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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Colt Firearms (Moderator: St. George)  |  Topic: When did the 4 inch SAA (Civilian or Gunfighter) barrel come out? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: When did the 4 inch SAA (Civilian or Gunfighter) barrel come out?  (Read 7158 times)
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« on: November 19, 2016, 02:27:25 pm »

Pretty much everybody in here knows the SAA comes in 7, 5 and 4 inch barrels (yes I know, I'm leaving the fractions off).   Cavalry, Artillary and Civilian (sometimes called gunfighter).    When was the 4 inch barrel version released?  Same times as the 7 inch and 5 inch or did it come decades later? 
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2016, 04:07:37 pm »

Greetings my good Doug

If my little grey cells are working properly, I seemto recall that the factory initially offered ony the 7 1/2 inch, thn later the 5 1/2.
However, they were happy to make any length by special order.

As a result, the documentation with which I am familiar for the 4 3/4 ( or 4 5/8 or whatever) is contained in the Letter from Bat Masterston to Colt's requesting an SAA with a barrel "about as long as the ejector"

"On July 24, 1885 Bat placed an order with Coltís for two revolvers,  completed for shipping on July 30, 1885. "

ahhh, here we are:

"During the course of his career as a lawman and gambler, Bat ordered a total of eight single-action revolvers from Coltís. The most notable was an order made from Dodge City and written on Opera House Saloon stationary in July 1885 which stated,


Please send Me one of your nickel plated short .45 calibre revolvers. It is for my own use and for that reason I would like to have a little Extra pains taken with it. I am willing to pay Extra for Extra work. Make it very Easy on the trigger and have the front Sight a little higher and thicker than the ordinary pistol of this Kind. Put on a gutta percha handle and send it as soon as possible, have the barrel about the same length that the ejector rod is.

Truly Yours,

W B Masterson
P.S. Duplicate the above order by sending 2"

hope this helps
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2016, 04:22:19 pm »

My references indicate (about) 1873 for the 7 1/2", 1874 for the 5 1/2" and spring 1877 for the 4 3/4".  I believe that there may be some dispute, but those dates should be close.

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Tascosa Joe
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2016, 11:53:10 pm »

The earliest pistol I have seen documented with a 4 3/4 in barrel was a prototype for the .44RF in 1878.  The London Agency for Colt started ordering 5 1/2" barrels about 1875, but you will be hard pressed to find a pistol shipped to an American address that early.

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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Colt Firearms (Moderator: St. George)  |  Topic: When did the 4 inch SAA (Civilian or Gunfighter) barrel come out? « previous next »
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