OK... I know... But for $195...?


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SaxonPig
September 17, 2011, 05:49 PM
Been looking for a 32-20 for a couple years. Wanted one to shoot and play with so I wanted a cheap one, not some collector grade piece. Someone pointed me to this one. An Army Special (becomes the Official Police Model) made in 1934 someone cut the barrel to 3” and maybe refinished it. I have a set of Colt stocks in the parts bin and it’s what I wanted. At $195 + $30 shipped to me on my C&R I couldn’t walk away.

Now I need to find some dies.

http://www.fototime.com/12A1C15EA9BCD8A/standard.jpg


PS: I think I know why the barrel was cut down. In searching for a 32-20 I found a huge number of them with bulged barrels. Both Colts and S&Ws. No idea why this caliber would be more prone to this sort of damage but that's what I found. A bulged barrel means it was fired while obstructed but again, no idea why the 32-20 would be more susceptible to this.

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Deaf Smith
September 17, 2011, 06:39 PM
Looks pretty good to me!

Great shooter.

Deaf

savit260
September 17, 2011, 07:39 PM
I"d be ALL OVER that little Colt for $195!! My old Army Special is one of my favorites, and a chopped 3" sure looks sweet to me.

tekarra
September 17, 2011, 07:54 PM
That is a good looking little rascal, you did well.

wlewisiii
September 17, 2011, 08:00 PM
Sweet. I'd love one like that along with a nice .32 break top someday. Glad it ended up in a good home.

MMCSRET
September 17, 2011, 08:26 PM
The story goes in "Coltland" that the ringed or bulged barrel was from shooting the High Velocity 80 grain rifle ammunition in revolvers when it was specifically advised against. RCMODEL, here on THR, has spoken of it in the past. I have 4 Colts ranging from 1907 to 1922 and they are all original and evidently never fired the HV round as the barrels are all true, worn but no rings.
Then again, maybe it was oldfuff, or maybe both that spoke of the ringed barrels.

Walkalong
September 17, 2011, 08:33 PM
Ringed (bulged) barrels normally come from firing another round after a squib. Blows it out, but bulges the barrel in front of where the first one was stuck.

vanfunk
September 17, 2011, 08:53 PM
Nice! Me likey, and would have made the deal in a second. One problemo- there were no Army Specials made in 1934. Is the date a typo?

Thanks!

vanfunk

vanfunk
September 17, 2011, 08:55 PM
By the way, is that a Kittery TP tag on her? :)

Dr.Rob
September 18, 2011, 04:42 AM
Lucky dog! I'd be all over that, maybe even cut it back another inch!

Neat old piece for sure.

content
September 18, 2011, 08:48 AM
Hello friends and neighbors // Nice save/snag for a great price, 3" seems about perfect.

I hope the GS did a good job with the front sight,

That $225.00 shipped got my wallet out for an 1917 manuf. S&W 1905 4th change. (plus $20.00 ffl). I bought it to practice gun smithing with an older but working revolver. Nickled poorly, cut down, front sight slightly askew but so tight and true I did not want to mess with it.

Hope your turns out to be a straight shooter.

The Lone Haranguer
September 18, 2011, 12:02 PM
Lucky dog! I'd be all over that, maybe even cut it back another inch!


And cut away the front of the trigger guard, and round-butt it ... :evil:

SaxonPig
September 18, 2011, 12:55 PM
OK, the barrel clearly says Army Special. The serial is 589000 which according to my DOM book by RL Wilson (is he out of prison yet?) makes it 1934. If the AS was out of print by then perhaps the barrel was swapped from an AS onto an OP frame? makes me wonder if the gun even started out as a 32? Perhaps the cylinder was also swapped?

content
September 18, 2011, 02:14 PM
Was the OP built on exactly the same .41 caliber frame as the AS?
If not there might be a way to measure the difference.

All in all for the price, if it works I'd still be smiling.

VirgilCaine
September 18, 2011, 02:53 PM
Looks great for $195!

WC145
September 18, 2011, 02:59 PM
By the way, is that a Kittery TP tag on her? :)
Looks like a KTP tag to me. I never find anything cool like that when I stop in there.

savit260
September 18, 2011, 05:03 PM
Was the OP built on exactly the same .41 caliber frame as the AS?
If not there might be a way to measure the difference.

With the ecxeption of some transitional 1926-ish Army Specials, the only real difference is the top strap is more rounded and has a narrower sight groove on the Army special vs. an angled/beveled top strap edges on the Official Police with a wider sight groove and wider front sight. Otherwise, they are the same.


This link has the pic of what most Army Special top straps look like (exception for transitional ones) Note the very narrow sight groove opening at the rear, and gentle rounding on either side along the length of the sight groove
http://www.coltautos.com/DA/ArmySpecial/armyspecialci_320458.htm


The O.P. would also have serrations all along the top portion on either side of the sight groove to cut down glare.

waidmann
September 18, 2011, 05:35 PM
I'd of bit that in a second. Good Buy.

content
September 18, 2011, 06:28 PM
savit260// Now that you point it out I see the shiny top strap on the A.S. (never used by the Army) very nice catch.

CajunBass
September 18, 2011, 07:24 PM
Even a S&W fan like me would have picked that one up.

rdrancher
September 18, 2011, 08:20 PM
Nice find! Let me know if you want to give up the grips. :D

Guillermo
September 18, 2011, 08:53 PM
that is exactly the kind of gun I look for

a great addition to your amazing collection

SaxonPig
September 18, 2011, 09:19 PM
There's another just like it (not cut) on GunBroker within a few hundred in serial and it also says Army Special on the barrel. Maybe they were using up barrels in stock for the 32-20 so the Army Special model technically continued until they were used up (whenever that was)? Learn something new every day.

GRIZ22
September 18, 2011, 10:07 PM
I'd have got it too. Nice gun for a nice price.

bannockburn
September 18, 2011, 10:14 PM
SaxonPig

Nice aquisition for the moey. I have also been looking for a .32-20 to play with, but all the ones I have found are typically 3 to 4 times what you paid for your Army Special.

savit260
September 19, 2011, 10:22 AM
There's another just like it (not cut) on GunBroker within a few hundred in serial and it also says Army Special on the barrel. Maybe they were using up barrels in stock for the 32-20 so the Army Special model technically continued until they were used up (whenever that was)? Learn something new every day


You may be on to something there. Just found another A.S. 5" er in 32-20 on GB that appears to have the original finish, the newer style top strap, and a 1934 Serial number that falls in the O.P. range. Very Interesting.

EDIT TO ADD: the pony looks a little weak, so maybe the frame's been refinished, or it's just not a good clear pic.

Ratshooter
September 19, 2011, 03:14 PM
Gil Sengal wrote an article in Handloader on the 32-20 and apparently bulged barrels were a common problem with this caliber. Especially when jacketed bullets were used because sometimes they would vary in diameter and the larger ones would stick in the bore if the load was a little light.

You can go to Wolf Publishing and look at the back issues and find that article. It might be worth ordering if you are going to take up loading this round. I have the issue in my attic and if you asked nice I could find it.

sixgunner455
September 20, 2011, 01:42 PM
That's a cool pistol, and a good deal!

Gordon
September 21, 2011, 12:01 AM
I have one , the barrel is 5" , it has hard rubber grips but the latter squarer sight! It was made in 1926 by number. Mine has shot the old high velocity load with no damage. It is about the largest 32-20 made really, and those old Hi Velocity loads weren't that high pressure running 23,000 PSI . That might be a little much for a smaller frame gun but won't harm a sound .41 frame gun or a latter SAA for that matter. I had an old timey mentor that carried a 32-20 1930s SAA and allways used the High Velocity load for it and his 1892 Winchester. 30 years of doing it!
I think you got a super good deal and a hell of a nice shooter there bud. I prefer a longer barrel on my 32-20s and have a 7.5" SAA and the 5" Army Special. BTW I shoot 100 grain LBT WFN bullet dropped at .315 and sized .313 in the newer SAA and .314" in the Army Special and my 1892 Carbine. I use Unique powder and am happy at 900 fps in the 5" barrel.
Dang I'd really like to have this, when do you think THIS was made!
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=252356469

wlewisiii
September 21, 2011, 10:16 PM
I saw one of those late Army Special's today at a gun show. 5" barrel, 1934 according to the seller (couldn't tell by me, I know S&W better than I do Colt) and .32-20. Almost in too nice of condition for me though - I'd be worried about mussing it up.

In the end, I decided on a near mint S&W 10 instead, but having read this thread it was very tempting. Ooodles of these around so if I mess it up, I'll just have to shoot it more :D

If I'd had the money, I'd have gotten both but then, if I had the money the Eddystone M1917 and the Parker 12 gauge VH would have gone home with me too... ;)

SaxonPig
September 21, 2011, 11:32 PM
Bagged a set of RCBS dies with shell holder for $26 on ebay.

Still doing this on the cheap. :D

FIVETWOSEVEN
September 22, 2011, 12:29 AM
I find cool things at KTP, at least by my standards.

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