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Colt "Artillery" Model Serial numbers


H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619

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As we all know, a First Generation Colt SAA will have the serial number in three places, the bottom of the frame, the bottom of the trigger housing, and the bottom of the grip.

As we also know, the vast majority of the so called "Artillery" models that were reworked into the configuration by Colt, will not have those number matching.  Has anyone ever thought of creating a kind of Artillery Model collectors association whereby owners of said pistols might be able to trade parts with each other so they can put their pistols back together again?   I know that many of these mixed up pistols have been together for a long time, and that reassembling the original parts might with up with some odd looking pistols, and it would take a LOT of work for just 2 people to complete their guns, and would likely involve quite a few different owners/pistols, but it is an interesting concept.

Any thoughts on the matter?  Is it just too impractical?  Would doing this hurt or help said pistols value?   

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As We All Know, Colt did not "re-work" many SAA into "Artillery" models.  Military and Contracted Armorers did 99% of that work.  finding two guns with those same miss-matched numbers would be akin to finding an orange grain of sand on a Hawaiian beach.

 

It would also have no "real" effect on value.  they would still be "just another used Colt."

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

As we all know, a First Generation Colt SAA will have the serial number in three places, the bottom of the frame, the bottom of the trigger housing, and the bottom of the grip.

Not true.

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9 minutes ago, Snake-eye, SASS#45097 said:

Cylinders were numbered.

And barrels if I remember correctly. 

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

As we all know, a First Generation Colt SAA will have the serial number in three places, the bottom of the frame, the bottom of the trigger housing, and the bottom of the grip.

As we also know, the vast majority of the so called "Artillery" models that were reworked into the configuration by Colt, will not have those number matching.  Has anyone ever thought of creating a kind of Artillery Model collectors association whereby owners of said pistols might be able to trade parts with each other so they can put their pistols back together again?   I know that many of these mixed up pistols have been together for a long time, and that reassembling the original parts might with up with some odd looking pistols, and it would take a LOT of work for just 2 people to complete their guns, and would likely involve quite a few different owners/pistols, but it is an interesting concept.

Any thoughts on the matter?  Is it just too impractical?  Would doing this hurt or help said pistols value?   

Those reworked by Colt remained matching. Those not reworked by Colt did not maintain serial number matching. I recommend Kopec’s expensive but valuable book for more information. 

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13 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

As We All Know, Colt did not "re-work" many SAA into "Artillery" models.  Military and Contracted Armorers did 99% of that work.  finding two guns with those same miss-matched numbers would be akin to finding an orange grain of sand on a Hawaiian beach.

 

It would also have no "real" effect on value.  they would still be "just another used Colt."

 

The only way it could possibly work, would be if there was some sort of a searchable database where owners could input the various serial numbers, and then see if anyone else has put in the same serial number for a different part.   Then you'd have to figure out how to contact each other and arrange to meet, see if you want to make the swap, and so on.   A huge, daunting task to be sure.  And hundreds of people would probably have to input their data before a match was found.  

But it wouldn't be "just another used Colt."  It would be a US Army issue one with matching numbers.

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I think you would run into resistance with collectors as you would be altering the gun from the way it left the arsenal over a hundred years ago. As is, they are historically correct provided they are not a parts gun someone slapped together in the last fifty years. And many collectors have gotten Kopec letters to verify authenticity. Kopec keeps extensive records and if you alter the gun, it will not match the letter which causes alarms with collectors. Even if you don’t disclose the letter, the next owner may letter it an Kopec will state that the gun has been altered since the last time he had it in hand. 
And, each gun has had different wear life and while the numbers may match if switched back, the wear may not. 

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1 hour ago, Cholla said:

And, each gun has had different wear life and while the numbers may match if switched back, the wear may not. 

 

Yeah, that was one of the things I wondered about.   These guns have been "together" for a long time, and suddenly reunited all, or just as many as possible, original parts might make the reunited pistols look rather odd.  This would be a major reason not to do it, as would the fact that "mismatch" is a historical one.

This really was an idle thought on my part, I don't even own an artillery model, but do have some 1st gens, (All matching) and I got to wondering about this specific scenario.   I also have one that is a little mixed up, as well as some other mixed guns that have clearly been mixed for decades, if not over 100 years, and they don't look mixed up, so to speak.   

I had not considered the "Kopec Factor" but that is a very valid point.   

 

Anything is possible, of course.  But practical is by far and away a much different concept.  Just finding the different parts would be difficult in the extreme, but there are a host of legitimate reasons to not "reunite" an old Colt.  I just hope the idea itself was one worth wondering about!  :)

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5 minutes ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

Yeah, that was one of the things I wondered about.   These guns have been "together" for a long time, and suddenly reunited all, or just as many as possible, original parts might make the reunited pistols look rather odd.  This would be a major reason not to do it, as would the fact that "mismatch" is a historical one.

This really was an idle thought on my part, I don't even own an artillery model, but do have some 1st gens, (All matching) and I got to wondering about this specific scenario.   I also have one that is a little mixed up, as well as some other mixed guns that have clearly been mixed for decades, if not over 100 years, and they don't look mixed up, so to speak.   

I had not considered the "Kopec Factor" but that is a very valid point.   

 

Anything is possible, of course.  But practical is by far and away a much different concept.  Just finding the different parts would be difficult in the extreme, but there are a host of legitimate reasons to not "reunite" an old Colt.  I just hope the idea itself was one worth wondering about!  :)

I recommend you become a member of the coltforum. You will learn much about Colt SAAs there, including the “artillery “ 

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