View Full Version : Colt SAA Issue

March 23, 2006, 02:16 PM
I'm hitting the books but gonna post hewre for other opinions

Issue: Colt SAA, 44-40. Serial Number 157XXX puts it at 1894 which is late blackpowder. It has two line address and rampant colt, blackpowder frame of course, The barrel is MARKED "Colt Frontier Six Shooter", which markings as I understand it only ran to 129XXX in around 1890...

Anybody have a way to resolve this dichotomy...


March 23, 2006, 02:45 PM
Very possibly an old re-barrel.
A lot happens to old guns over the years, and at this late date, you're unlikely to get a definite answer to questions like this.

The best bet for an answer would be to spend the money on a Colt Historical Letter, which may or may not resolve it.

March 23, 2006, 03:30 PM
I'm also now thinking the old "hey we got an extra barrel lets use it" technique.
Interesting enough both the barrel and cylinder are the saen in terms of internal niceness and the netire revolver is the same patina


March 23, 2006, 10:50 PM
Colt was well known for never throwing anything away. If it would fit , they would put together and send it out the door. This is why there are a number of documented colts with the "wrong" cylinders and barrels.

James K
March 25, 2006, 11:32 PM
Maybe I am all wet and hung out to dry, but IIRC those "Frontier Six-Shooter" barrels were being sold as replacement barrels for years even into the post-WWII period. Colt apparently changed over the markings for new guns but had a whole bunch of the old barrels they kept to sell as replacements. If your barrel and cylinder appear to have a different level of wear than the rest of the gun, they are probably replacements.

Thousands of Colt SAA's in less desireable or obsolete calibers were give new barrels and cylinders for more common calibers. I once owned an SAA in .38 Special that had started life as a .32-20.

I suggest getting a Colt letter, which would (or should) show the shipping date and the original caliber.


March 26, 2006, 12:32 AM
I talked to the Colt archive lady who is always such a sweetheart...the barrel is correct.

Up for auction!


April 6, 2006, 04:31 PM
The early FSS's had an "etched" panel on the barrel, while later guns had the lettering rolled on. Colt made repro etched barrels in 1973 when they made a run of commemoratives. When my dad sent his 1897-vintage FSS to Colt for a rebuild, some time in the early 1960's I think, they did not have properly-marked replacements. Some time in the 1990s, Peacemaker Specialists bought up a bunch of NOS 2nd generation barrels, and re-rolled them with period-correct markings. My barrel is clearly one of the repro "etched" barrels, as I can see a shadow of the earlier markings in the finish, but it has the proper period address stamp on the top, and FSS on the left side.