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Thread: First Issue Colt Officers Model

  1. #1
    Senior Member charles isaac is on a distinguished road

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    First Issue Colt Officers Model

    Great forum. Looking forward to future participation as I am an early DA revolver enthusiast/shooter.

    Well, I am buying a gun I had no idea even existed, a Colt Officers Model based on the New Army and Navy Revolver.

    I can find nothing on the internet about these things and had a few questions for the good people of coltforum.

    The serial number is below the listed range in the "sticky", about 22,000 lower than the lowest one listed. Trust me, it is a real OM-checkered backstrap, flattop topstrap, OM front sight etc. Is the 269,000 range correct for this gun?

    It has the early style Colt triggerguard with the sharper angles where it meets the frame. When did they switch to the newer style triggerguard?

    Were there any .38 "Long" Colt OMs? What caliber should this one be?

    Should the action have a lighter DA pull than a military model? My M1903 Colt Army DA has a smooth action but is about 30 lbs! This particular '03 needs a new hand, has some cylinder play when the trigger is held to the rear. Anyone know where to get one?

    Any thoughts, history, tech info that anyone may provide is much appreciated. Charles

  2. #2
    A1A
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    Welcome to the forum. Over the years, the 38 caliber Officers Models have been numbered with the models on which they were based (with the exception of the Officers Model Special ). The 22LR had their own range which is the one identified in Proofhouse as Officers Model. Yours was based on the New Army/Navy and was numbered with those, so 269xxx would date to 1906. The Proofhouse numbers are the first number used in each year. I believe 38 Special was it, but the member you really want is Coltdaguy (Bob Best). Stand by.

    Oh, and you are correct that there is not a lot even on the forum specifically about those early Officers Models and pictures are always appreciated.
    Last edited by A1A; 09-19-2008 at 09:01 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member charles isaac is on a distinguished road

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    Ironic you should mention the OMS, that is my other target Colt. Bought the first one I saw as it is such an impressive revolver and the Smith equivalent costs about 4 times as much!

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    Senior Member 22_Matt is on a distinguished road

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    According to Bob's book, the first models started in 1904 and he has one pictured that is
    in the 236XXX serial range. Here's mine from 1907.
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    The West wasn't won with a registered gun.

  5. #5
    Senior Member charles isaac is on a distinguished road

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    Thanks for the info and pic. Your OM is a beautiful revolver. Mine is the same but has the older triggerguard profile and not as pristine. I will post a pick of mine when it gets here.

    The caliber marking is the same as a New Army and Navy .38 LC. Is that one a .38 LC or a .38 Spl?

    Here it is-$202 on Gunbroker....................

    Last edited by charles isaac; 10-26-2010 at 12:23 PM.
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    Senior Member 22_Matt is on a distinguished road

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    All of the Officers Models are made for .38 Special, evan though they only are marked .38 DA. I think that only light loads would be in order. This is one of the very few guns in my collection that I don't shoot.
    The West wasn't won with a registered gun.

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    Senior Member COLTDAGUY will become famous soon enough

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    Quote Originally Posted by charles isaac View Post
    Great forum. Looking forward to future participation as I am an early DA revolver enthusiast/shooter.

    Well, I am buying a gun I had no idea even existed, a Colt Officers Model based on the New Army and Navy Revolver.

    I can find nothing on the internet about these things and had a few questions for the good people of coltforum.

    The serial number is below the listed range in the "sticky", about 22,000 lower than the lowest one listed. Trust me, it is a real OM-checkered backstrap, flattop topstrap, OM front sight etc. Is the 269,000 range correct for this gun?

    It has the early style Colt triggerguard with the sharper angles where it meets the frame. When did they switch to the newer style triggerguard?


    Were there any .38 "Long" Colt OMs? What caliber should this one be?

    Should the action have a lighter DA pull than a military model? My M1903 Colt Army DA has a smooth action but is about 30 lbs! This particular '03 needs a new hand, has some cylinder play when the trigger is held to the rear. Anyone know where to get one?

    Any thoughts, history, tech info that anyone may provide is much appreciated. Charles
    Hi Charles Isaac,

    Welcome to the forum. It sounds like you have an interesting Officer's Model. Per the Book of Colt Firearms, the first OM was s/n 229881... I have several listed in my database in the 234xxx range and they continue until the 293xxx where the New Army and Navy model revolver production ends. The OM's start again with the Army Special serial range at about 305xxx .

    The frame changes from the stepped trigger guard to the scalloped trigger guard in the 267xxx to 271xxx serial number range ... there is an overlap.

    The OM was originally advertised to handle S&W's then propriatary .38 S&W Special cartridge along with the .38 LC and other .38 cartridges based on the .38 LC case. The OM came out about 1904. .38 Spl was S&Ws product and there were some lawsuits about marking barrels with its name by other companies, Colt included. That is why the guns are marked as they are. So to answer your question, they were ALL .38 LC guns... it just so happened you could shoot .38 S&W Special rounds in them, and Colt advertised that.

    Try Coltparts.com for parts for you 1903 ... Ed Cox no longer owns the business, but I believe parts are still available from the new owner.

    Hope that helps... Bob

  8. #8
    Senior Member charles isaac is on a distinguished road

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    Outstanding information!

    It has been said that Colt never marked anything with 'S&W' and I was led to believe this was more because of corporate jealousy rather than a legal matter. The .32 New Police aka .32 S&W comes to mind. The only lawsuits that come to mind were the Rollin White Patent infringements on the bored through cylinder that were pursued vigorously by S&W during the 1850's and 60's, at a time when this particular technology was desperately needed by the common man. S&W failed, miserably, to produce a service revolver with reasonable power until the patent was about to run out.

    I will do a search to try and find out more, or maybe someone can chime in with more knowledge on this matter of turn of the last century cartridge patent infringements. Late nineteenth-early 20th century guns do not seem to have much of a mainstream following.

    Alright, the info sparked something in my brain and now I seem to be rambling on. Sorry

    Thanks for the the information, it was very enlightening. Now I am REALLY looking forward to receiving my 'new' Colt Officers Model!

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    Senior Member zulu6 is on a distinguished road

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    I love those grips ~ in my opinion they are the most elegant of Colts DA revolver grips, simple and practical.

    Congratulations on your find. I have a number of these first issue OMs in my collection and they are among my favorites.
    Keep the best ~ sell the rest

  10. #10
    Junior Member Bluesplayer is on a distinguished road

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    Officer's model D.A.

    Hi:

    I have a gun that used to belong to my Dad. It is an Officer's Model .38 D.A. and looks identical to the one pictured above. It has a serial number of 101 I looked on a web site that links serial numbers to year of manufacture and that leads me to believe that the gun was made in 1930 which would be about right given my Dad's age however I am pretty sure he was not the original owner. The last patent date on the barrel is 1901. The gun has not been fired in more than 20 years (probably a lot more).

    I would be interested in any information that is available from the folks on this forum. I would also like to know if taking it to a good gunsmith to have it checked out makes sense. I would like to fire the gun at some point but since it has been dormant for so long I want to be sure it is safe. I will not sell the gun as it has a great deal of sentimental value to me but I would like to take proper care of it.

    I appreciate any input. I can easily take some pictures and post them if that would help.

    Thanks,

    Bluesplayer


 

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