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Old 01-13-2010, 09:03 PM
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Default CAI Georgia VT

Fist time posting here in this section but here it goes. Saw this pistol for sale today in a local classifieds ad. It is a 13-1 with the above words stamped or etched into the frame.
I did the research to find that this is a marking that is put on imported guns to be sold in the states. It is for Century Arms International. I had never seen this marking before but apparently it is not that uncommon, correct?
I know these 13-1's were often LEO guns. Serial number is D989202 so it looks to be fairly late in the production, like 1976-77. Can anybody shed anymore light on the subject? Do these markings add any value? I would assume that it deminishes value.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:55 PM
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A lot depends on the location of the stamp. If in an unseen spot, it doesn't affect the value much.

Stamped on the sideplate does.

A lot of the Brazilian 1917s were imported by Navy Arms, Ridgefield NJ and most of those were stamped on the gripframe, under the grips.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:49 PM
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Given identicle guns to choose from,,one import marked and the other not,,the gun that is not import marked will generally be sold first and generally for a bit more than the marked one.
The marking can have a bigger effect in the pricing of military surplus firearms.
The location and size of the marking effects the value too as Muley Gil says.

The location of the marking I believe has to be in an area not covered by the stock, grips or other parts. That was not always the case and early on some were marked under the grips. Some were also marked with lettering so small it almost looked like a small dent to the naked eye. I had a couple of BHP's from an outfit in CA that were done that way.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dacoontz View Post
...I did the research to find that this is a marking that is put on imported guns to be sold in the states. It is for Century Arms International. I had never seen this marking before but apparently it is not that uncommon, correct?
I know these 13-1's were often LEO guns. Serial number is D989202 so it looks to be fairly late in the production, like 1976-77. Can anybody shed anymore light on the subject? Do these markings add any value? I would assume that it deminishes value.
The revolver was manufactured by S&W in the US, then exported to (most likely) a foreign government or police agency. After so many years, the agency upgraded to something newer and CAI imported them back to the US to sell on the surplus market. I have seen the "CAI ..." markings frequently on surplus rifles. I would not think that they are uncommon on surplus pistols but I can't really say. I have a CAI marked Model 10 that was brought back from Australia. There are other importers besides CAI, of course.

I would assume that the mark slightly diminishes value, but the revolver in question is not really collector-quality anyway, so the difference is probably negligible. My M10 is a fine shooter, and the price was right, so the markings don't bother me.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:55 PM
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I have the exact same revolver as the one pictured .
C.A.I. Georgia on mine . It is fairly large and directly below the cylinder . But I didn't really care . It shoots great and that's what I wanted for that purchase .
The gun is like the one pictured . It's a Taurus Model 82 38 special .
These revolvers were used by the Georgia State Troopers until they went to 9mms for a short time and eventually to the .40 .
This much I know
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:02 PM
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CAI is the name of an importer called Century International Arms, based in Vermont.

Your gun was re-imported into the US from abroad (god knows where)

They put these huge import markings on the gun, ruining it from a collector perspective. But most likely it's another worn out beat up gun with no collectors value anyway.

They are all over the gun auctions now. I dont think I would buy one based on a couple I have handled at gun shows (worn out, loose, beat up, ugly). Mostly model 19's, model 13's and model 10's.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:31 AM
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Century is one of the largest dealers in firearms and ammunition in the world, with most of it bought by them from various government stocks. They import most of their inventory but also have companies in the U.S. manufacture parts for them, such as semiautomatic-only frames for selective rifles that were cut up (demilled) for their other parts. They have sold probably tens of thousands of re-assembled semiauto AK clones, for example.

Many of their clones are apparently built on contract by companies that use labor of very limited skill, to keep costs down. On some gun forums, the folks that assemble many of Century's guns are known as "angry beavers."
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:43 AM
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I got this a few years ago. It was beat and covered with dings, the bolt stop functioned poorly. I sent it to S&W for repair and refinish. I have far too much money in it but it is a fine shooter and carry gun.


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Old 01-06-2014, 06:30 PM
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I'm going to resurrect this post; there are a bunch of 686 and 681 for sale on GA, from that verbose, but fun to read Tennessee trading post. The seller indicates they were imported from Australia, and the CAI-etc. stamp is on the left side of the barrel lug....very prominent.

Been keeping my eye open for a 581/681, but the stamp bothers me. These are priced under $550, which seems a wee high for a stamped firearm....any thoughts?
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:00 PM
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When you're looking down the barrel and squeezing the trigger, that stamping won't mean a thing to you. If it is a fair price, buy it and enjoy it.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:57 PM
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Import stamps are like women are to men. Some men see a beautiful or not so beautiful woman, while some men see a future wife in either one..
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaMike View Post
I'm going to resurrect this post; there are a bunch of 686 and 681 for sale on GA, from that verbose, but fun to read Tennessee trading post. The seller indicates they were imported from Australia, and the CAI-etc. stamp is on the left side of the barrel lug....very prominent.

Been keeping my eye open for a 581/681, but the stamp bothers me. These are priced under $550, which seems a wee high for a stamped firearm....any thoughts?
Those guys in Tennessee are easy to deal with and have nice guns etc.. But, they do know how to spin a yarn...
I've seen the ad you are talking about. Probably a little pricey. But, they will trade.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunfish View Post
I got this a few years ago. I have far too much money in it but it is a fine shooter and carry gun.


Yeah, but you have a 3", k-frame magnum, non-***, w/ outstanding finish. These days that's a keeper, so who cares.
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2014, 08:19 AM
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I have a 13-2 with the CAI stamp under the cylinder release. The stamp is seriouly ugly, but the gun is in otherwise excellent condition, showing very little use and mechanically perfect. If I just look at the right side of the gun it looks great. I was surprised that the stocks are factory numbered to the gun. The stamp kills the value of the gun, but I didn't pay much for it. It's a great shooter and being a P&R model, represents (to me, at least) a time when quality still meant something.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:33 AM
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I picked up a pair of 64-6, 4", DAO, marked CAI at the muzzle, from my LGS at a bargain basement price. I almost got a pair back when J&G was selling them. I heard that condition was really spotty. I picked through a stack to find the two that I have. I got 2 hammers from Smith and have a pair of great shooters for less than $275 apiece. They are both round butt, so I have hopes of installing 3" barrels someday.
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:02 PM
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About 6 months ago, I obtained a Model 15-2 with CAI marks on it. I contacted Century to see if I could find where the gun has repatriated from. They said that they could not find it in their records which only began in 1992. Anyone have any ideas about the export of a bunch of Model 15's?
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:10 PM
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I just purchased a 681-3 today for $320 I'll get pics up shortly. It is certainly used but functions just fine and has the larger factory stocks on it.
The stamp is under the cylinder and when I first saw it I thought it was a sn engraved for evidence by a police dept, but then I saw the CAI and knew it must be an import.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:18 PM
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Given equal condition, the unstamped one will usuallu sell faster.
The unstamped one will sell to me, because they usually go for less.

I can't read any of the markings when I'm shooting them.

The stamping matters for collector guns, not for shooter grade.
I'm happy with or without the import stamp.
Prefer without, but won't kick one out of bed because of an import stamp.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:40 PM
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Honestly I cant believe that this 681-3 is the first import stamped one I have ever seen. I knew what it was only because I am familiar with CAI from other gun purchases, but I bet now that I have seen this one (And own it ) I will see them all over the place
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:24 PM
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As luck would have it, I found an non-stamped 681 for slightly less than what the friendly folks in Tenn were asking.

Still....I guess there's also the cache of having been to Australia and back....
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:40 PM
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I have a Aussie CAI 13-2 as well. Love the gun. Bought it 2 years ago for $285. Has some holster bluing wear and the import mark. For the price and the quality I'll take the import marks. For all I care they can write the country's history on it, so long as it's affordable and good quality

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  #22  
Old 02-05-2014, 12:17 AM
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Here is my stamped 681-3

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