View Full Version : Colt SAA 1871 -- PICS ADDED IN REVOLVER SECTION

February 7, 2012, 03:11 PM
Hi all, I have a quick question about cleaning a Colt SAA model 1871. There is no blue left on the gun, it is down to the grey colored metal with patches of brown remaining. There is no rust, no pits. It is all original. Should I:

A)clean the exterior, cylinder and barrel with Hoppe's and apply oil.

B) just clean the barrel and cylinder with Hoppes and clean wth exterior with a good gun oil?

Thanks for the help.

February 7, 2012, 06:32 PM
Do you know what generation the revolver is? There are 3 generations of Colt's starting with black powder only - in other words the cartridges loaded with black powder and are not designed to be shot with modern ammo. The S/N can pin down the year it was made.
I would put a drop of oil on each screw head and let some seep into the action then patch the bore and cylinders with Renaissance Wax and put a light coat of the wax on the outside of the revolver including the grips. This is the same wax that the Royal British Museum uses to preserve wood, metal and oil paintings. It will not show finger prints and will not dry or harden. It will preserve the patina. You can get it from Brownell's and it is a bit pricey. Around thirty-some bucks for 200 ML, but the stuff goes a long ways. It will not attract dust or dirt like oil will.

February 7, 2012, 06:43 PM
Colt SAA model 1871
There are 3 generations of Colt's starting with black powder only
If it is indeed a Colt 1871 Army, it is an open frame cartridge gun designed for 44 Colt. These are somewhat rare, only made from 1871 to 1872. In 1873, the Single Action Army was introduced, and sales of the other model effectively stopped.

If what you have is a Colt 1873 Single Action Army Model P, then just clean it as you would any revolver, but be very careful about shooting it as you may do literally thousands of dollars of damage to it.

February 7, 2012, 07:42 PM
Thanks for the replies. The research I have done on the revolver has revealed it was made in Dec, 1885 - I know nothing about the generation. The serial number is 116xxx, I can see a very faint DEC stamped above the serial number on the bottom of the frame in front of the trigger guard. It actually belongs to a very good friend of mine. His family passed it down thru 3 generations, he has no plans of shooting it. Basically it sits in a safe. After I get it cleaned I will try to post a few pics, he is also somewhat curious to the approximate value so I'm sure pics will help with that.

February 7, 2012, 08:41 PM
Made in 1885, it sounds like a 1st generation Colt Model P, aka Single Action Army, aka Peacemaker, the quintessential Western revolver. If it has a screw in the front of the frame near the cylinder pin, that would be a blackpowder frame, so don't shoot it with smokeless loads.

February 7, 2012, 08:43 PM
do a little more research before you take a several thousand dollar family heirloom and turn it into a couple hundred dollar one.

February 7, 2012, 08:58 PM
Agreed. In looking at it more closely there are 3 small small small letters on the bottom of the left wooden grip. RAC They are done is block form same as on the pistol so I'm fairly certain they were put there at the factory. Any idea what that means? Also, the letters which I originally were DEC just above the serial number on the bottom of the frame just in front of the trigger guard are actually D.F.C. -- Any idea what that is?

Mike Irwin
February 8, 2012, 07:34 AM
Please do NOT cross post. You should have posted your pictures to this thread since this is the one you started first.

Cross posting can dilute discussions and you can end up not getting nearly as much information as you would otherwise.

Please continue all addition discussion in the post in revolvers.