1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Identity and Date of Manufacture of Colt Revolvers

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by pgmrdan, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    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.
  2. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    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
  4. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. slimpickens

    slimpickens Well-Known Member

    Could I get a birthdate please on S&W 625-8, .45 cal
    Four inch barrel, matte stainless, rubber grips
    Serial #CFN5003

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  6. Checkman

    Checkman member

    The R.L. Wilson book is great, but it's woefully out of date.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.
  7. lr45lc

    lr45lc Active Member

    old colt

    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
  8. dhcustomwork

    dhcustomwork Well-Known Member

    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!
  9. lr45lc

    lr45lc Active Member

    old colt

    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
  10. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    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 "craneā€¯ is the hinge part the cylinder swings out on, so you have to open it to see the number.
  11. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. lr45lc

    lr45lc Active Member

    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.
  13. dwstone1227

    dwstone1227 Well-Known Member

    38 Colt Police Positive Special

    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.



    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  14. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. dwstone1227

    dwstone1227 Well-Known Member

    Wow. Time does fly. I would have sworn I had this gun longer than that. Thanks for the information.
  16. DGilby85

    DGilby85 New Member

    Colt Anaconda Bad Barrel Serial Numbers

    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.
  17. radar1972

    radar1972 Well-Known Member

    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.


  18. almarwol

    almarwol New Member

    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.
  19. sinisterkid

    sinisterkid New Member

    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.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  20. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    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.

Share This Page