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 Post subject: Billy the Kid's Colt Artillery Model SAA Revolver
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:18 am 
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Billy the Kid's Colt Artillery Model SAA Revolver.


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 Post subject: Re: Billy the Kid's Colt Artillery Model SAA Revolver
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:52 pm 
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Nice Steve!..........not many folks know that the original 5 1/2" barreled SAA revolvers were Artillery. Teddy Roosevelt equipped his "1rst Volunteers"......"Rough Riders" with the Artillery model for the run up to the Spanish American War, but it wasn't until the disastrous results of the Philippian Insurrection with the newly issued .38 caliber double action Army revolver that old stock cavalry model SAA with 7 1/2" barrels were brought out of storage, refitted with 5 1/2" barrels and reissued to the cavalry in the Philippians. I surmise the reason you see so many 5 1/2" barreled Colts in the early and middle days of Hollywood westerns was due to these revolvers being sold to the civilian market and particularly to movie set armorers.

Thanks once again for sharing from your great wealth of historical photos.

Doug

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 Post subject: Re: Billy the Kid's Colt Artillery Model SAA Revolver
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:19 pm 
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No foresight. Wonder if it might be a cut-down Cavalry?


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 Post subject: Re: Billy the Kid's Colt Artillery Model SAA Revolver
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:49 pm 
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Possibly.....or it was removed for quicker draw from the holster. There is a great debate as to the practice of certain gunfighters removing the front sights in order to more quickly and precisely able to clear their holsters......of the research I've done, some modern shootist and historians suggest there's no real evidence of it....and yet original keep showing up....and typically the shorter barreled versions. The argument for the practice was that experience slingers were instinctive and merely pointed and shot as though the muzzle end of the barrel was nothing less than the extension of the index finger. :D

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"Nope!....If I gotta choose.....I'll ride the mule and pack the horse!" WD Bennett


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 Post subject: Re: Billy the Kid's Colt Artillery Model SAA Revolver
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:01 am 
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Maybe so, Mule Man. But Billy wasn't really know to be a face-to-face full on gunslinger (If any really existed at all lol). I know of one case off-hand where it was a man to man shoot out and that was Wild Bill and Dave Tutt. There will of been other, no doubt but not like you see in movies or read in book. Therefore, I think that Billy's Colt may just be a cut-down Cav Colt. Why do it? To clear leather quicker which kinda makes a mockery of what I just wrote! Or, the muzzle could of been damaged; not likely but not impossible. Whatever the gun is, I wish it was in my house! Mind you, it wouldn't be there for long!


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 Post subject: Re: Billy the Kid's Colt Artillery Model SAA Revolver
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:05 am 
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Could be.....however, why not reattach the blade sight if the barrel was cut down? Not all barrel jobs like "saw off" shotguns were merely work done in a vise with a hacksaw. Another possibility is that sometime between when Billy owned the gun and when it went into a collection it may have been merely knocked off. Happened to one of my guns when it fell over and it was brazed on pretty good. :shock: :?:

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"Nope!....If I gotta choose.....I'll ride the mule and pack the horse!" WD Bennett


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 Post subject: Re: Billy the Kid's Colt Artillery Model SAA Revolver
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:13 pm 
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Reckon you could be right there. We just don't know how many have owned the gun. Could of been Billy or any of therm that cut-down, removed or simply lost the foresight.


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 Post subject: Re: Billy the Kid's Colt Artillery Model SAA Revolver
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:32 am 
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Interesting Colt. I would like to know the reliability of the provenance. Anyway, in Colt parlance not all Model 1873 Single Action Army revolvers with 5 1/2" barrels are referred to as Artillery Models. The civilian SAA's with 5 1/2" barrels Colt made at the time are not Artillery Models. Only those US Cavalry revolvers whose 7 1/2" barrels were shortened to 5 1/2 inches by Colt, the Sprinfield Armory or, in a rare instance, an Army arsenal are Artillery Models. Because the first Artilleries were not produced until the early 1890's under contract with Colt and Billy died in 1881 this Colt could not be an Artillery Model.


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 Post subject: Re: Billy the Kid's Colt Artillery Model SAA Revolver
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:05 pm 
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Howdy!

Rock solid provenance and documentation on these guns are typically rare, and lore, lies, and facts are often mixed and remixed over the years. IMHO, the problem is not wanting to dismiss stuff... and the possibility that they "might be" is like fly paper and we err on the side of caution that guns could be as presented (without being cynical and suspicious that dealers or owners in the Past are just inflating the selling price or ownership prestige of a an unattributed gun).


As already shared, all sharp and fair observations. I think the quickest test, and not always one where a buyer with more money than knowledge and sense does not want to know or share the serial number which would then fix a dated starting point of the "possibility" or reality it was a Kid's gun.

m

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