March 20, 2010
If I come across one Im looking to buy I will definitely do a little vetting.
I have several reference books on Colts: A Study of the Colt SAA Revolver by Graham, Kopec, and Moore and Single Action Army Revolvers Study: New Discoveries by Mowbray. Any other good reference books that may need to look for?
1892takedown @sbcglobal.net ......NRA Endowment Life Member.....WACA Member
"God is great.....beer is good.....and people are crazy"... Billy Currington
January 5, 2009
If you are only going to have one book on prewar Single Actions, then “A Study” is the one to have. However, I’d also recommend Keith Cochran’s “Colt Peacemaker Encyclopedia” because it makes finding information easier than “A Study”, but Cochran’s book isn’t as informative. Just like with Winchesters; read and study the books, compare what you’ve read to what you are seeing, and resolve disparities by discussing them with other “knowledgeable collectors”!!!!!!!! All books have errors, so disparities need to be resolved before laying down the cash!! Probably the most difficult part will be determining who the truly “knowledgeable collectors” are; the ones that actually have years of hands-on knowledge, not just “book smarts”!!!!!! Here are my general book recommendations when it comes to Colts.
If you are interested in Colt 1st Generation Single Actions in general:
A Study of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver (Graham, Kopec, Moore)
Colt Single Action Army Revolver Study New Discoveries (Moore)
Colt Peacemaker Encyclopedia (Cochran)
If you are interested in Colt 1st Generation Single Actions in the 1873-1895 era:
The Official Record of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver 1873-1895 (Don & Carol Wilkerson, Kathleen Hoyt).
This is a great book if you are interested in historical and statistical information from that period, but it doesn’t have the technical information that “A Study” has.
If you are interested in Colt Cavalry & Artillery Model Single Actions:
Colt Cavalry & Artillery Revolvers (Kopec and Finn).
This book and “A Study” pretty much cover it all when it comes to U.S. Single Actions.
If you are interested in all models of Colts up to 1971:
The Book of Colt Firearms (Sutherland & Wilson)
If you are interested in Post WWII Single Action Army Revolvers:
The Post-War Colt Single Action Army Revolver 1976-1986 (Don Wilkerson)
The Colt Single Action Army Revolver 1955-1975 (Don Wilkerson)
February 6, 2010
So what calibers were offered in first generation Colts?? I have been looking for one in 32-20 to go with my Winchester 1892 in 32-20….I wound up getting a clone Model P prewar from Cimarron in 32-20. I know it is not a Colt, but it has smooth action, and it shoots well. Some day when I win the lottery maybe I can find an original Colt in 32-20 if they were made.
January 5, 2009
The primary calibers that the 1st Generation Colt Single Actions were chambered in are; 45 Colt, 44-40, 38-40, and 32-20, and 41 Colt. Early in production you find the rimfires (44, 32, 22) and British calibers (455 Eley, 450 Boxer, 380 Eley). Towards the end of 1st Gen production you find the 357 Magnum. There were others in very limited quantities.
32-20’s are fairly easy to find. They aren’t as popular, so nice ones can be found at a decent price.
February 6, 2010
Colt was pretty smart in making their new revolvers in the same chambering as the Winchester rifles of the day.
The 32-20 sure is a sweet round to shoot. Just wondering having never shot a 44-40, do they have anywhere the kick/punch that a 44 mag has??
I suppose reloading for the 44-40 rifle & revolver of the day the loads would have been the same????
March 5, 2014
Yes, the old Black Powder 44 Win. loadings were potent for the day but pretty anemic by today’s Smokeless Powder standards for 44 Special, let alone 44 Mag.Limited by case capacity among other things. Rifle – pistol loadings in the same caliber were common for working guns if for no other reason then logistics. Ammo weighed a lot which limited both shipping and carry efficiencies.
Here is a pair of nickel 44-40’s from the 1880’s.
September 29, 1993
March 5, 2014
Thank you for the kind words. I am a member and would be honored to forward some pictures.
Incidentally, as additional information the ’73 letters as Nickel and shipped from the Warehouse in Dec. 1884.
The Colt is listed in Cochran’s Encyclopedia V. 2 both under "Historical Peacemaker" and "Noted Revolvers" as having belonged to W. K. Bell of Palo Pinto County.Tx, Texas Deputy Sheriff and Indian fighter. The gun is described in its present configuration. Its Colt letter lists it as blue & case and does not list ivory grips. But given the historical dates of the gun an Mr. Bell’s active years, I believe the Gun was likely purchased new and then nickeled and re-gripped and presented to Mr. Bell as a gift, maybe in appreciation for his service.
For those who favor B&C guns over Nickel ones I am fortunate to have the following Companions they might appreciate. Also a 2nd Model ’73 Carbine and 44-40 SAA from the 1880’s. The SAA letters in its configuration.
I have not lettered the ’73 as it is not in high condition and not a high ticket ’73. However, despite the heavy patina on the finish I believe it was virtually untouched. The wood appears to retain its original finish under several use dings and the fit is tight and proud at the edges. The metal is pretty sharp except for some minor areas of corrosion on the barrel which are covered by the patina. Also, the stamps look un-buffed. The finish showed so red-brown that I thought maybe it had been stripped and Browned. But when I pulled the butt stock it was so tit I believe it may never had been removed. Any way after soaking the edges in WD 40 and with patience I got it off and found bright blue on the covered metal. So I have more faith that the thick patina is legitimate – maybe it hung over a fireplace for decades.
At the risk of wearing out my welcome I’ll add for comparison, the same SAA pictured with the ’73’s short lived rival. the Colt Burgess Carbine.
Since I brought it up . I’ll include these shots of the Colt Burgess Carbine and is big brother, the Colt Burgess Rifle.
Most Users Ever Online: 628
Currently Browsing this Page:
Guest Posters: 1230
Newest Members:Louis Gibbs, Kurt Eiermann, Scott B., Kris Miller, James Pahel, Richard Bieniek, Lane Smith, Daniel O'Hara, Steve Privette, John Riddle