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Colt Officers Model .38 special

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by dagger dog, Feb 1, 2008.

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  1. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    the barrel is marked officers model 38 and the stocks are checkered walnut with the rampant colt medallions. 41/2" bbl exposed ejector rod, front sights adjustable for elevation rear sights for windage, flat top strap checkered triggerand hammer spur, hammer spur is narrow.

    any welcome to jump in and add input or experience with this wheel gun.

    it shoots better than i can hold it. the action is buttery smooth, single action breaks like glass,double action is smoother than any Smith i've ever owned .

    was passed on to me by an uncle don't know where it came from before that .must have been kept in a holster it's pitted and holster worn, but the bore is perfect and the stocks are like new . no end shake on the cylinder and the timing is dead on.the bbl to forcing cone gap is hair like.

    i would sure would've like to have seen this revolver when it came out of the box new!

    like previously stated any one with knowledge of this model, or experience, i would sure like your comments

    thanks in advance
     
  2. gb6491

    gb6491 Member

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    I had a Officer's Model Match and it had one of the best double action pulls I've ever felt on a revolver. The Officer's Models were definitely some of the finest revolvers Colt ever made. You can get an idea of when it was made here: http://proofhouse.com/colt/
    Regards,
    Greg
     
  3. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    Take good care of those wood stocks. They are selling for big $$$$ on the auction sites.

    Your OMM is a pre-Python revolver. Same lockwork, same frame, same craftsmanship.

    No finer revolver was ever made. Someday the Python crowd will discover the OMM and prices will soar.
     
  4. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    hey, thanks guys just checked the serial # looks like 1948 manufacture date. it's one year younger than i am.

    thanks again for the help dagger dog
     
  5. Majic

    Majic Member

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    If you have an adjustable front sight then you don't have an Officers Model Match (OMM). You have either an Officers Model Special or Officer Model Target. The OMM was the last of the series and had a fully adjustable rear sight with the fixed front sight. These were Colt's medium framed target revolvers. The actions were hand tuned and they were exceptional shooters. They ruled the bullseye circuit in .22lr, .32 long, and .38 spl. Your 4 1/2 inch barrel if stock is rather scarce as most had 6 inch barrels.
     
  6. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    Does it look something like this?

    standard.gif


    Here's one in .22 LR.

    standard.gif


    The 38 is from 1950 and the 22 from 1931. The stocks are from the late 1950s.

    The barrel on your gun should be 6" measured to the cylinder face.
     
  7. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

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  8. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

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    Like that .22, how does it shoot?
     
  9. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Member

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    I love Colt revolvers, especially old ones. They seem to have put a lot of care and skill into making them, and they last a long time in perfect working order.
    I have a 1964 Detective Special that i got for $289 bucks, and it is very smooth, very accurate, locks up bank vault tight, cyclinder gap is tiny.. And it is definitely not in pristine condition, it has been shot a lot over the years.
     
  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The Officer's Model Target was cataloged in barrel lengths of 4, 4.5, 5, 6, and 7.5 inches, plus the 6 inch heavy barrel. A 4.5 can't be common, they were probably using parts on hand as they got back into commercial production in 1948. Probably not worth a lot of money in the condition described, though.
     
  11. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Now you know how come some of us prefer old Colts.
     
  12. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    Majic 'n' SaxonPig , it's definitley 41/2" bbl. and the sights are as pictured in both of the pics. but the stocks are different, i would assume that the stocks in the pics, are of the target variety, the ones on the gun in question don't extend to the rear of the trigger guard. another assumption; maybe it's the carry variation ,duty gun, Officers Model Special?

    knowledge is power dagger dog

    p.s. the back strap of the frame is checkered also.
     
  13. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    I have never seen any OMT other than with 6" barrels. Never heard of any.

    If they actually sold any the number must be very small. If yours is original it's worth a small fortune to a Colt collector. I would want to verify that it hasn't been modified.
     
  14. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I have handled several in 4 and 5 inch lengths. They were originally made for police officers who competed in special "law enforcement only" bullseye matches that specified the shorter barrels. They are indeed scarce if not rare, but a serious collector wouldn't be interested unless the gun was lettered by Colt, and that would cost $100 give or take. The letter might eat up most of the profit made on the revolver's sale.

    At least one 4” Officers Model was sent to England in 1940 as a “Battle of Britain” gun.
     
  15. funnelcake

    funnelcake Member

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    dagger dog, Just curious are the cylinder flutes and flat surfaces (front & backstrap, underside of trigger guard, etc.) matte blue and the balance polished?

    Funnel
     
  16. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    funnel

    the areas you question are of the polished blue including the sides of the hammer and trigger, the only matte is on the flat upper portion of the top strap( anti-glare?) . the bbl is stamped COLTS PT FA MFG. CO HARTFORD, CT. USA. PAT D. AUG. 5, 1884 JUNE 5,1900 JULY 4, 1905 on the top surface and OFFICERS MODEL 38 preceeded and followed of what appears to be a cross which closley resembles a German iron or Victorian cross of the older style(not inferring they have any notation, other than me not knowing what else to call these symbols)

    the bbl seems to have not been altered in length, as the front sight appears to be the same distance back from the perfectly crowned muzzle as the two revolvers that appear in the pics generously donated by SaxonPig. if it has it was by a very competent smith.

    also by studying the pics ,the stocks on the revolver in my possession leave the rampant colt stamped into the side plate ,and a screw ,exposed and have German silver medallions, and the stock screw holes are bushed in brass.

    more fodder for the greymatter

    fun huh?

    daggerdog
     
  17. funnelcake

    funnelcake Member

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    dagger...yup, fodder for the noggin. If the sides of the hammer are polished blue, more than likely the revolver has been reblued. Colt hammers on their DA revolvers (sans the MKIII, MKV, King Cobra, etc. later models) were always in the white.

    Too, the patent information being on top of the barrel would preclude its' being manufactured in 1948 as that's a pre-war roll-mark. Possible someone swapped a barrel.

    Funnel
     
  18. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Your grips are probably more like the ones on my .22 LR 6" Officers Model Match manufactured in 1959. The grip extension of course in not Colt.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    Steve,

    yeah, thats them. i wish my revolver had a finish like your .22 man that thing looks good!

    dd
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2008
  20. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    J. Watson,

    is there a source where you aquired your info. ? it would make great reading!
    most of the books only hit partially on this specific model.
    also from your statments about the post war production it may be the reason for the older patent dates on the relvolver.
    dd
     
  21. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Not being a big-time collector, my only reference to pre-war Colts is A History of the Colt Revolver, 1836 -1940 by Charles Haven and Frank Belden. I expect there have been more thorough studies since, but Haven & Belden has the advantage of reprinting the 1940 Colt catalog and sections out of earlier ones.

    Colt is well known for not throwing stuff away, and finding a barrel with pre-war markings on an early post-war gun is not much of a leap of logic. But I don't have that in print.
     
  22. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    The Old Fuff is digging.... :cool:

    Jim is right. Following the war Colt made many revolvers, including several hundred Single Action Army models, out of pre-war manufactured parts. Among those models were the Officers Model Special. More information will follow as time permits.
     
  23. Majic

    Majic Member

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    I have a 5 inch in .38 spl and my shooting buddy has a 7 1/2 inch. I have seen one 4 1/2 inch in .22lr and can't pry it out of the owner's hands.
     
  24. bfoster

    bfoster Member

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    Colt did indeed assemble some OMT's in the immediate post war years from pre-war parts, and, as the pre-war parts inventory ran low, some examples of the OMT can be found that have parts from this period such as Coltwood stocks.

    The OMS is a slightly later development. If some pre-war parts were indeed used in the manufacture of this model then rework to the frame would have been necessary to accommodate the larger rear sight and its windage screw.

    The following pictures illustrate the development of the Officers Model from the 20's through the 50's:

    Colt OMT, 38, 1923, 7½" barrel. Modified King #1 front sight.

    [​IMG]

    Colt OMT, 38, 1923, 6" barrel. Original barrel replaced with heavy type at factory, 1936. Stocks not original, but pre-war. Perhaps the stocks date to the factory refurbishment.

    [​IMG]

    Colt OMT, 32, 1939, 6" barrel.

    [​IMG]

    Colt OMT, 22. 1933. 6" Barrel. Note the somewhat lighter barrel profile characteristic of many examples found chambered for 22 LR.

    [​IMG]

    Colt OMS, 38, 1950, 6" barrel. Note the difference in the rear sight (and the cut in the frame) used here, the Coltwood stocks, the intermediate type hammer, and the characteistic OMS barrel.

    [​IMG]

    Colt OMM, 38,1957, 6" Barrel.

    [​IMG]

    Bob
     
  25. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Bob,
    I have an OMT heavy barrel serial number 603000... that last 0 is causing me some confusion. Any help as to when it was made, etc? The sources I've looked at seem to tell me it has one extra number than it should in the serial number.

    Thanks for any help.

    5e47e250.jpg

    9b103724.jpg
     
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