I have this 1891-1892 Colt 44-40 cal single action revolver. It belongs to a friend of mine. Anyways, the gun still runs good and is in pretty good condition. The only thing is, she received this Colt when her father passed and whoever had the gun really screwed it up. They filed down the front sight a bit and then really messed it up by bluing the frame. You can't see any case harden color anymore. I was curious so I had the gun appraised and one place here in town was eager to take it off my hands. They wanted to buy it for a few thousand. I mean they wouldn't stop asking for it. I took it to another place and they said the gun would be only worth about $800 due to the bluing and the front sight. . WOW! That's it. Kind of sucks knowing that this Colt is worth so little and for what it is. I'll have to get some pics of it up.
Any ideas as to how to get rid of the bluing without messing up the case hardened finish?
For refinishing a SAA Colt there is only one answer: Colt
If you're considering refinishing it, you also might consider a Colt 'Archive' letter.
This documents when the gun was made to whom it was sold originally, and where.
For a 1st Generation SAA the cost is $150. You can navigate from the archive page to see the prices for services etc.
An official Colt letter when selling a unique or old Colt will bring in more than the cost of the service. At least it did in my case.
Do post pictures.
If the frame has been blued, the color case hardened finish is gone.
The frame will still have the surface hardness but the colors are gone because the bluing chemical destroys color casing.
In other words, if you remove the bluing there won't be any color casing under it.
Your Colt should fall within the serial number range of 130,000 to 165,000 range. and is a late black powder model.
Patent dates will be in a two lines format, with three dates.
The Colt Pony logo should be on the left side of the frame (unless it got buffed off by the refinish.
The grips should be two piece plain black, hard rubber.
The caliber should be on the barrel, not the frame.
Assigning a value is difficult because of the altered sight and the refinish. You need a REAL expert to look it over and give you a value. The local gun shop IS NOT who to see for value.
Standard values are based on the amount of original finish.
With original finish values run from a low of $5,000 to highs of over $35,000.
DO NOT have the gun refinished or sold until you know exactly what you have.
If you want an original type refinish, this will cost big money. Colt may or may not do work on these older models any longer.
The people to see in that case is the Doug Turnbull company. Turnbull is one of the world's top firearms restoration services and can return an old gun to original condition.
To find someone who can appraise your Colt and give you a real value, you might ask the Colt Collectors Association:
They should be able to point you to someone in your area.
Thanks guys. I'll get a pic of it up and get the dates of the gun as well.
The Frontier has a date of July 2, 1972 - Jan 19, 1975 as all do I believe. Serial # G165990
The .22 short has no date.
The 44-40 has some of the date worn off but the serial # is 77891. I was told it was first generation with a date of 1891-1892. I'm not sure.