit) I had the old Colt out of the safe today and took a good look at the front sight through a jeweler's loupe and discovered it is actually made from a seated Liberty half-dollar, rather than a quarter. There is a single star along the edge on one side and just enough visible on the other to identify it. It's tough to take a pic of this, but you can see UNI and the bottom of the T with just enough of the banner beneath it to make the determination. On the right, close to the barrel, there is also a faint S, the start of STATES. Completely inconsequential, just interesting. :)

January 6, 2011, 06:00 PM
I'm in the market for a P1840 or 1850 and noticed that several of the ones on gunbroker say "case colored" instead of case hardened. Does Colt still case harden there guns or have they gone to a fake finish like several others? I'm looking to buy relatively new as I really don't care to spend a 2500-3000 or more for a gun.

Appreciate it fellas

January 10, 2011, 09:02 AM
It depends on what you want to do. i am a shooter and not a collector. I would shoot it but 1980 seems like yesterday to me. I shot my 1903 Colt 44/40 as long as I loaded the ammo not to hot. I still shoot my 73 Winchester which was made in 1885.

January 10, 2011, 02:47 PM
As far as I know, Gigem08, all of the Colts are color case hardened, not just case colored.

January 10, 2011, 04:54 PM
As far as I know, Gigem08, all of the Colts are color case hardened, not just case colored.

"Color cased", "case colored", and "color case hardened" mean the same thing, but I believe Hardcase is telling you that Colt SAAs are still color case hardened, not just case hardened.

January 10, 2011, 05:00 PM
Yep, that's what I was trying to get out. Sometimes I have a little trouble with my big cowboy words :D

January 10, 2011, 06:27 PM
Just for info only, I have a 3rd gen from around that time frame. .434 throats, .427 bore, It only shot worth a hoot when I had access to a Lyman .42798 that cast to .434. Ya might wanna get some measurements.