View Full Version : Great Western Arms Co.

June 14, 2000, 07:47 AM
I just came into a 44Mag. SSA with 4-3/4" barrel. The hammer is in the white and the frame is color case hardened. The stocks look like stag or an imitation of stag. What else can you tell me about this piece and the company. I haven't found any references to them; did comeone else make it?

Steven Mace
June 14, 2000, 09:40 AM
Steve M, the Great Western Arms Company was located in Los Angeles, CA from 1953-1961. The company was created by Hy Hunter & William R. Wilson and specialized in copies of the 'First Generation Single Action Army Revolvers' and the Remington Double Derringer. When Colt began production of their 2nd Generation S.A. 1873 Revolver this basically ended the production from Great Western Arms. Today, your Frontier Model SAA chambered in .44 Mag. in excellent condition could be worth about $540-$600. Hope this helps!

Steve Mace

After today, its all historical

June 14, 2000, 11:24 AM
Thanks for the info. It is in excellent condition. I believe that only 18 rounds where ever fired from it. With it came 2 very old boxes of ammo with 18rnds. missing that would fit the production dates. How would I go about getting that kind of price for it (or close)?

James K
June 14, 2000, 06:01 PM
The "Blue Book" price is $475 for 100%, down to $235 for 60%. Special plating or engraving brings more. Realistically the price is what you can get; the guns have no collector value and the only value is as a shooter. Worse, they were reportedly made by different makers in Europe, with varying quality. They were also sold at one point as kits, to be assembled and timed by the buyer, so quality of any guns made from kits will be dubious. The grips (if original) are a plastic imitation stag.

Some parts interchange with the Colt SAA, but the hammer, firing pin retainer and firing pin are unique and may not be available if anything breaks.


June 15, 2000, 03:44 PM
Just an aside. In Elmer Keith's book, "Sixguns", there is a picture of John Wayne (Yes, that John Wayne) holding a couple of Great Westerns. I assume he was endorsing them. Quantrill

June 16, 2000, 08:03 AM
John Wayne used Great Western single actions in many of his movies. Most of his westerns from the 1950s and 1960s featured Great Westerns.
There are a couple of them displayed at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in OKC.

James K
June 16, 2000, 11:39 AM
The movies bought a lot of Great Westerns in that era. Their Colts were getting both more valuable and more worn, so they went to the only other substitute. Looked fine until the hero/villain pulled back the hammer.

There was a "Hollywood and TV guns" thread on one of the sites a while back, and they did some funny things, like Mexican Mausers for Custer and "Hogan's Heros" Sgt. Schultz with a U.S. Krag.


June 17, 2000, 07:59 AM
Thanks for the info guys. I think I'm going to sell it this weekend.