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Thread: Colt DA 38

  1. #1
    Junior Member jetra2080 is on a distinguished road

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    Colt DA 38

    I have recently inherited a Colt D.A.38.
    Here is the link to the pictures:
    http://s1112.photobucket.com/albums/k496/jetra2080/
    It seems to be in decent condition. Anyone have any idea when it was manufactured or what is could be worth?

    On the top of the barrel is the following:
    COLTS PT F A MFG CO HARTFORD CT USA
    PATENTED AUG 5, 1884 NOV 6 88 MAR 5 95

    The side of the barrel is stamped:
    COLT D.A.38

    There appears to be Military Tridents stamped on the cylinder release, The upper forward Trigger Guard inside the cylinder bracket and on the butt.

    On the butt is stamped:
    USN
    An Anchor
    38DA
    The Trident Stamp
    No.
    9646
    WBW
    95
    655
    The Cylinder works smooth and there is very little slop. Seems pretty tight. Any ideas? Any question? I am not much into Revolvers or old pistols so any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member twaits will become famous soon enough

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    Nice looking gun! Welcome to the forum. Let me help you with the pictures:















    Last edited by twaits; 01-30-2011 at 07:19 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member twaits will become famous soon enough

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    Colt New Navy made in 1898.

    One of the experts on these will be along shortly to give you more info.
    I've had a couple of these but I'm no expert on them.
    I like it. I think the Navy markings add to the value but I'm not sure.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dnovo is on a distinguished road

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    Teamed is correct, it is an exUS Navy and that definitely adds to it's value. Dave

  5. #5
    *** ColtForum MVP *** dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all

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    Here's what I can add.

    You have a Colt New Army & Navy revolver.
    The serial number is on the butt, the other numbers are factory assembly numbers, used to keep fitted parts together during manufacture until an official serial number was stamped.

    The grips are not original. Original military grips were smooth walnut with no Colt medallions.

    The caliber is .38 Colt Long, which is an obsolete low pressure load. It was this round that failed in the Philippines and led to the adoption of the Colt 1911 .45 Automatic.
    This gun should NOT be fired with modern standard .38 Special ammo, even though it will chamber.
    You can shoot very light .38 Special loads.
    The action of these models is very complicated and delicate. They get out of order easily, and break. If damaged, there are no new parts and few if any gunsmiths will touch one due to the lack of parts and the complicated action.

    Value of one of these early Colt double actions runs from a low of $175 in 10% original condition to a high of around $1900 in 100% original condition.
    A US Navy marked version has a premium added to the value of from $100 to $750 depending on the condition.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dnovo is on a distinguished road

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    What he said. You can shoot it. If you want the rival of Cowboy action shooting has led to modern 38 Long Colt ammunition becoming available. (that is the correct name for the intended loads.). Midway, etc hpusually has these in stock. But, as noted, the mechanism isn't the most robust, so I wouldn't shoot a lot of rounds through it. Recoil is mild and they are fun shooters. Dave

  7. #7
    Senior Member hwjhfs is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post
    The grips are not original. Original military grips were smooth walnut with no Colt medallions.
    I think we will find that this is a commercial bought by the Navy; thus the grips are correct. COLTDAGUY should be along eventually and set us all in the same direction. Regards,

  8. #8
    Junior Member jetra2080 is on a distinguished road

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    Thanks

    twaits, Thanks for the picture help. Big improvement over my original post.

    It sure is interesting to me to find out all the history with this revolver. I originally thought it was manufactured in 1995 until someone I work with suggested otherwise.

    Glad I brought it to the experts.

  9. #9
    Senior Member COLTDAGUY will become famous soon enough

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    Quote Originally Posted by jetra2080 View Post
    I have recently inherited a Colt D.A.38.
    Here is the link to the pictures:
    http://s1112.photobucket.com/albums/k496/jetra2080/
    It seems to be in decent condition. Anyone have any idea when it was manufactured or what is could be worth?

    On the top of the barrel is the following:
    COLTS PT F A MFG CO HARTFORD CT USA
    PATENTED AUG 5, 1884 NOV 6 88 MAR 5 95

    The side of the barrel is stamped:
    COLT D.A.38

    There appears to be Military Tridents stamped on the cylinder release, The upper forward Trigger Guard inside the cylinder bracket and on the butt.

    On the butt is stamped:
    USN
    An Anchor
    38DA
    The Trident Stamp
    No.
    9646
    WBW
    95
    655
    The Cylinder works smooth and there is very little slop. Seems pretty tight. Any ideas? Any question? I am not much into Revolvers or old pistols so any help would be appreciated.
    Hi ...

    Your gun is a Model 1895 New Navy revolver from a navy contract shipped in April 1898. The contract was accepted by William B. Whittelsey who was the Navy's ordnance officer that accepted this contract from Colt. His initials (WBW) appear on the butt. Your gun has the correct civilian hard rubber grips that are correct for the Navy contract Model 1895 model guns. In the condition it is in with the broken grip it would probably fetch $600-$700 in today's collector market. Its brother, s/n 95654 is in my database and is owned by a collector. Hope that helps...

    Bob

  10. #10
    Senior Member twaits will become famous soon enough

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    If you remove the grips they should have the assembly number "711" that is stamped on other parts scratched on the inside of the grips. If the number is there they are the original grips to the gun.


 

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