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Identity and Date of Manufacture of Colt Revolvers

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

  1. 792mauser

    792mauser Member

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    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
     
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    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.
     
  3. orpington

    orpington Member

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    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.
     
  4. chromerunner

    chromerunner Member

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    Wrong thread. Sorry
     

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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  5. Radagast
    • Contributing Member

    Radagast Moderator

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    chromerunner:
    Wrong thread, this is the Colt ID & dating thread.
    You have a .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th Chnage manufactured between 1927 & 1929.
    It has a heat treated cylinder so it should be safe with standard pressure and PlusP ammunition, although S&W discourage use of PlusP in guns not stamped with model numbers.
    It predates the positive hammer block safety introduced after a fatality with a dropped gun in 1944. I would treat it as a 5 shooter, leaving the chamber under the hammer empty.
     
  6. EagleEye1

    EagleEye1 Member

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    Thank you for your fast reply, I could not find the info from S & W
     
  7. el indio

    el indio Member

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    I have 2. First a Police Positive. 4 inch barrel,6 round cylinder. Chambered for 32 police cartridge. Serial number 110xxx. Second revolver is a Secret Service Special, top break, and 3 1/4 inch barrel. 5 round cylinder chambered for 32 Police cartridge. Serial number is 250xxx. Thanks
     
  8. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator

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    el indio:
    The Secret Service Special was a brand name for a Chicago hardware company a century ago. Plenty of info here:
    http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-an...on-secret-service-special-top-break-38-a.html
    Your gun was manufactured in 1913.

    Colt chambered the Police Positive in .32 Long Colt & .32 Colt New Police, which was actually the .32 S&W Long cartridge. For some reason Colt did not want S&W stamped on their guns. :)
     
  9. el indio

    el indio Member

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    Radagast, Thanks much. I'll tell my friend tomorrow.
     
  10. el indio

    el indio Member

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    Radagast, I still need to know when the Colt Police Positive was made. Serial number 110xxx. My friend has been bothering me about it. Thanks
     
  11. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator

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  12. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    When checking a supposed Colt Police Positive, first be sure it's a Police Positive and not a Police Positive Special. These were two entirely different models that were numbered in their own serial number series. Many people don't know they're is a difference.

    But that's only the beginning of problems. Over time Colt started the Police Positive (chambered in .32 or .38 Colt New Police) on a common frame and numbered together. Later they introduce a slightly heavier frame for the .38 and numbered it in its own series. Then if that wasn't enough they started making .32's on the heavier .38 frame!

    When seeking to find when a particular Police Positive was made, a clear photograph of the revolver and knowing the exact markings on the side of the barrel can help resolve the confusion. Unfortunately the frames themselves don't have any useful information stamped on them.
     
  13. el indio

    el indio Member

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    Thank you gentlemen. The markings on the barrel of the revolver are Police Positive 32 police ctg. I'll try to post my photos. One photo is of the cylinder full of 32 S&W Long. Hope this helps both of you.
     

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  14. 16in50calNavalRifle

    16in50calNavalRifle Member

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    I have a Colt King Cobra, 2.5-inch, matte stainless, at Colt right now for refinishing and some internal work. Serial # K159XX.

    Checked Colt's online serial number look-up thinggy, no luck.

    Date of manufacture? (the KC had two runs, I believe, cannot recall when they were, but there was an interruption and a resumption of production)

    Thanks in advance ......
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
  15. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Old Fluff,

    Could you give us those cylinder and window lengths.

    I have the remains of a Nickeled Colt in .32 NP that I have used .32S&W long in. The sides of the frame and barrel and cylinder were high polish with all the rest of the frame and the cylinder flutes brush. It has brown plastic Colt grips and the serial number 525XXX indicates it is a 1949 Police Positive Special rather than a Police Positive.

    Unfortunately BOTH sides of the barrel are heavily damaged or this would be much easier......

    This is the gun I have mentioned elsewhere that is currently badly out of time. Looking at it tonight I plan to take a bit off the hand, a few passes at a time as it seems to over rotate and then when hand turned into bolt lock becomes well and truly jammed.

    Help would be appreciated.

    -kBob
     
  16. kBob

    kBob Member

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    After following some links on the revolver area here I am even more confused.

    As I wrote above the serial number seems to fit a Police Positice Special of post WWII vintage

    It does have the side of the front sight that is toward the shooter ramped grooved. It does have the top most portion of the frame where the rear sight grove is grooved almost like the knurling on the edge of a coin. So sights sem right for post war, but every source indicated that the .32 NP chambering had been dropped after WWII.

    The cylinder release has no knurling checkering or any thing to add friction.

    The trigger is not grooved as post war are said to be but checkered on the face.

    The grips are a plastic brown with some darker marbling with checkering and the medallion is not a medallion but part of the plastic casting and not a separate piece.

    It has a square butt.

    The end of the ejector rod is checkered and has a smooth stepped area before the rod.

    It is missing a side plate screw. When it was being shot I used the screw in the forward hole under the cylinder window and trusted the left grip to hold while the rear screw hole was empty. Currently the screw is in the rear hole and the forward empty. I have not replaced it as I wanted a nickeled screw.

    Curiouser and curiouser


    -kBob
     
  17. JT-AR-MG42

    JT-AR-MG42 Member

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    kBob,
    Like others mention, nothing takes the place of photos to get accurate description.
    Figure you would have posted them if you had the ability (it took me 5 years to figure out how to do the photobucket route!).

    Figure basic cylinder length of a Colt PP at 1 1/4" length, a Colt PPS should measure 1 5/8".
    Difference is enough that there is no mistaking the two.

    Based on your description.
    Sounds like a standard Colt post-war dual tone (matte finish cylinder flutes and frame top and bottom) PPS.
    By the mid 50's, dual tone was phased out.
    I personally have never seen a 1956 Colt of any model that had a complete dual tone finish.

    The .32NP was made in lesser numbers as the postwar years went by, but was chambered in all the D frame models until the mid 70s
    (that is into the shrouded barrel era, but the .32s all had non-shrouded barrels) as Colt used up the parts.

    Colt never threw away anything, keep in mind that the last Colt SAAs (5 1/2" .38 Specials)
    with first generation serial numbered frames were assembled and sold in 1972.

    Square butt was very common on the early post-war PPS.
    Transition to round butt only was gradual through the mid 50s.

    The trigger is curious though.
    I've never seen a checkered D frame trigger on a gun with that late a date transition (1946-1950) date.
    Adding that to my mental data base!

    I'd have to see the grips, as repros have been made. Your knowledge of the guns history would be best guess if they are original.
    The square butt Coltwood should have shiny (as opposed to dull) smooth borders with pronounced mottled colors.
    I have a Colt OP from 1947 that came with Coltwood that has the silver metal medallions in place
    and have seen other 1947 Colts with similar grips, but not on later transition year guns.

    Good luck on the restoration.
    I recommend you get on Amazon and buy a copy of Khunhausen's manual on Colt DAs before you file the hand.
    There is no putting metal back on. Most hands actually need stretched (depending on the underlying timing issue), and this can only be done once.
    Really, get the book, it is worth the money.

    Hope this helps, JT
     
  18. kBob

    kBob Member

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    If I got the right pictures this should be a shot og the checkered trigger and hammer area also showing the topstrap & rear sights

    Before someone asks those little whitish squares in the rear sight are little bitty sections of "Ranger Eyes" the glow tape we used to mark the backs of our headgear with when solid OD color field uniforms were all the rage.

    I know it is useless, a bad idea, and won't work......even if it has for 20 years now.

    -kBob
     

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  19. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Before WW2 Colt checkered hammer spurs, triggers and cylinder latches (thumb piece) by using a stamping process called "coining." After the war at some point in the 1950's they changed to machining serrations on the hammer spur and trigger face, and left the latch plain.

    But during the Great Depression they had kept they're workers busy making parts they didn't need because without their skills and experience they literally couldn't make guns. The oversupply of some parts lasted through the 1950's at least, so sometimes you come across an unusual mix & match combination.

    Concerning nickel plating. Colt nickeled a lot of Police Positive and Police Positive revolvers, because before stainless steel came along this finish offered the best corrosion protection that was available.
     
  20. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    Old Fuff,
    Not sure if you're still doing this, but I haven't been able to find a year of mfg. for my Trooper Mk III SN 209xxU. If you are able to help it will be most appreciated. Thanks!
     
  21. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Unfortunately I can't because my records end at 1978 and don't list the number.

    However if you call Colt's Customer Service Dept. they should be able the help you with a date, but nothing more.

    (800) 962-2658

    The Trooper Mk III was introduced in 1969 and discontinued in 1983.
     
  22. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Hummm...All DA revolvers.

    O K here's one for you...

    Colt SAA
    Barrel-4 3/4"
    Caliber-.357 Mag
    S/N 418XX SA
     
  23. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    Nevermind. Just read that it was for revolvers. Not auto's
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  24. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    Colt Officers Model Match. Six shot, 38 Special, 6" barrel, adjustable sights. S/N 931305

    Add crappy cell phone pictures.

    IMG_0130_zps4kfl3szh.gif

    IMG_0129_zpsgvzqq1nh.gif
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
  25. Elm Creek Smith

    Elm Creek Smith Member

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    One of my officers has his great-grandmother's (!) revolver and would like to know more about it.

    Colt Army Special 38
    1. .38 Special (chambers are stepped so not .38 Long Colt)
    2. 5 inch barrel
    3. Blued (mostly patina at this point)
    4. Ser. no. 464285
    5. Original unbroken black hard rubber grips

    All I know is it's between 1908 and 1923. Any help would be appreciated.
     

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