Trigger Firearms sent in the above photo of a Colt revolver they recently sold as a clone because nobody could determine if it was real or not. If it is a clone, it is an exceptionally well made clone. They wrote …

We recently sold this SAA revolver on gunbroker. We had no way to verify if this Colt is real, and figured it would be great to open up the discussion to TFB about what we may have. The gun was sold as a COLT clone. The gun is already sold, but we figured we would send it in as a curisoity! The entire gun is covered in a very cool and unique engraving style (similar to the work we could find by Cole Agee).

Do any of you own a gun you can’t determine is real or a fake?




  • Giolli Joker

    I have no idea if it’s a clone or not… but it would be funny if the sellers were to discover that they sold as clone an original worth several times the money they got.

    • ThomasD

      If an original the engraving, not being factory, would likely devalue it.

      It’s a shooter, spend accordingly.

      • Roderick Lalley

        Depends on who did the engraving ? Not Colt factory engraving, not a game killer !!!

      • Kelly Jackson

        That would really depend on if it was engraved in the present or when it was new.

  • Cytoxan

    wonder how much it sold for?

  • charlesrhamilton

    I think it should be easy enough to tell by closely examining it. I know I wouldn’t sell it without knowing first, which leads me to believe it’s a repro.

    • RICH

      ……..Absolutely correct…….. and I wouldn’t buy it without doing some research as to the past history. I had an old Marlin rifle and it took me all of about 5 minutes at Marlins site to find out the rifle was produced in the very early 1900’s ! The information is there ….. all you have to do is look for it…!

  • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

    Anyone think to just spend the money and get a letter from Colt?

    • schizuki

      Seems to me the seller wanted to keep that little bit of uncertainty to help juice the sale.

      • Andrew

        Yep. People do this on eBay all the time, knowing that a couple gullible gamblers will bid with their hearts instead of their heads and drive the price up.

        “I found this Babe Ruth signed baseball in my grandma’s attic. I don’t know if it’s real or not, but it might be real. It only costs $25 to get it authenticated, but I don’t have time for that, so my loss is your gain!”

  • Don Ward

    There are a variety of ways one could establish provenance of this weapon. I’m not sure if posting a couple of pictures on TFB is the best way to go about doing it.
    My guess would be this is a refurbished piece. But that’s just a gut feeling.

  • Ken

    “We had no way to verify if this Colt is real . . .” Are you kidding me??? SAA’s are probably the most collected handgun in existence. Surely there are any number of avenues to take to determine this.

  • Drew


  • Drew

    I mean fake.

  • Drew

    Definitely real. Although it could be a fake.

  • Anonymoose

    That’s a beautiful revolver. What kind of grips are those?

    • Spiker

      They look like deer antler.

  • Oldtrader3

    I believe that was made by USFA.

  • derfelcadarn

    I am not liking the factory markings. Nothing to do with the numbers themselves, but how they appear.

  • RICH


  • John Shore

    Most likely, this gun is neither wholly ‘fake’ or wholly ‘real,’ but a combination of Old Gun with New(er) Engraving.
    From what I can see, the underlying piece is an original First-Generation black-powder-frame (1872~1896) SAA with correct 3-line patent stamping for the 1878~1890 period, and its serial number indicates that it was made in 1881. Colt serial number stamps were individual, and the numbers on this gun are ‘right’ in shape and size and irregularity.
    The engraving is also ‘right’ for Cole Agee (1901~1955), or for either his student Weldon Bledsoe (deceased) or Dave Harris (still alive). This means that the gun was most likely around for some 40 years before any of those three engravers could’ve done the work. Or, it could’ve been done yesterday. ‘XIT’ being the most famous of the Texas cattle brands, it’s not surprising to see this on a gun engraved by one of these three famous Texas engravers. Agee in particular used this motif in his work.

    If the sellers DID get a factory letter, it probably told them very little–when the gun was shipped and to whom, and what its original configuration was at time of shipping. If said letter had revealed that the gun was shipped ‘in the white’ and to a large dealer, that would indicate the intent to ‘finish’ the gun after it was engraved contemporarily to its manufacture. I doubt that this was the case.
    On the other hand, this gun MIGHT have been carried by General Patton when he charged up Pork Chop Hill with the 7th Cavalry at the Battle of First Manassas.

    • Rock Island Auction

      Agreed. All a letter tells you is the original state of a gun whose serial number you happen to request. it does not tell you if the gun you have is actually the original one created at the factory.

  • Avid Fan

    My spidey sense says it’s not a Colt.