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Thread: Colt 2nd gen vs 3rd gen?

  1. #1
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    Colt 2nd gen vs 3rd gen?

    After having owned many Ubertis, Piettas, ASMs, and etc I came into a Colt 3rd Gen Walker recently. I love it! I love the bone color case, and the markings- except for the signature on the backstrap which I will be taking off as soon as I figure out how I'll get it re-blued.

    Anyways, I've decided to sell off a couple Uberti and Pietta guns and reinvest in another Colt, an 1860. Other than the signature, is there any real appreciable differences between 2nd gen and 3rd gen? Oh, and these are gonna get shot and carried a LOT. I plan to get Mike Brackett at Goons Gunworks to work them over for me mechanically.

    Also, as far as the markings and such go, how close are the 2nd and 3rd generation Colt percussion revolvers to 1st gen originals?
    -Jordan Goodwin

  2. #2
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    If you alter the 3rd generation Walker you'll destroy it's value. I wouldn't do it.
    Ron S.
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  3. #3
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    Here is a good thread that describes the history of Colt 2nd generation revolvers:

    https://forums.sassnet.com/index.php?/topic/316177-second-vs-third-generation-colt-reproduction-cap-ball-revolvers/

    From The Blue Book Of Modern Blackpowder Arms:

    COLT?S MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC. Current firearms manufacturer with headquarters located in West Hartford, CT.
    Colt?s Manufacturing Company, Inc. is the previous manufacturer of 2nd Generation Colt percussion revolvers located in Hartford, CT. Colt used subcontractors to supply rough castings for the manufacture of these black powder pistols. Throughout the production years 1971-1982, these rough castings were produced in Italy and the reproductions were completed in the United States. Initially, Val Forgett and Navy Arms provided these parts/components during 1971-73. Lou Imperato supplied these parts from 1974-76. In both instances, these revolvers were assembled and finished in Colt?s facilities in Connecticut. Finally, from 1978-1982, Colt subcontracted both parts procurement and final production to Lou Imperato and Iver Johnson Arms in Middlesex, NJ. Colt percussion revolvers produced by Iver Johnson had frames, center pins, nipples, and screws manufactured in the United States. In all instances, these revolvers were manufactured in accordance with Colt?s strict specifications and quality control. Additionally, Colt?s performed final inspection for all models. All percussion models manufactured from 1971 through 1982, either by Colt or its subcontractor, are regarded as authentic Colt pistols and not Italian replicas.
    The Colt Custom Shop also produced a limited number of special editions through the early 1990s from 2nd Generation production inventory. (Colt 2nd Generation models in the white are still known to exist.)

    And the Third Gen info from the same source:

    COLT BLACKPOWDER ARMS CO. Previous manufacturer and retailer of 3rd Generation Colt Black Powder pistols and muskets located in Brooklyn, NY 1994-2002.
    All 3rd Generation Colt blackpowder models are also referred to as Signature Series Models.
    A reprise of the original Colt Blackpowder line, along with historic models not offered in the 2nd Generation, and a new series of Commemoratives, each model (with the exception of the Heirloom Tiffany 1860 Army and 1842 Texas Paterson) bears the Sam Colt signature on the backstrap. These 3rd Generation models were manufactured under an authorized licensing agreement with Colt Firearms by Colt Blackpowder Arms Company ? the same company (and many of the same craftsmen) responsible for the 2nd Generation Colt revolvers. Although parts for the Signature Series were cast in Italy, they were fully assembled and hand finished in the United States using the proprietary Colt formulas for bluing and color case hardening.
    Colt Blackpowder Arms Company Signature Series revolvers are regarded as authentic Colt pistols. The 3rd Generation models have original Colt markings, including the barrel address and serial number stampings. There are no foreign proof marks on these authentic Colt models.

    3rd Generation (Signature Series) are generally not regarded as being as desirable as 2nd Generation ones, but I would not go grinding off the signature as 3rd Gens are still more desirable than modern reproductions.

    Steve
    Last edited by Maillemaker; 07-20-2021 at 06:00 PM.
    Steve Sheldon
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  4. #4
    Don Dixon is offline
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    But you have to defarb it don't you?

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    Lou Lou Lou is offline
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    If you defarb it, isn?t it illegal for N-SSA use?
    Lou Lou Lou Ruggiero
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    Thanks guys!

    Thanks for the info as usual, guys! As far as "ruining" the value of the signature series by taking the signature off, the Walker was already scratched and dinged when I got it, and will be even more in the moderate to heavy use I plan to subject it to. With the wear it is likely to get, removing the signature is not going to make a difference. My goal is to have a very authentic looking shooter, not a safe queen, and not an investment (beyond that of any of my other shooters). In fact, I have absolutely zero plans for future resale.

    I know this is strange to a lot of y'all since these guns are held in a sort of reverence by us, but then I am a person of unusual taste.

    I am curious about the removal of the signature making the piece illegal for NSSA use. That seems really strange, as it doesn't alter the manufacturer name or serial number.
    -Jordan Goodwin

  7. #7
    Lou Lou Lou is offline
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    Defarbing usually means removing all of the modern stampings to make it look original. Removing only the signature should be legit
    Lou Lou Lou Ruggiero
    Tammany Regt-42nd NYVI

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    If you defarb it, isn?t it illegal for N-SSA use?
    Could you cite the rule here? I don't recall seeing this before.

    Steve
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  9. #9
    Don Dixon is offline
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    See N-SSA:

    19.6 IDENTIFICATION OF REPRODUCTIONSa. In the interest of preserving the identity of original arms and parts, and in order todiscourage counterfeiting of originals, the use on reproductions of original names,markings, and dates of their prototypes is discouraged.b. Manufacturers of reproduction arms are required to mark their arms with their ownnames, trademarks or symbols in such a manner as to be visible on the completedfirearm to distinguish these from the originals.

    Its my understanding that "defarbed" guns have to be run through the Inspector General and an approval card issued. Removing the Colt signature presumably (?) wouldn't apply, but why do it. If Congress, in its infinite wisdom, ever puts muzzleloading weapons under the National Firearms Act, as amended, then removing original manufacturer's marks would buy you a felony. Some states already forbid it.

    Regards,
    Don Dixon

  10. #10
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    Rule (a) is meaningless:

    a. In the interest of preserving the identity of original arms and parts, and in order to discourage counterfeiting of originals, the use on reproductions of original names,markings, and dates of their prototypes is discouraged.

    "Discouraged" holds no force of prohibition. Basically it means, "It's allowed, but we don't like it." Besides, just about every commercial reproduction today uses original names, markings, and dates.

    b. Manufacturers of reproduction arms are required to mark their arms with their own names, trademarks or symbols in such a manner as to be visible on the completed firearm to distinguish these from the originals.

    I think all manufacturers do this. At least, I'm not aware of any that don't.

    Steve
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