Identity and Date of Manufacture of Colt Revolvers


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mesinge2
April 20, 2012, 08:53 AM
I know Radagast is the King of S&W revolver DOBs and I was wondering if the same was possible with Colt revolvers.
Never mind I found the info, its from 1923

a) caliber
b) bbl length (from cylinder to muzzle)
c) grips shape (round or square)
d) number of shots/cylinder bores
e) type of sights.
f) serial number, and if there is a letter in front of or anywhere near the s/n on the bottom of the grip
g) Model number if it is under the crane.
That number, if it is the s/n, should come from the butt of the grip (or under the barrel or face of the cylinder).

A picture or two is worth A LOT of words in this case...


a) .38 S&W Special
b) 6" barrel
c) not sure on a Colt
d) 6 shot
e) Fixed, Half Moon front
f) xxxxxx
g) Official Police


http://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc401/mesinge2/Misc/352.jpg
http://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc401/mesinge2/Misc/353.jpg

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harvester
April 21, 2012, 06:14 PM
Thats not an officers model since they all had adjustable sights.

mesinge2
April 21, 2012, 06:16 PM
Excuse me Official Police

harvester
April 21, 2012, 06:23 PM
Ah yes and it looks like a nice example, square butt. The Official Police was introduced in 1927, I don't think your date is correct.

Radagast
May 1, 2012, 04:49 AM
victorleroy:
You will find the list of serial numbers and dates by model here:
http://www.proofhouse.com/
If you don't know which model you have you will need to post some pics, preferably one of each side.

BoltActionPrepper
May 17, 2012, 05:19 PM
thats a pretty nice OP....i want to get a colt agent .38 spl. myself :)

Railrunner85
July 13, 2012, 11:21 AM
I checked on the site, but I couldn't find anything about the Anaconda. I have a six inch .44 that is drilled and tapped for scope mounting. The serial number is AN01***

Railrunner85
July 13, 2012, 11:40 AM
I found it, I just called colt, lol.

2DREZQ
July 14, 2012, 06:22 PM
I'm a little confused. I have Trooper Mk III. Do I look under Trooper, or Mk III series? None of the numbers look right. My s/n is 1***3L

Old Fuff
July 14, 2012, 06:57 PM
On most Colt hand ejector models made after 1908 (and a few before) the serial number is stamped on the frame under the back end of the barrel, and behind the crane. Swing out the cylinder to see it. Otherwise it is usually found on the butt, or on the frame just ahead of the trigger guard.

On U.S. military model hand ejectors the number on the butt usually is a contract number used for inventory purposes. The Colt serial number is located as described above. Generally the two numbers are not related to each other.

Colt has always used model names or letters, but not numbers, and you will usually find the model stamped on the side of the barrel. This can mislead someone if the barrel has been changed, so be careful.

And if that isn’t enough to cause rampant confusion, they sometimes had several different models within one serial number series.

When in doubt, a picture is worth a thousand words.

If you are sure of the model, go to www.proofhouse.com and use the serial number to find DOB.

Old Fuff
July 14, 2012, 07:06 PM
I'm a little confused. I have Trooper Mk III. Do I look under Trooper, or Mk III series? None of the numbers look right. My s/n is 1***3L

Mk.III Series (Lawman, Metropolitan, Official Police, Trooper, and Officers Model Match).
1***3L = 1978

Robbins290
July 22, 2012, 08:04 PM
a) 22 mag
b) 4 5/8
c) square
d) 6 shots
e) blade
f) 11504XF
g) no model number.

Old Fuff
July 22, 2012, 09:11 PM
You have a Colt Frontier Scout The model letter is "Q" and Serial number 11504xF was made in 1961. Some parts and accessories may still be found at www.gunpartscorp.com

Robbins290
July 22, 2012, 09:16 PM
thanks old fluff

2DREZQ
July 28, 2012, 04:59 PM
Mk.III Series (Lawman, Metropolitan, Official Police, Trooper, and Officers Model Match).
1***3L = 1978
Thanks! I graduated HS in 1978, so that'll be easy to remember!

mississippifarmboy
August 7, 2012, 04:35 PM
I inherited a few guns recently and am trying to find out anything I can about them. Anything would help like age, model, value (if any), safety issues or whatever.

I'm new here, so bear with me while I figure this all out. I'm sure a lot of my terminology will be wrong. I'm better at shooting a gun than describing one. The Colt revolver is;

a) Caliber - Colt. D.A. 38 (Marked on side of barrel)
b) bbl length - 3 1/2"
c) grips shape - Square
d) number of shots - 6
e) type of sights - fixed blade
f) serial number - 281270 (worn, but that's what it looks like, on grip butt)
g) model number - No idea on that.

The number 1323 is on the ejector button, the frame inside the cylinder swing and on the cylinder swing it's self. The patent dates on top of the barrel are Aug 5 84, Nov 6 88, Mar 5 05

Gun was blued but most finish gone, works fine but seen lots of wear, double action, large chunk missing from the grip on one side.

I'm still trying to figure out how to post a picture from my computer to here. Will add a couple if I figure out how.
Thanks

Old Fuff
August 7, 2012, 05:14 PM
Your Colt revolver appears to be a 1892 New Army/Navy model. Serial No. 281270 was one of the last made in about 1907 when the model was discontinued at or about No. 291000. It may be chambered in either .38 Long Colt or .38 Special. You can tell the difference by looking through a chamber to see if it is the same diameter all of the way through from back to front (.38 Long Colt) or has a reduced step toward the front (.38 Special).

The 3 1/2" barrel length (measured from the front face of the cylinder to the end of the muzzle) is scarce, but they did make some. Be sure that it hasn't been cut down from a longer length and the front sight remounted.

The number 1323 is an assembly number, stamped on the frame and certain hand-fitted parts, so that these parts would come back and be assembled in the right frame after they were finished (blue or nickel plate).

You can buy replacement stocks that (more or less) duplicate the original ones for about $30.00.

It was adopted in 1892 by the U.S. Army and Navy, in a 6" / .38 Long Colt version with plain walnut stocks, and was still in inventory as late as 1940.

In it's present condition it is not especially valuable. Shooters have little interest in them, and collectors seek those in better condition. But the late production and short barrel length might work in your favor. I would say between $150 to $200, and perhaps less in some markets.

mississippifarmboy
August 7, 2012, 07:27 PM
"It may be chambered in either .38 Long Colt or .38 Special. You can tell the difference by looking through a chamber to see if it is the same diameter all of the way through from back to front (.38 Long Colt) or has a reduced step toward the front (.38 Special)."

It was loaded with .38 special cartridges when I got it, but if it has reduced step, I can't see it looking at it. I'll have to check into that more.



"The 3 1/2" barrel length (measured from the front face of the cylinder to the end of the muzzle) is scarce, but they did make some. Be sure that it hasn't been cut down from a longer length and the front sight remounted."


Thanks so much. After reading your reply I looked at it again, I was wrong about the barrel length, I was only measuring the actual barrel which is 3 1/2". Measuring it correctly from the front of the cylinder to the end of the barrel it is 4 1/2". The barrel doesn't look to be altered and the sights seem to be original.

Thank you again very much for the info. I'd have never guessed it was that old.

content
August 7, 2012, 08:32 PM
Hello friends and neighbors // I could use some help with an old Colt.

A. 38 (38sw)
B. 4 inch
C. Square butt, checkered wood, silver med.
D. 6 round,, alignment slot cut into cylinder and ejector.(a nice feature)
E. Fixed rear ,Half moon front, serrated top strap
F. 38591X
G. Police Positive .38

*Marked on butt base:: P.M.P.D. No. 14

**Fine checkering on::Trigger,hammer spur,cylinder release,ejector tip.
---------------
Closest I can come is possibly a pre war contract with Canada for the Port Moody Police Department.
--------
Anyway way to find out?
I'd join the Colt Forum but hope some of the fine folks from there might also be here helping.

I'd like a second opinion on the DOM also.

-------
Good idea mesinge2

Old Fuff
August 7, 2012, 09:18 PM
You apparently have a .38 Colt Police Positive and the serial number dates it to 1939. It was chambered to use the .38 Colt New Police or .38 Police Positive cartridge, both of which are identical to the .38 S&W round.

If you reload your own ammunition be aware that Colt used the same chamber throat and barrel groove specifications that they did for .38 Special. Thus you can use easily obtained .358 (or even .356/9mm) bullets rather then the odd-sized .361 diameter bullets required for other revolvers chambered in .38 S&W.

I checked an extensive list of police markings and didn't find P.M.P.D., but besides the obvious it might have been sent to a large manufacturing plant doing pre-World War Two defense work.

It is one of the last Police Positive revolvers that were made. Production slowed during 1939 and '40 as the Colt factory was retooled for expected war production. During the war a few thousand were made out of previously manufactured parts. When they ran out the end came.

content
August 10, 2012, 05:28 AM
TYVM for checking the PMPD

I'm glad the date is 1939, now that you point it out I see the next(last) few years production numbers were slim.

Also ty for the .358 tip I like saving money, time and energy,,, that will help with all three.

jshrop6004
August 26, 2012, 08:10 PM
Newly acquired Detective Special: on LH side of barrel: DETECTIVE SPEC.

a) .38 Colt N P CTG (as exactly on the LH side of barrel)
b) bbl length 2"
c) grips shape round smooth, no checkering, walnut w/prancing
pony inserts
d) number of shots 6
e) type of sights fixed, blade front
f) serial number 51617X, underneath s/n is X, underneath X and
to the left is F
g) Model number if it is under the crane.No model #
h) nickel finish

Now I am curious if this is a .38 special or a .38 S&W cartridge pistol.



Thanks,

Joel S.

Old Fuff
August 26, 2012, 08:42 PM
It was made in 1949, and chambered in .38 Colt New Police (which is identical in all important respects to the .38 S&W, but you couldn't stamp that on a Colt product). Colt was making these because the Police Positive line had been discontinued, and that included the Bankers Special, which had been Colt's standard snubby in .38 N.P.

Since it is an early post-war Detective Special, not chambered in .38 Special (very scarce) and nickel plated (even more scarce if factory original) The collectable value would likely exceed that of a shooter.

jshrop6004
August 26, 2012, 10:11 PM
Thanks very much Old Fuff, it is in fair shape for a 63 year old. I believe the nickel to be original as the pony roll mark is strikingly deep & clear. Thanks again for the info!

Joel S.

jrdolall
October 3, 2012, 08:23 AM
Inherited from a friend of my mother. It is pretty much mint with 100% blueing. No holster wear so probably bought for HD and put in a drawer for 50 years.

Colt Detective Special
SN 53508^ or S3508^
38 special ctg on barrel
6 shot
According to Proofhouse this appears to be a 1949 manufacture?

Old Fuff
October 3, 2012, 10:32 AM
Check the serial number again. That particular configuration was made from about 1873 through 1986. No way was it made in 1949. The first number could be a letter.

ColtPythonElite
October 3, 2012, 10:37 AM
Check the serial number again. That particular configuration was made from about 1873 through 1986. No way was it made in 1949. The first number could be a letter.
I want one of the 1873 models...:D

jrdolall
October 3, 2012, 01:24 PM
SN could be S-3508^ instead of 5-3508^. There is an X under the SN.

Old Fuff
October 3, 2012, 03:02 PM
I want one of the 1873 models

It's a very rare, one-of-a-kind prototype. I doubt you could afford it. :evil:

Old Fuff
October 3, 2012, 03:17 PM
The "X" is an inspector's stamp, and unrelated to the serial.

In 1978 Colt stopped issuing serial number information to researchers. The last data I have shows they ended that year at serial No. S 01001.

You can find out when your revolver was made by calling they're Customer Service Department at:


(800) 962-2658

They will tell you the year it was made, and nothing more. If you want to know more some stiff fees will kick in.

jrdolall
October 4, 2012, 06:11 PM
I called Colt and, assuming the first digit in the S/N is the letter S, then it was made in 1980. Based on the appearance I would say that is about right. If it is a 5 then it was made in 1949.

Old Fuff
October 4, 2012, 11:34 PM
In 1949 the frame was different in that the wood stocks didn't wrap around and extend below the metal part of the butt. The barrel was round and there was no rib or underlug that wrapped around most of the ejector rod. With no evidence to prove it (other then the above description) I would expect a S-prefix number in in 1980.

dfariswheel
October 7, 2012, 07:36 PM
In 1978 Colt stopped issuing serial number information to researchers.

R.L. Wilson was given the last access to the Colt archives in 1985.
The list ends in 1985 when the book was published.
The book is "Colt: An American Legend". In the back of the book are ALL Colt serial numbers from 1836 into 1985.

Colt Firearms considers this to be the official history of Colt firearms.
Pictured in the book is every model of firearm Colt ever made, most shown being profusely engraved show models.
You can still find the book on Ebay and some book seller sites.

Guillermo
November 25, 2012, 11:18 AM
Okay gurus...

I have a buddy with a Diamondback Snubby and the serial number is P747XX.

Neither proofhouse or Colt have a "P" serial number prefix.

Any thoughts are welcome.

Thank you

dfariswheel
November 26, 2012, 08:14 PM
P747XX was made in 1984.
There should be a "K at the end.

Colt started the "P serial number series in 1981 at P01001.
In 1984 the P series started ending with a "K" at P73252K.

slimpickens
December 3, 2012, 11:23 AM
Could I get a birthdate please on S&W 625-8, .45 cal
Four inch barrel, matte stainless, rubber grips
Serial #CFN5003

SORRY WRONG FORUM

Checkman
December 5, 2012, 07:27 PM
The R.L. Wilson book is great, but it's woefully out of date. Nevertheless I own a copy. I don't know if Mr. Wilson will be writing anymore books. I belive he is out of prison and I've heard nothing about him writing anything else. He might just be laying low. Too bad if that's the case. the Colt book could stand an update.

lr45lc
January 6, 2013, 10:31 AM
Have an old colt would like to the year it was made.
38 police pstive special
4 in
square butt
six shot
fixed site half moon
sn, 348xx
police postive 38 special

dhcustomwork
January 6, 2013, 12:11 PM
According to that serial number; you're looking at approximately 1911 as the production date. Please post a few pics of it if you can!

lr45lc
January 6, 2013, 04:47 PM
Hi All,
My brother has an old colt we would like to know the year of mfg.
beleive it is a 38 special but not sure.
38 special
4 in.
square butt
six shot
fixed front half moon
sn, 348xx
police postive special

Old Fuff
January 6, 2013, 07:51 PM
You apparently have a Colt Police Positive Special.

Serial number 34,8xx was made in 1910, two years after the model was introduced in 1908. Be sure you have the whole number. It is stamped on the frame in the crane cut-out just below the back end of the barrel. The "crane” is the hinge part the cylinder swings out on, so you have to open it to see the number.

Old Fuff
January 6, 2013, 08:03 PM
Since R.L. Wilson went out of the picture Colt's don't seem to be interested in outside researchers. Instead they would rather sell the information. If you call their Customer Service Department at (800) 962-2658 and give them the model and serial number they'll tell you the year it was made, and nothing more. The person you're talking with will be reading off a computer screen and may or may not have any in-depth knowledge of the subject.

lr45lc
January 10, 2013, 09:45 AM
Thanks Old fuff, I asked my brother he said it also has 38 under the s/n I'm in NM he's in ohio so I can't look at the gun up close.

dwstone1227
January 11, 2013, 01:15 PM
a) 38 Special CTG
b) 4 " barrel
c) Wood grips, rounded and all wood (no metal) across bottom.
d) 6 shot
e) Fixed sights.
f) 26324M. Bottom of grip is all wood, no serial number
g) 26324M under the crane.
There is no number under the barrel or face of the cylinder. There is no serial number at bottom of grip.
h.) On left side of barrel: Police Positive Special, 38 Special CTG

This is one very nicely maintained revolver. I bought it back in about 1980 for $75. I never had to time to shot much. It may have 50 rounds through it total. I recently sent my wife and kids to a local NRA instructor along with all my guns for training. The instructor refused to use this gun. Instead he came back with his own revolver and used it. After the training session he showed me an guesstimate of value for this gun. This gun is now a Safe Queen. I bring it out of it's original box once in while just to hold it and smile. My son has already claimed this revolver as his inheritance.

Thanks in advance for the information on this gun. Sorry to bore you with the history of this gun, but this story brings smiles to me.

dwstone1227

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=177514&d=1357926839

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=177515&d=1357926916

Old Fuff
January 11, 2013, 07:04 PM
You have a .38 Colt Police Positive Special, and the serial number dates it to having been made in 1997. The model was introduced in 1908, and discontinued in 1998 - one year after the one you have.

The name comes from "Police" indicating its obvious use, and "Positive" to show that it has Colt's famous positive hammer block that makes it unquestionably safe to carry with all the chambers loaded.

In later years it was cataloged to be available with 4, 5 or 6-inch barrels, while the snubby version with a 2-inch one is called the Detective Special.

The revolver in itself is not uncommon, but so late production, "in the box," is.

dwstone1227
January 11, 2013, 11:20 PM
Wow. Time does fly. I would have sworn I had this gun longer than that. Thanks for the information.
Dwstone1227

DGilby85
January 18, 2013, 12:13 PM
I called a contact at Colt who informed me that Anacondas with serial numbers MM32463 and under are considered early production models that have the accuracy issues.

radar1972
January 18, 2013, 08:11 PM
While everyone's posting 'old Colts', I'll include a couple pix of my father-in-law's Colt Army Special. He bought it from a pawn shop in 1942. Checks of the serial number at proofhouse.com indicate it was manufactured in 1919.

We fired it at the range today.

http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y506/radarrandy1972/DSC031621024x768_zpsa03ed6e1.jpg


http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y506/radarrandy1972/DSC031631024x768_zpsc111e1c6.jpg

almarwol
January 29, 2013, 09:09 AM
I have a Colt Agent .38 caliber snub nose 6 shot w/ sn 123947. Finish is flat black and has shrouded ejector w/ wood handles. Need to see when manufactured. database from Colt not conslusive.

sinisterkid
April 11, 2013, 09:35 PM
I just joined THR forum because I have been offered to purchase a vintage Colt revolver. Not sure if I'm supposed to start a new thread, but I figured this would be a good start. I believe I have a Colt Banker's Special in .38 S&W. It is nickel finished w/walnut grips. Serial number is 168XXX, and according to proof house, manufactured in 1926. All of my research today verifies that this revolver meets all the correct criteria:

2 in. barrel
half-moon sites
ser. #168XXX
Nickel finish
square butt (walnut checkered)
hammer spur checkered
correct patent marks: ends with "Oct. 5, 1926"

Here's the kicker guys---This gun appears 98-99% condition on finish! Right grip panel has front corner broken off......looking at the inside of the frame where the cylinder locks up, I swear this gun has possibly NEVER been fired! Can anyone help me out? i.e. what should I offer the seller (an honest price--my wife's boss (it belonged to his father who passed away last year). He has no clue, "just a handgun". Will post pics this weekend.
Thanks......

Old Fuff
April 11, 2013, 10:31 PM
The Colt Bankers Special was a variant of the .38 Police Positive model with a 2" barrel. It was apparently introduced in 1928 at around serial number 177,000. It came about as the result of an inquire from the U.S. Postal Service that needed a small lightweight .38 revolver to arm personal working on railroad mail cars.

This would seem to cut your revolver out of the picture, but it is known that the company made a fair number of Police Positive .38's on special order that had shorter lengths then the cataloged 4", 5" and 6". At the same time a lot of similar revolvers were made into aftermarket snubbies by someone with a handy hacksaw. Some clear pictures might help us to tell, or you can pay Colt a substantial fee to research their shipping records to determine the original finish and barrel length. If it turned out that it was indeed a factory-made pre-Bankers Model the value would be increased enough to more then pay for the factory letter. If it is a cut-off the value would suffer.

ka2rzo
June 1, 2013, 04:59 PM
Hey guys,

I've acquired a seriously modified Colt and am hoping someone can help me find out what this puppy started out as. Past refinishing removed almost all markings (rampant colt, model, patents, butt, etc.) except for "A.C." on right side just above grip (R.A.C., maybe?), S/N and a small star on the front of the cylinder.

Pics are attached since I have no idea what's been replaced on this gun except for the frame. Any info would be much appreciated!

a) .45 ACP
b) 7 1/2"
c) See pics
d) 6
e) Front fixed, rear adj.
f) No makings on bottom of grip, lanyard ring cut off and hole plugged
g) Crane has 492XX with an 'X' above, crane cutout has 492XX with a 'Z'
below.

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag137/ka2rzo/IM001065-Copy_zpsb877047b.jpg (http://s1302.photobucket.com/user/ka2rzo/media/IM001065-Copy_zpsb877047b.jpg.html)

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag137/ka2rzo/IM001066_zpsdc257717.jpg (http://s1302.photobucket.com/user/ka2rzo/media/IM001066_zpsdc257717.jpg.html)

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag137/ka2rzo/IM001067_zpsb9bf4799.jpg (http://s1302.photobucket.com/user/ka2rzo/media/IM001067_zpsb9bf4799.jpg.html)

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag137/ka2rzo/IM001073_zps2756b9bd.jpg (http://s1302.photobucket.com/user/ka2rzo/media/IM001073_zps2756b9bd.jpg.html)

JRH6856
June 1, 2013, 05:28 PM
Hey guys,

I've acquired a seriously modified Colt and am hoping someone can help me find out what this puppy started out as. Past refinishing removed almost all markings (rampant colt, model, patents, butt, etc.) except for "A.C." on right side just above grip (R.A.C., maybe?), S/N and a small star on the front of the cylinder.

Pics are attached since I have no idea what's been replaced on this gun except for the frame. Any info would be much appreciated!

a) .45 ACP
b) 7 1/2"
c) See pics
d) 6
e) Front fixed, rear adj.
f) No makings on bottom of grip, lanyard ring cut off and hole plugged
g) Crane has 492XX with an 'X' above, crane cutout has 492XX with a 'Z'
below.


It looks like a Colt New Service. If so, the 492xx SN would place the manufacture date in 1911.

Old Fuff
June 1, 2013, 05:31 PM
This one is going to take some looking into, but the number 49,2xx is Colt's serial number, and the frame at least dates from 1911 - so it isn't a Model 1917, and in 1911 they weren't making a New Service in .45 ACP. On the other hand, the cylinder latch thumbpiece dates from the 1930's. At the time the frame was made the longest cataloged barrel length was 7 1/2" so it could be an original (but highly modified) barrel.

More later.

JRH6856
June 1, 2013, 05:58 PM
1911 is a far as I got before the pieces stopped fitting. :uhoh:

ka2rzo
June 1, 2013, 06:59 PM
What's really bugging me is the "A.C." stamp on the right side. If that's a scrubbed version of R.A.C., how did it end up on a 1911 NS? Is this some earlier model of Colt DA revolver and not a New Service?

JRH6856
June 1, 2013, 09:02 PM
The adjustable rear sight probably makes it a Shooting Master (which is a New Service with adjustable sights). Early ones were chambered in .44 Russian or .44 Special. Later ones in .45 M1909 (M1909) and .45ACP (M1917). Serial # is definitely 1911 which predates the 1917 service chambering in .45ACP, so it could be a M1909 with a M1917 cylinder.

What does the R.A.C. signify to you?

ka2rzo
June 1, 2013, 09:13 PM
Rinaldo A. Carr. He was an Army inspector at the Colt factory which made me wonder why his initials would be on a civilian gun.

JRH6856
June 1, 2013, 09:25 PM
If it is an M1909, that would make sense. The M1909 was an Army model. But I see what you mean. His tenure ended in 1909.

ka2rzo
June 1, 2013, 09:27 PM
Plus, it had a lanyard ring but someone cut it off. Did the civilian guns have lanyard rings? Not sure. So between the military inspector's mark and the lanyard ring, I was wondering if maybe this started out as a military pistol.

JRH6856
June 1, 2013, 09:33 PM
If it is a M1909, it is a military pistol. The M1909 was replaced by the M1917. Both were Colt New Service military models.

Frank Baker apparently replaced Carr in 1909. Do you see any FB marks anywhere?

Old Fuff
June 1, 2013, 09:45 PM
The rear sight is not one made by Colt, and New Service and Shooting Master target revolvers had a flat, not rounded topstrap.

I don't think the cylinder started life as a .45 ACP, because there isn't enough clearence at the back for a half-moon clip (or so it seems in the picture). A New Service cylinder chambered in .455 Eley (an English cartridge) seems more likely, and these were cataloged in 1911.

R.A.C. was U.S. Army Inspector, Rinaldo C. Carr, who was a sub-inspector at Colt's between 1889 and 1916. Among others he inspected Models 1873 (reworks) between 1902 to 1907, 1909 New Service between 1909 and 1911, and 1911 pistols between 1914 and 1915.

Model 1909 New Service revolvers were purchased by the Army, Navy and Marine Corps with Colt serial numbers that were as high as the 53,000 range but in mixed lots with civilian commercial guns in between. All of the military production had 5 1/2" barrels and were chambered in .45 Colt (not .45 ACP).

JRH6856
June 1, 2013, 09:57 PM
OK, then Carr is good for the 1911 date. (No surprised that Fuff has better records that Proofhouse.)

But that does look like a Shooting Master sight doesn't it? Possibly added when the gun was rebuilt as a 45ACP and refinished?

Old Fuff
June 1, 2013, 10:44 PM
But that does look like a Shooting Master sight doesn't it?

Not even close. The Shooting Master and New Service Target models had a flat topstrap that had a small dovetail at the back for the rear sight. The sight itself could only be moved for windage (side to side) after you loosened a screw.

Elevation was built into the front sight. You loosened a screw and the blade could, within limits, be rotated higher or lower.

Possibly added when the gun was rebuilt as a 45ACP and refinished?

At this point I don't think it's a 1917 .45 ACP cylinder. There isn't enough clearence between the breechface and cylinder for a half-moon clip and the thin rim on the back of the .45 ACP case. If it's short-chambered and not a .45 Colt I would say a .45 Eley/Webley (possibly rechambered). Still looking, but right now I think it was made up from a collection of parts. The work and refinishing was done most likely during the late 1940's or 1950's.

My views are open to change pending more investigation.

JRH6856
June 1, 2013, 10:53 PM
right now I think it was made up from a collection of parts.

Sounds like something I'd try to do. :uhoh:

ka2rzo
June 2, 2013, 08:09 PM
JRH6586: No FB mark, but gun was heavily scrubbed in the past.

Old Fuff: You're right on the money about the chambering. It's very finicky and won't close on full moonclips, so I have to use halfmoon clips. So you think this thing is a rechambered Eley? I'll buy that.

Thanks a bunch, guys!

JRH6856
June 2, 2013, 09:54 PM
Colt New Service, .455 Eley (http://www.allaboutguns.net/Colt_New_Service_455_Eley.html)

Old Fuff
June 2, 2013, 10:02 PM
Back in the mid-1950's the U.K. decided to sell of the remaining .455 and .38 revolvers they still had, and private citizen gun ownership laws being what they are (or were as the case may be) around the world, most of them ended up on this side of the Big Pond.

New Service Colts and Smith & Wesson Triple-Locks sold for $17.00 to $25,00 in very good to excelent condition, but chambered in .455 Eley. Many, if not most were rechambered to .45 (Long) Colt. Going to .45 ACP required a new model 1917 cylinder, but some were so changed.

Because of the exceeding high price :evil: these revolvers went for, many of them became the basis for all kinds of custom conversions.

One problem with the "Brit connection" is that the frame appears to be from a model 1909 U.S. revolver, but some were sent to England during the early days of World War Two before we got involved. They however were all in .45 Long Colt. However the folks "over there" could have switched in a .455 cylinder. Trouble is, if all this happened I'd expect all kinds of proof marks and ownership stamps on the frame, cylinder, and barrel. Also I don't think they would have changed the cylinder latch thumbpiece, nor would they have fitted a 7 1/2" barrel and aftermarket adjustable rear sight. To further confuse the picture the barrel and crane have Colt inspector's stamps which make me think that the barrel is indeed original to the frame. If so, then it wasn't a U.S. Model 1909, but these were intermixed with commercial production.

OH DARN!!!!!

JRH6856
June 3, 2013, 12:32 AM
The back story on this piece has got to be very interesting. It almost sounds like when the Brits sold the guns, they sold someone a box a spare parts.

ka2rzo
June 4, 2013, 11:42 PM
Just thought of something guys. Could it have started out as an Eley when it has an RAC inspection mark?

JRH6856
June 4, 2013, 11:50 PM
I did see at least one article that stated that Colt built some of the guns in both .450 Eley and .455 Eley, but I have no confirming evidence.

Old Fuff
June 5, 2013, 12:18 AM
Well this is a long shot. I have absolutely no evidence to support it. But it is known that Colt would rework parts (including frames) that government inspectors had rejected for minor reasons, and recycle them into commercial production. The model 1909 (1909 - 1912) was actually a commercial grade gun, the only difference besides markings being walnut rather then hard rubber stocks. So it is (very slightly) possible that a model 1909 left-over frame might have been used to make a .455 Eley revolver for the Brits. in 1914, and then in the 1950's or later the barrel was switched out for a 7 1/2" one and the adjustable rear sight added.

The only way to find out more - beyond speculation - would be to buy a very expensive historical letter from Colt to determine what configuration it was in when it left the factory, and when. Given what it looks like now I'd say the letter would be interesting, but I wouldn't spend the money. It is for all intents and purposes somebody's project gun. It's value depends entirely on how well it shoots. The next question is, what is it supposed to shoot?

ka2rzo
June 5, 2013, 12:47 AM
It has steps machined in the cylinders about halfway down (see prev pic) and there's about 0.1" between the rear of the cylinder and the recoil shield.

The rear of the cylinder has a witness mark that matches up with one on the star, so it hasn't been shaved down. And there's a tiny five-pointed star on the face of the cylinder.

JRH6856
June 5, 2013, 01:39 AM
Maybe you can glean some info from this page (http://cartridgecollectors.org/?page=introduction-to-455-cartridges) that will help.

The .450 and .455 Eley/Webley cases have a base diameter of .480". The .45ACP is .476". The .455 case is .770" long, The .45ACP case is .898" long.

You will notice that a couple of the later Webley and Scott .455 Auto rounds are .927" long which is too long to chamber in a .45ACP chamber, but anything with a case shorter than .898" should chamber. The .004 difference in base diameter might keep Webley cases from chambering or at least they would be a detectably tight fit in a .45ACP chamber.

Theoretically, knowing the depth of the chamber from mouth to shoulder should allow you to calculate the case length, but only rimless cartridges would need to headspace on the machined step. Rimmed and semi-rimmed would headspace on the rim.

Old Fuff
June 5, 2013, 09:58 AM
And there's a tiny five-pointed star on the face of the cylinder.

Which is a Colt Inspector's stamp, and of no special consequence here.

Jim Watson
June 5, 2013, 10:22 AM
Agree with #72, it is a project gun.
It might well once have been a USGI 1909, the serial number is late in the range. Would there have been an Army inspector's stamp on a "left over frame?" I don't know for sure but doubt it.

The barrel taper and shoulder are like no Colt I have seen, the front ramp sight looks like the one on Numrich replacement barrels of the Golden Age of Surplus (1946 - 1968) and the rear sight looks like no Colt (or anything else) I am familiar with. The checkering on the trigger looks like a shop job, and the best I can tell the 1909 did not have a factory checkered trigger.
Looks like a decent but not outstanding reblue.

One test would be whether it would fire a .45 ACP without clip.
Or would chamber a .45 Colt.

ka2rzo
June 5, 2013, 07:28 PM
Chambers and shoots .45 ACP no problem.

ka2rzo
June 5, 2013, 07:29 PM
Even without moonclip

JRH6856
June 5, 2013, 09:15 PM
Now you just need some .45 Auto Rim cases (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/941424238/starline-reloading-brass-45-auto-rim-not-acp). ;)

Old Fuff
June 5, 2013, 09:41 PM
Now you just need some .45 Auto Rim cases.

Probably not. They have extra thick rims to duplicate the .45 ACP case with a clip attached. The posted photographs show me that there isn't enough clearence between the breechface and cylinder. in theory a shortened .45 (Long) Colt case trimmed to length might work, but I suspect the case wall would then be too thick.

JRH6856
June 5, 2013, 09:53 PM
in theory a shortened .45 (Long) Colt case trimmed to length might work, but I suspect the case wall would then be too thick.

Would the rim diameter of the long Colt case allow reliable extraction or would it slip under the star?

Old Fuff
June 5, 2013, 10:32 PM
Not having the revolver I'm not sure. So far as that goes I'm not really sure what it's chambered for. :banghead:

The most likely candidate is .455 Webley/Eley

FHBrumb
July 8, 2013, 02:17 PM
I was recently given two Colt pistols. How can I research for date of manufacture? Is there a database or website?

Colt Woodsman in 22lr
Colt Police Positive in 38spl

Old Fuff
July 8, 2013, 04:17 PM
Be aware that if it's chambered to use .38 Special cartridges you have a Police Positive Special revolver, not a Police Positive.

The two are serial numbered in their own series.

FHBrumb
July 8, 2013, 05:13 PM
Would it say,"Special"? I'm pretty sure mine does not. 38 S&W otherwise?

Old Fuff
July 9, 2013, 01:22 AM
The Police Positive and Police Positive Special were identical, except the "Special" had a slightly longer cylinder and frame.

The Police Positive was chambered as a center-fire in .38 S&W / Colt .38 New Police and .32 S&W Long / Colt .32 New Police.

The Police Positive Special came in .32-20 WCF and .38 Special.

If there is still a question I will look up the cylinder length dimensions.

This all changed after World War Two, but that's another story.

FHBrumb
July 9, 2013, 08:06 AM
Got it. Its a Special.

Revolver 1928
Woodsman 1942

Thanks for the help!

Ateam-3
August 19, 2013, 06:08 PM
I have a Colt Cobra
.38spl
2" barrel
2nd series with a ramped front sight and a shrouded ejector.

Serial No F82xxx

Any date information is appreciated. Thanks.

Snake Plisskin
October 11, 2013, 05:18 PM
I have a Colt Trooper Mark III 4" blued .357 magnum would like to know some information about, thanks S/N 14172L

792mauser
February 8, 2014, 04:35 AM
http:// <iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://s1335.photobucket.com/user/Aurelio_Gutierrez/embed/slideshow/"></iframe>

a) caliber- I think 38lc
b) bbl length (from cylinder to muzzle)- 4.5"
c) grips shape (round or square)- wooden square
d) number of shots/cylinder bores- 6 round cylinder
e) type of sights. Fixed round front and grooved top strap
f) serial number, and if there is a letter in front of or anywhere near the s/n on the bottom of the grip
Bottom of grip is numbered x09 and inside the crane is x45 w/ a F slightly above and to the right with a upside down 17 stamped just below.
g) Model number if it is under the crane.-

Old Fuff
February 8, 2014, 11:11 AM
I haven't been able to bring up your picture, which in this case could be critical to correct identification. Anyway let's go in another direction.

Are they're any markings on the barrel, in particular the top and left side?

Are the wood stocks checkered or plain?

Are the chambers bored straight through (back to front) or are they stepped down at the front to make a smaller diameter throat?

792mauser
February 8, 2014, 03:00 PM
Are they're any markings on the barrel, in particular the top and left side?
- The left side of the bbl simply says (COLT D.A. 38)

Are the wood stocks checkered or plain?
-Well worn wood that is checkered in some places with a silver colt medallion on top.

Are the chambers bored straight through (back to front) or are they stepped down at the front to make a smaller diameter throat?
- There is a visible step at the end of the cylinder

Old Fuff
February 8, 2014, 06:38 PM
Since I haven't got a photograph take the following with a grain of salt.

I think you have a late production Colt 1892 New Model Army/Navy .38 revolver, and if the chambers are stepped with a throat it's probably chambered in .38 Special. The .38 Long Colt's had chambers that were bored straight through. The (worn) checkered stocks are likely replacements, made after the mid-1920's. I would approximately date it around 1902 - 08. The model was discontinued in 1908 and replaced with the .38 Army Special, which in 1927 was renamed the Official Police.

Use a search engine (Yahoo, Google, etc.) and make a search on "Colt model New Army/Navy revolver" and see if you find any photographs that match your gun.

orpington
February 13, 2014, 11:19 AM
If you have information on three Colt 1895 New Army/Navy Revolvers, that would be great!

1) Number 99,464, a Civilian Model, .38 Long Colt
2) Number 97,168, with Navy Markings, .38 Long Colt
3) Number 79,107, a Civilian in .41 Long Colt.

Incidentally, I know of one in the 115,800 range, that is supposedly after the 115,000 antique pre-1899 'cut-off', but it dates from December of 1898.

Thank you.

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