This gun shipped to St. Joseph, MO on Jan. 2, 1931:The Colt Peacemaker pictured here is a "First Generation" gun chambered in .45 caliber. "I learned something very important when I purchased this gun online and I will share it with you on this page, it may save or earn you hundreds or even thousands of dollars."
I paid $3,600 and sold it for $2,000 with re-finish disclosure (2006). Gun Collecting: All original, good condition first generation Single Action Armys, (those produced between 1873 and 1941), are among the most valuable to the collector. These guns are distinguished by the serial numbers below 375000 and with no letters.
After this gun arrived I checked the serial numbers and immediately picked up the telephone to call the Office of the Historian, Colt Archive Properties, LLC in Hartford, Connecticut to order a letter of authentication. The letter I had ordered for my Colt Python had taken a full 125 days (4 months) to arrive. To my surprise, the very nice lady on the phone, after taking my credit card information, asked "would you like to hold just a moment while I check that serial number?" I said, "sure", thinking when she returned she was just going to tell me that it was a valid serial number.
When the lady came back on the phone in less than a minute, she gave me all of the pertinent information that is contained in their letters of authentication. I was astonished! I ask her how that was possible. She said that Colt's Single Action Army records are more readily accessible than the records for the Python.
Now, it is true that had the lady told me the gun was nickel, I still would not have known whether it was the original finish or not, because I was buying this gun online from a dealer three states away who assured me the gun was original. But, I would have been a far better informed buyer. Who knows? She could have came back to the phone and told me it was special ordered by Bat Masterson.
My free advice (take it for what it's worth): ask the seller before buying a First Generation Colt; Do you have an authentication letter from Colt? If the answer is YES, send it to me, (mail, fax, text or email), if NO, you should factor in the cost of the letter in your offer.
This is a gun that I lost money on. I was actively building my collection at the time. I would have just kept the gun if it had been one that I would shoot, but it didn't fit that category, being a first generation gun.
If you like cowboy guns, they just don't get any better than a Colt Single Action Army. In fact, I'm searching for just the right second generation gun to have as a shooter.
Use the Colt Serial Number Database Lookup Tool.