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Is this a real Bankers special?**NOW WITH PICS**

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by bigtubby, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. bigtubby

    bigtubby Well-Known Member

    Got this little colt has a bankers special barrel don't know if it is a fake or not Square butt serial # 149060 I will post some pics later. Top strap is checkered trigger is smooth .38S&W I will post pics later







    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  2. bannockburn

    bannockburn Well-Known Member


    According to the book, Colt-An American Legend, the Bankers Special was introduced in 1928 at serial number 177000. The serial numbers for the Bankers Special were run in with the Police Positive .38 Special serial number range. That would place your gun as have been made in 1922. Most Banker Specials were square butt through 1933; after that they were produced with the round butt. Only about 35,000 were made, with production ending in 1943.

    Also you may want to measure the cylinder. Banker Specials cylinders were 1 1/4" long; Detective Specials were 1 5/8" long.
  3. bigtubby

    bigtubby Well-Known Member

    Cylinder measures 1 1/4" exactly.
  4. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    The front sight has been modified to a post-war ramped profile.
    The original sight was a round "half moon".

    The grips are of course replicas.
  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Colt's Bankers Special (I have no idea where the name came from) was built on the Police Positive (not Police Positive Special) platform, and came about because of a request from the USPS to arm personal in train mail cars. This one is (I think) a fake. Serial No. 149060 would date from 1922, where Bankers Special are in the 177,000 (1928) range and up.

    The markings on the side of the barrel are wrong. The Colt's Mfg. Co. stamp wasn't used until after World War Two.
  6. PaisteMage

    PaisteMage Well-Known Member

    Really cool.

    I love pieces that have character and history. Fix it up for future generations in your family.

    I would shoot it myself, not just let it sit.
  7. bigtubby

    bigtubby Well-Known Member

    It is up for sale if any body is interested $400
  8. 56hawk

    56hawk Well-Known Member

    Are you sure that it's 38 S&W and not 38 Special?
  9. bigtubby

    bigtubby Well-Known Member

    Yep pretty sure it is .38 S&W the cylinder is 1 1/4" the OAL on a round of .38 special is 1 1/2" I am sure the OAL on the ammo can vary slightly but the cylinder is too short for 38 spec.
  10. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    The Bankers Special was made in .22 Long Rifle and .38 Colt Police (aka Colt New Police, aka .38 S&W). The cylinder is too short for the .38 Special. Colt's ads say "The Banker's Special is especially adapted for use by bank employees and others whose primary requirement is for a Revolver of small size, all around dependabililty and absolute safety. The United States Government has equipped its railway mail clerks with the Colt Banker's Special."

    Colt ads indicate that the first guns were in .22 LR and available with wood stocks at $28.50, with pearl stocks at $37.00. They were made on the old Police Positive frame, not on the newer Police Positive Special frame which has a longer cylinder and cylinder window for use with the .38 Special.

    On the barrel marking, I am going to stick my neck out (it has been there before) and say that the barrel was replaced by Colt in the 1947-1955 period. They put on a barrel with the (then) current company markings and the current front sight style.

    Note that there is some misunderstanding on that 177000 number. That is the starting number for the PP series for 1928, not the starting number for the Banker's Special alone.

    Note also that in Colt's case, the terms "round butt" and "square butt" are not as clear cut as in other makes. The square butt is quite sharp, but the "round butt" (as in the pictured gun) would better be described as rounded off; it is not a "round butt" as in S&W revolvers of that description.

    The grips pictured are not original, of course. They are plastic Franzite grips, where the original factory grips would have been checkered walnut (or pearl).


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