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Who does Factory Letters?


H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619

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Okay, it is fairly well known where you can get a factory letter for many firearms that are of interest to us SASS shooters, and other stuff in general.  Here's what I know of.

 

You can get a letter for the following...

Colt:  See Colt's Website

S&W:  See S&W's Wete

Winchester, Marlin, L.C. Smith, Ithaca, Lefever, Savage, A.H. Fox, and possibly Stevens some day:  See the Buffalo Bill Center of the West website.  AKA Cody Firearms Records Office.
Webley and Scott/Wilkerson Firearms:  www.armsresearch.co.uk  (The only foreign on I could find.)
Ruger:  See Ruger Website.  (By far the least expensive)
Browning:  See Browning Website

Parker Brothers:  See Parker Collectors Association website.

 

You can NOT get a letter for the following...

Remington

Beretta

 

Remington says they don't have them their website.   I have read that Beretta won't "do letters."

 

I am fairly certain you can't get a letter for the following...

Uberti

Greener

Mauser

Springfield Armory.  (Neither the original government arsenal, nor the modern commercial company.)

Enfield

USFA

Sig Sauer

Auto-Ordnance 
Pietta

Chiappa
AWA
Pedersoli

 

My research on the above has come up blank.   I've not found anything one way or the other, but I assume that means no.

 

I have limited my searches to companies that make things that are useful in our game, (including Wild Bunch) or that are possibly of peripheral interest to many of us.   (Or if they are things in my personal collection.)
 

I thought I would do two things.

 

1.  Post the list of what I found in case anyone is wondering about it.
2.  Ask if anyone knows of anybody else you can get a factory letter from, or can provide data for the ones I assume nothing is available for one way of the other. 

 

I am doing this for several reasons.  One of which has to do with the crazy laws here in my home state, and some new stuff pending in the Legislature.  I figure if I have official documentation on some of my stuff, it will enhance my status as a "bona fide collector" of firearms.  A term that is in state law, but not really defined.

 

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14 minutes ago, Gungadin said:

I believe Buffalo Bill will do many if you are a member or one for a price.  If you need two or more you probably want to be a member?

 

Well, that is true.

Normally, a letter is $75.  But if you are a Bison Circle Firearms member, like me, they are $40 for 1, or a little less if bought in bulk.

There are also ways to get get discounts on S&W letters.   Used to be discounts for Colt as well, but I think those are gone.

There is a big discount for Parker Shotguns if you are member of that group as well.

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2 hours ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

A factory letter for my 1918 manufactured Colt 1911 would be nice, but (in case big brother is watching) since I lost all my guns in a tragic boating accident….

If your 1918 colt 1911 is a us army gun a factory letter won't tell you much except when it left colt and that it was in a shipment of 10,000 pistols that went to the US Army.  If it is a commercial gun then you might want to get a colt letter on it. 

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29 minutes ago, Jack Spade said:

If your 1918 colt 1911 is a us army gun a factory letter won't tell you much except when it left colt and that it was in a shipment of 10,000 pistols that went to the US Army.  If it is a commercial gun then you might want to get a colt letter on it. 

 

It is curious how, for most of expensive of letters, the ones from Colt contain the least amount of information.

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1 hour ago, Jack Spade said:

If your 1918 colt 1911 is a us army gun a factory letter won't tell you much except when it left colt and that it was in a shipment of 10,000 pistols that went to the US Army.  If it is a commercial gun then you might want to get a colt letter on it. 

It's commercial.

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A pointer for ordering a factory letter, request date of manufacture as well as shipping date, this can become critical when dealing with 1898/99 guns.  

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56 minutes ago, Jack Spade said:

A pointer for ordering a factory letter, request date of manufacture as well as shipping date, this can become critical when dealing with 1898/99 guns.  

I do know that S&W does that if you get a letter for a New Model 3.   Some were sold into the early 1900's, but they make a point to mention that they were all made with parts manufactured prior to 1898.

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4 hours ago, Doc Neeley said:

You can getr a Greener letter. Contact Graham Greener through their website. Very good to work with and fast.

 

Are you sure about that?   The only thing I can find on their website says, "INFORMATION ON GREENER GUNS  The company can no longer supply detailed information or carry out research on individual guns for clients.  The following provides actual or approximate dates for the manufacture of individual guns extracted from our records."   Then there's a link to this, http://www.wwgreener.com/assets/files/info.pdf which gives a list of models and serial numbers with dates.   That's all.

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19 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

Are you sure about that?   The only thing I can find on their website says, "INFORMATION ON GREENER GUNS  The company can no longer supply detailed information or carry out research on individual guns for clients.  The following provides actual or approximate dates for the manufacture of individual guns extracted from our records."   Then there's a link to this, http://www.wwgreener.com/assets/files/info.pdf which gives a list of models and serial numbers with dates.   That's all.

Yes. I have a 1881 Greener in beautiful condition. The information provided (for $40) included when sold and who sold to. Very good info. Not a formal letter, he provides the info via email, but very complete. I'll check and see, you may be correct.

 

W W Greener gun no.docx

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