Help with Colt Army Special 41
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Thread: Help with Colt Army Special 41

  1. #1
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    Question Help with Colt Army Special 41

    I got this Colt Army Special 41 from my grandfather when he passed. It's blued with a 6" barrel. I need some help with the grips.

    It was his sidearm in WWII. I got a Colt Letter of Authenticity which states it was delivered to a general store in 1908 in St. Louis, MO. Unfortunately, the lady from Colt said their information doesn't have anything on what kind of grips it shipped with (wood, rubber, etc.). She also said Colt doesn't repair/restore these anymore.

    When I brought it to my gunsmith for restoration, he said he didn't think these were the original grips and for me to contact Colt (which I did above).

    Are these the original grips? If not, where can I get some? Is there anything else on the gun that looks wrong/off?

    Any help is appreciated.

    http://imgur.com/CNzu1xr
    http://imgur.com/9H2luhe

  2. #2
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    Those are a pair of Herrett's - I 'think' their 'Shooting Star' model.

    They were/are excellent grips.

    Your revolver likely shipped with hard rubber grips, and reproduction grips are available through several suppliers - 'Vintage Gun Grips' among them (and I think they supply everyone else).

    If it originally has checkered walnut - you're on your own, and I'd suggest ebay for finding a pair.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fractal View Post
    I got this Colt Army Special 41 from my grandfather when he passed. It's blued with a 6" barrel. I need some help with the grips.

    It was his sidearm in WWII. I got a Colt Letter of Authenticity which states it was delivered to a general store in 1908 in St. Louis, MO. Unfortunately, the lady from Colt said their information doesn't have anything on what kind of grips it shipped with (wood, rubber, etc.). She also said Colt doesn't repair/restore these anymore.

    When I brought it to my gunsmith for restoration, he said he didn't think these were the original grips and for me to contact Colt (which I did above).

    Are these the original grips? If not, where can I get some? Is there anything else on the gun that looks wrong/off?

    Any help is appreciated.

    Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet
    Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

    Indeed...your 'Army Special' would have almost certainly shipped with the Standard black Hard Rubber Stocks.

    Like this:

    http://www.hallowellco.com/Colt-Army-2742-right.jpg


    One could Order an Army Special to have the De Luxe Walnut Stocks of the Day, or, to have Ivory, Pearl Ebony, Checked, or unchecked...on and on, but this is very seldom seen and amost no one did it. A 'Colt Letter' will usually say what kind of Stocks a Revolver had shipped with.

    Images look to my eye to show and older well done reBlue.

    Can you post some closer images? and close ups of the Side Plate "Colt" emblem, and of the Texts stamped on the Barrel top and side?

    Original Stocks can be found on ebay or Gunbroker or sometimes at one's local Gun Shows, and if decent, will likely run north of $100.00 usually for a pair.

    What is the Serial Number? ( Last digits as "X"s is fine )
    Last edited by Oyeboten; 08-28-2016 at 11:50 AM.
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  5. #4
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    I got the Colt Archive Letter, but they couldn't find what type of grips it shipped with: http://imgur.com/hTbctOE
    Here's a close-up of the lettering on the barrel:http://imgur.com/2uyDxuW

    Here are two close-ups of the lettering on the top of the barrel:
    http://imgur.com/jmyJoBx
    http://imgur.com/xlunRQx

    I couldn't get a picture of the Side Plate "Colt" emblem because (I believe) the grips are obscuring it.
    Last edited by Fractal; 09-05-2016 at 06:44 AM.

  6. #5
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    Why would you want to restore it??? DON'T!!!! I cant think of one reason to restore it and many not to.
    I see it was shipped to Simmons Hardware. That seems to be about the most popular place many letters show. Unless for some reason the action needs work, you aren't thinking of re-blueing I hope.
    Last edited by feralmerril; 09-05-2016 at 08:27 AM.
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  7. #6
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    Maybe restore was the wrong word. I want to get this thing cleaned up, and as close as possible back to the condition when it was issued to my grandfather (or when he bought it... I don't know how he got it) without erasing any of the 'history' in the gun. I do know that at some point he changed the grips though.

    The exterior looks fine, but looking down the barrel; it looks corroded...
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  8. #7
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    Just find the right grips at most. Just clean the barrel best you can. It`s become a sin amoung knowledgable gun people and collectors to screw with the finish. You only pay big money and once done will get a fraction if sold of what you would have, had you left it alone. I do believe if something is wrong with the guts to get it fixed though--with the right parts. If your gun is functional I would leave it be except for trying to find the right grips. Now, a already altered gun might be a different story if a person wants to make a "custom" gun out of it. I have myself years ago but even then you will never get your money out if you go to sell it even if a highly respected guru gunsmith does it. Now, if I had a MODERN gun and scraped it or dinged the stock or whatever, that, I might fix.

  9. #8
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    That's a very nice old first year Army Special.
    It almost certainly been refinished because the Colt pony is missing from the side plate, and the sides of the hammer appear to be blued.
    Originally, Colt polished the sides of the hammer to remove the blue. This was to prevent the finish from wearing off with use.

    Short of someone posting a first year Army Special showing the side plate, I assume Colt stamped the Pony as usual on DA revolvers.

    I'd recommend cleaning the barrel thoroughly, since what may look like corrosion may be nothing more then leading.
    Buy a Lewis Lead Remover Kit from Brownell's and this will clean out any leading.
    If the barrel is rough you might improve that by using JB Bore Paste also from Brownell's. JB is a non-embedding super mild abrasive paste used to clean stubborn fouling from barrels.
    I won't harm the barrel since it was first used by benchrest shooters to clean fouling from barrels for the best accuracy.

    As above, unless it was a special order, your revolver would have shipped with the then-standard grips of hard rubber with molded in checkering and Colt logo.
    You can often find originals on Ebay and the gun auctions, but since age has caused them to become brittle, they're often cracked, chipped, or broke.
    You can buy modern plastic exact replicas. These will probably require slight fitting since back then Colt mounted the grips on the frame during final polishing before bluing to insure a perfect fit:

    Colt® Army Special Revolver

    Click on the small picture and it will enlarge so you can see the grips.
    They also sell correct type bushings and screws.

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    Often when guns lettered with Colt say "not listed", it almost always means it was shipped with the standard stocks, and for the army special, that is the black hard rubber stocks shown.

  11. #10
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    From the pictures, it looks like the gun has already been refinished. The telltale signs are; the gap for the side plate is too wide, the hammer sides are blued, instead of in the white, the lettering on the top and side of the barrel is partially buffed off and there are visually blued over rust pits in the metal. I would just keep it the way it is as a family item. That's where the value is.
    Here's what it looked like originally. This ones from 1912.
    The West wasn't won with a registered gun.


 

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