Number of Colt Cobras built in the early 1990's?
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Thread: Number of Colt Cobras built in the early 1990's?

  1. #1
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    Number of Colt Cobras built in the early 1990's?

    I recently acquired a very nice 3" Colt Cobra which was factory manufactured in 1993, apparently as an inventory cleanup build. Serial number prefix is AC. Does anyone know how many were built during this time? The response from the customer service rep at Colt was "very few". Any additional collectibility with builds like this well after mass productions was discontinued?
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    These we're indeed the last of the "parts cleanup" guns. Some collectors attach a premium value to these guns while others do not. I don't believe anyone has an accurate estimate of their numbers.
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    Only Colt knows production data on Colt firearms and they seldom ever release that information due to them considering it to be proprietary company information.

    We know production data on only a very few special models, none at all on most models.
    Even a Colt Archive letter will give data only on a particular gun that you can supply the serial number on,

    Since Colt intermixed "D" frame serial numbers after the later 1960's, even a serial number data base won't tell you how many of any model were made.

    The best you're going to get is the statement the custom rep gave you...."Very few". What that means can range from 1 gun to thousands.

    Any collector value even on a gun like this will depend on the condition, meaning pretty much unfired, and whether you have the original box with all papers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by snakeman99 View Post
    These we're indeed the last of the "parts cleanup" guns. Some collectors attach a premium value to these guns while others do not. I don't believe anyone has an accurate estimate of their numbers.
    Thanks for the validation, it makes for an interesting research project....a rare barrel size on a very small build is worth a bit of effort researching. Is this type of "parts cleanup" build common for Colt? is there a way to determine from stamp marks the manuf dates of the various parts, barrel, receiver, etc.?
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    I have the original 90s blue plastic box and paperwork....gun is in great shape with only a few small handling marks, not perfect but a very nice deep blue piece.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nockternal View Post
    Is this type of "parts cleanup" build common for Colt?
    Colt did occasionally do limited runs of otherwise out of production models in order to clean up parts. It wasn't uncommon but wasn't a regular thing...just done sporadically.

    I have a parts cleanup Detective Special in .32 New Police...this was during the later 1970's after the D-frames went to shrouded ejector rods. Colt used up a number of .32 unshrouded barrels by producing a run of revolvers to use them up.
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    It was me...I shot Liberty Valance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SnidelyWhiplash View Post
    Colt did occasionally do limited runs of otherwise out of production models in order to clean up parts. It wasn't uncommon but wasn't a regular thing...just done sporadically.

    I have a parts cleanup Detective Special in .32 New Police...this was during the later 1970's after the D-frames went to shrouded ejector rods. Colt used up a number of .32 unshrouded barrels by producing a run of revolvers to use them up.
    Gave this one to my girlfriend for her first handgun. 1978 DS - .32NP
    IMG_0004.JPGIMG_0005.JPG

    Tom
    mj2008 likes this.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nockternal View Post
    Thanks for the validation, it makes for an interesting research project....a rare barrel size on a very small build is worth a bit of effort researching. Is this type of "parts cleanup" build common for Colt? is there a way to determine from stamp marks the manuf dates of the various parts, barrel, receiver, etc.?
    You can find the date on the frame from the serial number, but since Colt didn't put stamps on most parts there's no way of dating much of anything.

    Note also that if you buy a Colt Archive letter, the date listed will be the date it actually shipped from the factory, not necessarily the date the frame was made.

    On the Colt revolvers you'll find the stamp of the assembler on the left-rear side of the trigger guard.
    The Colt Verified Proof of a tiny "VP" in a triangle is on the left-front of the trigger guard.
    On the frame under the serial number is the stamp of the final inspector.

    There are usually one or two stamps on the left side of the grip frame under the grips, but these are unknown factor inspection stamps, exact meaning is unknown.

    The barrel will have the standard model name an caliber on the left side and the Colt address on the right.
    You almost never find any other markings any where.
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