Paging Old Fuff, need Colt SN help


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gizamo
June 29, 2008, 10:02 AM
Hoping to get some help with a Colt Serial Number...I remember Old Fuff giving a hand on a Colt Frontier Scout...at any rate this is the serial number on the gun GX8805. There is no suffix...Barrel is Rollmarked as COLT FRONTIER SCOUT '62 .22 CAL....

Giz

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bannockburn
June 29, 2008, 10:17 AM
gizamo

I hope Old Fuff can help you more than I can, because all I can find for the Frontier Scout '62 are serial numbers that started in 1962 with 999P, and went to 68088P in 1970. At that point, the name changed to the Peacemaker .22, and the serial numbers began with G10001, ending with G3021RB in 1977. Production began again briefly in 1982 with G200000 and ended in 1985 with G225044. Maybe that serial number denoted something for R&D, or maybe a prototype model for future development; possibly occuring in 1970 when they switched over from the Frontier Scout to the Peacemaker .22 model.

gizamo
June 29, 2008, 10:53 AM
The gun is a prototype, and according to the design engineer who was involved with it ~ the X in the serial number was used to designate as either experimental or prototype. Guess that is what I am looking for verification on....I am a fish out of the water, when it comes to such an odd gun:)

It does not have a P suffix, and that was the other thing that was interesting...

Giz

SaxonPig
June 29, 2008, 11:04 AM
According to my Colt serial guide by RL Wilson the G prefix started in 1970 but by then they stopped using the name Frontier Scout and called them 22 Peacemzkers. Also, the serial range starts at G10,001 so a 4-digit G series as you describe doesn't seem to exist. Wilson makes no mention of X serials.

There seems to have been a Q Model; K Model and '62 K Model in the Frontier Scout line and production years overlap with the Q starting in 1957, K in 1960 and the '62 K in 1962 (there's a shock). All 3 were made until 1970 when replaced by the 22 Peacemaker name which lasted until 1977. I have no idea what the differences were. All of the FS models have letter suffixes in the serial and no prefixes. The 22 Peacemaker uses a prefix, including the letter G, but X is not seen or discussed in the book and your number is lower than the starting point for the G prefix serials.

The serial you provide doesn't seem to fit anything in the book. May be a tool room job.

gizamo
June 29, 2008, 12:08 PM
SaxonPig,

Thanks for the info. That is a help. As to it being a tool room job, the fellow that had it built was a design engineer who eventually retired from Colt.

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/Gizamo1/Colt001.jpg
http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/Gizamo1/Colt002-1.jpg

Giz

Old Fuff
June 29, 2008, 12:30 PM
I haven't found any obvious answers, but I will did deeper. "X" was sometimes used to denote a prototype or experimental piece, but they were not made in large numbers so the "8805" part of the number is confusing. Also X-numbers were sometimes hand rather then machine stamped. One possibility that comes to mind is that perhaps the frame was originally G-?8805, and the "X" got added.

The last of the breed, known as the Peacemaker .22, was distinguished by the color-hardened flattop frame and ramp front and adjustable rear sights.

R.L. Wilson.

This model was introduced in 1970 at serial No. G10001 and ending at G198,733 in 1976. But in 1974 they made some numbered from L01001 to L25000. In 1977 they made more in a number range consisting of G001RB to G3021RB. In 1982 they returned to the G-series at G200,000 and ended in 1985 at G225,044. Obviously all of this is confusing, but it should be noted that all of the Peacemaker .22 revolvers had serial numbers that either started with "G" or "L".

I would expect the barrel to be roll marked "Peacemaker .22" but there are plenty of prototype/experimental guns around that were made in the toolroom using whatever parts that might be available - so long as they worked for the intended purpose.

I think your biggest problem is going to be documenting the piece to prove that it was made at the Colt factory, and not by some outside gunsmith. It is in any case, first class work, and I would observe that the color case-hardening on the frame (which is obviously modified) does appear to be have been done by Colt.

gizamo
June 29, 2008, 12:42 PM
Old Fuff,

Thanks for the info. I knew I could count on you to come up with something that would help make some sense of it all.

Quote:

I haven't found any obvious answers, but I will did deeper. "X" was sometimes used to denote a prototype or experimental piece, but they were not made in large numbers so the "8805" part of the number is confusing. Also X-numbers were sometimes hand rather then machine stamped. One possibility that comes to mind is that perhaps the frame was originally G-?8805, and the "X" got added....endquote

The front of the frame was reshaped and almost squared off. Not the normal rounded finish. It appears to have been hand stamped...

Your thoughts?
http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/Gizamo1/Colt006.jpg


One other item of note: Those are not Wood grips on the gun. The design engineer wanted to point that out to me in our conversation. They are plastic impregnated wood fiber grips.

Giz

AZ_Rebel
June 29, 2008, 02:37 PM
Very Interesting!

Looking at the picture and reading "The front of the frame was reshaped and almost squared off. Not the normal rounded finish. It appears to have been hand stamped..." makes me think that the original numbers were machined off and new (handstamped) numbers added - possibly different numbers since they are out of synch with Colt's numbers.

Do you have a solid provenance on the gun? Legal issues come to mind???

gizamo
June 29, 2008, 02:54 PM
AZ Rebel


Of course, I have solid provenance on the gun. Reread the above posts.

Please reconsider what you are implying.....


Giz

AZ_Rebel
June 29, 2008, 03:25 PM
Hey... don't get so defensive... I am not implying anything. Just asked the question "Do you have a solid provenance on the gun?"

Your answer is:

according to the design engineer who was involved with it

the fellow that had it built was a design engineer who eventually retired from Colt.

You show a gun with the serial number (obviously) machined off and a new number hand stamped......

Personally I would be a little nervous with that but hey... its your gun... if you are comfortable with it, fine.

gizamo
June 29, 2008, 03:36 PM
AZ Rebel,

No foul, no harm. The discussion is about prototype serial numbers that may appear within a known range of factory produced guns. What the others, and I, are trying to do is figure out if there are any noteworthy examples out there. This helps to broaden the base of knowledge. Having collectors like bannockburn, SaxonPig, and of course Old Fuff ~ participate in such a discussion can break some new ground. From this we all can benefit....

Old Fuff pointed out several scenarios on the X in the serial number and how it could be applied ~ to include hand stamping the frame. I posted a pic that, I would think, shows that case. There is no doubt in anyones mind that the frame to the gun has been highly modified, which would be consistent with a new prototype....

Anywhoo, stick around and let's see together how this all sorts out.........

And just for a laugh: A group of Colt collectors that read a description of the gun, found the grips to be more interesting then the gun....As in, as described ~ they do not exist....LOL.

Giz

Old Fuff
June 29, 2008, 04:12 PM
The Old Fuff has noticed tool marks on the bottom of the frame that he wouldn't expect on a production gun, so it is quite possible that earlier markings were milled off. But this would not be inconsistent on a prototype or experimental gun. Such guns were and are created for various reasons, running from testing a proposed change in design to examining the commercial possibilities of a new variant or model. They are also necessary if the proposal moves forward into being tooled for production.

At the same time many custom gunsmiths often modify a gun to make it unique, although as a rule they donít fool with the serial number Ė although the gunís maker can. Unless the gun is marked with the gunsmithís name it is often difficult, and sometimes impossible to tell who did the work.

With what I have to look at, the strongest point in favor of the prototype story is that nothing is inconsistent with the possibility that it is what is claimed, and the color case-hardened finish is consistent with that done by Colt at the time, as is the blue on the straps, cylinder and barrel. I know of some that could come close to duplicating the Colt finish, but without exceptions they mark their work.

As a rule, Colt and other companies destroy unneeded prototypes, but there are some well-known exceptions. It is far from impossible that an employee might have been allowed to keep a prototype of something he or she was deeply involved in, if the company had no further use for it.

Last but not least, the concept of a ribbed barrel on a Colt or Colt-style single action revolver is not unique. The old King Gunsight Co. in pre-war California modified a number of Coltís along this configuration, and the original Great Western Co. made a ribbed model during the 1950ís.

gizamo
June 29, 2008, 05:16 PM
Old Fuff,

Pretty much everything you are saying is consistent with the provenance that I have been given. Guess it is time to make the phone call tomorrow and get this gun lettered from Colt. I will share that letter with all, even if I end up on the short end of the stick.:):uhoh:

The last thing that I would like to address are the grips....As stated earlier, there is a bit of story to them...Here, I will use a direct quote from the gentleman that previously owned the gun. He was not involved with the grips, but does acknowledge they were done by Colt, (Not sure if this means in-house or by one of their agents)


" I do know that the grips were made of plastic impregnated wood heated and pressure molded. "

My question: Is this the process used on the Coltwood 1911 frame panels?

Giz

Old Fuff
June 29, 2008, 08:32 PM
I do know that the grips were made of plastic impregnated wood heated and pressure molded. My question: Is this the process used on the Coltwood 1911 frame panels?

No. The Jay Scott Grip Company made the stocks on your revolver out of laminated rosewood; and at one time they were a subsidiary of Colt’s. The only thing that is unusual is that the ones supplied to Colt usually had trademark medallions inset at the top. Stocks without the medallions were sold through distributors and retail dealers, and the complete line covered many guns besides Colt’s. Does this affect your story? Not necessarily. Colt could have had some plain stocks around that they would use on a prototype, but never on a production gun. Also a previous owner could have switched the stocks.

The Coltwood grips were 100% plastic. Colt bought the company to make them just before the Second World War, and continued using them up through the mid-1950’s.

The people at the Colt factory may or may not be able to help you. They depend on shipping records, and I doubt that a prototype (that would likely be in the custody of the engineering department) would show on those records. It is unlikely that anyone who would know is still working at the Hartford plant now.

And just for a laugh: A group of Colt collectors that read a description of the gun, found the grips to be more interesting then the gun....As in, as described ~ they do not exist....LOL.

How many pairs would you like? Such a deal I have for you ...

mnrivrat
June 29, 2008, 09:31 PM
Just out of curousity , did I miss the part about the gun having three cylinders ?

gizamo
June 30, 2008, 08:25 AM
mnrivat,

One Magnum, One L.R, were kept in new condition. The one cylinder that he used was the extra .22 LR....

Giz

gizamo
July 1, 2008, 04:50 PM
Old Fuff,

Before this thread drifts away, I just wanted to say thank you for being a knowledgeable gentleman ~ one who is willing to step up to the plate and share his knowledge....

Kudo's to you, my friend.....
Folks like you make this a great place!


Giz

Old Fuff
July 1, 2008, 05:01 PM
Before this thread drifts away, I just wanted to say thank you for being a knowledgeable gentleman ~ one who is willing to step up to the plate and share his knowledge....

Well thank you, but I was under the impression that this was the way The High Road was supposed to work... ;)

SaxonPig
July 1, 2008, 05:12 PM
Don't get mad at me, but I would also not rule out the possibility that the original number was removed. The serial is odd, hand-stamped, and the frame shows obvious signs of modification (which you readily admit). This doesn't prove anything nefarious happened, but it could be a tad suspicious.

If the gun came from (or is still in the possession of) a former Colt employee, the possibility of it being a "lunch box gun" comes to mind.

Employee picks up a frame and puts it in his pocket. Over the next couple weeks he sneaks out the rest of the needed parts and assembles the gun at home. Maybe the frame was already stamped with the serial so he grinds it off and stamps a number that he knows would never be a duplicate to another Colt. Impossible?

Are all of the barrel and frame markings present? I have seen 1911s that were suspected "lunch box guns" that lacked the usual markings on the slide and frame.

gizamo
July 1, 2008, 05:28 PM
Franklin, my old friend....

Not the case, although I believe we have all seen that sort of thing....
But the only thing that can proof the gun is a letter from Colt....and I need to do so to remove all doubt. I believe that is the best course of action.

The former owner applied for and received 10 patents while at Colt. He explained to me the process of selection on serial numbers.

For instance when he and his design partner designed and developed the CMG-2 5.56 Caliber Machine Gun they selected 007 as the serial Number on the first prototype. The James Bond movies were popular at the time and they thought they were being clever.:)

At any rate, I hope everything proves out. Being in contact with this gentleman could help add some knowledge about manufacturing at Colt almost 40 years ago......wouldn't that be a hoot......

Giz

Old Fuff
July 1, 2008, 06:21 PM
I have examined a number of lunch box specials, and one thing they had in common was that they were assembled from regular production parts. I suppose it's possible that someone could sneak out an engineering department prototype, but it would be very difficult to do and not get caught. A one-of-a-kind stands out like a sore thumb.

At one time prototype or experimental models might not be numbered at all, but the Fed's put a stop to that long ago. However most if not all manufacturers try to use unique numbers on these guns so that they cannot ever get mixed up with regular production, and this is especially true if the gun is built on a current production platform.

One other point in this case. How would someone make the modifications outside of the plant (including removing and restamping a serial number) and then get the company to polish and and color case-harden it again?

gizamo
July 2, 2008, 05:48 PM
Old Fuff,

PM sent. Think it something you'd be interested in relative to the gun.....

Giz

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