Colt serial numbers?!


September 29, 2011, 11:12 AM
I'm confused but it sounds like Colt Manufacturing is even more confused.

I bought a Trooper Sunday. The guy that sold it said it was manufactured in 1959. said it was manufactured in 1960 I think (I assume the serial number paired up with a year is the first serial number for that year and not the last serial number for that year. That right?). So I called Colt yesterday to find out which year is right and the guy said it was manufactured in 1969(?!?!?!)...unless there was a letter after the serial number. He told me that if I find a letter to call back. So I looked last night, found a letter, and called back this morning. The lady said the gun was manufactured in 1960 and that the letter has nothing to do with the date of manufacture.

So, what the heck is going on at Colt?

Is there a definitive source for finding the year of manufacture of a Colt Trooper revolver?

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Jim Watson
September 29, 2011, 12:26 PM is the only FREE online source I know of for Colt revolver serial numbers.

I expect that when you called, the first guy just looked on the wrong chart and the lady got it right.

The only definitive source would be for you to pay a hundred bucks for a factory letter giving the gun's original configuration, shipping date, and destination. I don't see the point of that on a modern gun unless you were trying to document it to a famous individual.

Right now you have two votes for 1960, one for 1959 (indistiguishable from 1960 if you ask me) and one for 1969. I'd call it a 1960 gun and be content.

September 29, 2011, 03:41 PM
Post the number here and Jim or I can look up one of our resources too.

September 29, 2011, 03:48 PM
That number is on both the frame and the crane. Under the number on the frame is a 'U'.

September 29, 2011, 09:14 PM

September 29, 2011, 09:46 PM
Colt serial numbers can be very confusing.
Trooper numbers were intermixed with the Officer's Model Match, the 357 and Trooper numbers depending on the caliber.
As example .22 Troopers were numbered with the .22 Officer's Model match.
.38 models were numbered with the Trooper numbers AND the .38 Officer's Model Match.

The "U" under the serial number is a factory inspectors stamp.

In the mid-1960's, Federal law demanded that all firearms have a unique serial number.
At that time Colt started using letters as a prefix or suffix in the serial number.
In these guns, the letter is part of the numbers. It's stamped WITH the numbers, and in the same font, size, and depth as the numbers.

Letters AROUND the serial number are factory inspection numbers, and on per-war guns numbers ABOVE the serial "may" have special meaning.
As example a pre-war gun with a "T" above the serial indicates the gun was factory targeted.

September 30, 2011, 11:09 AM
1960 ... good! Thanks guys. :)

October 28, 2011, 10:29 PM
Guys sorry to bother you, but do you have any idea how old a Colt Detective .38, serial number 992XXX may be. There is a C stamp below the number. It is my fathers, and I cannot seem to find that sequence anywhere on charts I have. Is this a 1960s model? Anybody? Thanx again.


October 29, 2011, 03:44 AM
Chuck that number doesn't fall within DS serial numbers that I can find. Could be 1968 but should be precdeeded by a "D".

Also please start your own threads with such questions or they can get lost.

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