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  1. #1
    Senior Member Colt38 is on a distinguished road

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    Colt New Service .357: How rare & collectible?

    I have located a Colt New Service .357 magnum revolver in real nice condition! The barrel length is at least 6-inches. Does this gun have much collectible value in the .357 magnum caliber and is it rare-or? What is the estimated value of a gun like this?

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    Senior Member lonewolf is on a distinguished road

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    Re: Colt New Service .357: How rare & collectible?

    Colt38,without seeing a photo of the piece,at the minimum,it would be difficult to give an estimate of value.

    The .357 Magnum chambering in the New Service,was introduced around 1936,or a wee bit later than when the cartridge was first introduced in the S&W .357 Magnum.Some SAA's were built in .357-but damm few.

    The .357 was built on the ".38 Special" version of the New Service. This model came out around 1931(along with the companion target model called the Shooting Master. They had smaller,rounded butts,and their barrel lengths were 4,5 and 6 inches,versus 4.5,5.5,and 7.5 for the other calibers. The Shooting Master was "only" in 6".

    A couple of "cautions" on this .357 : 1)Colt dumped many parts on the market in the 50's,and some new .357 cylinders and bbls. were installed on older New Services. ANY serial number below somewhere in the 335,000 range did NOT start out as a .357 New Service(I can't give you the exact range,as my books are not here where I type this,from memory).2)Numrich Arms,now Gun Parts Company,made up a bunch of .357 New Service barrels/cylinders,to convert older New Services. Some of the bbls. were as long as 8". They have a ramp front sight,and of course NO Colt markings.3)I mentioned the round butt earlier,but some .357 New Services,were ordered with the square butt,and even some with lanyard rings,especially for police depts.

    Keep in mind that these models were only made for 4-5 years in .357 caliber,as New Service production stopped in W.W. 2,never to resume,sadly,at the wars end. There are not many out there say as compared to .45 Colt,or the "1917s",and over 100 were sent to Britain in 1940-41,and most are stamped with the British proofs,

    Hope this helps,


    Bud

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    Administrator guy sajer has disabled reputation
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    Re: Colt New Service .357: How rare & collectible?

    COLTDAGUY ( Bob ) posted this link to auction results . VERY good recent selling info with photos . Everyone here that likes old Colts and other fine collectables should take a look . Thanks Bob [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

    I saw at least 1 357 NS and 357 SM that sold .

    www.armsbid.com
    Mitch

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    Senior Member Colt38 is on a distinguished road

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    Re: Colt New Service .357: How rare & collectible?

    lonewolf:

    1)You have been very helpful, thank you!

    2)I didn't get a chance to inspect this New Service .357 up close out of the gun case yesterday-but, I do know that it had a square butt! I really didn't have enough knowledge about these revolvers yesterday, to know if this would be a good Colt to invest in as a collectible or if not? I had assumed that it could be good, because of being an revolver probably made in the 1930's in the .357 magnum caliber?

    3)I'll go back and take another look at this New Service .357 again. I'll look for Colt barrel markings and will measure the barrel length? I'll also jot down the serial number.

    4)If this new Service .357 is a genuine Colt built .357, are these fairly valuable and/or highly desireable among Colt collector's? Or, in view of so many of these revolvers being converted to the .357 caliber(Being fakes!)have caused the potential collectible value and desireability of these revolvers to be not so good?

    5)What else should I look for to help verify this New Service .357 to be genuine?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Colt38 is on a distinguished road

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    Re: Colt New Service .357: How rare & collectible?

    I just returned from checking this supposed New Service .357 revolver! Although it is in extremely nice condition, guess what? The Gun Shop had mistakenly marked the gun tag as a .357 magnum-but instead, this was a genuine New Service in .38 special caliber! The barrel length, measured at 6-inches. The serial number of this gun is in the #338000 range. I made a mistake in thinking that this gun had a square butt(It doesn't!)as it has the smaller rounded butt profile! Although I haven't been able to find out much about this commercial Model New Service in .38 special, am I correct in guessing this gun to have been made close to 1940? If so, wouldn't it seem that not many should have been made by 1943(I'm assuming that this was the last year of New Service revolver production?)? Now, how does this change the potential collectibility, value, and desireability of this revolver? Please comment? Thanks!

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    Senior Member lonewolf is on a distinguished road

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    Re: Colt New Service .357: How rare & collectible?

    What I said in my earlier post,has a section on the .38 Special,and 1934 would be the date of production of that gun. Shipments of these started in 1932,and they were Colt's response to the S&W 38/44 large frame model,that could fire the same named cartridge. This was a big jump over a standard .38 special,and with velocity of 1150 fps from that 6" bbl.;it just about equals some of the "wimp" loads being made nowadays for the .357 Magnum!!

    The .38 Specials are NOT worth as much as the .357 Magnum model New Services,as there are more of them,and they were fairly popular with law enforcement,including the U.S. Border Patrol,that bought many in 4" bbl. and special order square but.

    Sadly,some.38's went to Britain,when that anti gun nation was buying up anything that would shoot,as they feared a German invasion in 1940. I say sadly,because not only were most of these guns never used,but got stamped with all those British proof marks,and as a final indignity,were stamped "Not English Made",when some were sent back here in the 1950's to dealers for resale. Also most were just thrown(literally!) into wooden packing crates for the boat ride. Most of these pieces,along with S&Ws etc,had large dings,scratches,broken stocks(grips),from this traversity.

    I still have a 6" New Service,.38 Special,like the one you are looking at,that I bought years ago in Canada,that has a .357 mag cylinder in it.(factory rework according to markings under grips) What I don't have are the great photos of a hot little British airline stewardess I used to "date" holding said New Service,in "partial uniform",pretending it was 1940,and she was holding off the Germans!! Wife "disposed" of my "old photos" when we got married 33 years ago! Damn!

    Bud [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

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    Senior Member Colt38 is on a distinguished road

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    Re: Colt New Service .357: How rare & collectible?

    lonewolf:

    1)Maybe I should check for some rework markings on this New Service .38 in question-since they had originally had marked the gun tag as an .357 magnum caliber? This is because I had told the gun counter sales clerk that the barrel was marked in .38 special-and, he had just changed the retail tag, to read .38 special! This could mean that the owner of the store had been aware of a possible conversion to the .357 magnum?

    2)Just roughly considering this New Service revolver to be in about 96% condition, how would the value differ, if this gun were actually an .38 special versus having been properly converted(Say, by S&W)to the .357 magnum?

    3)If this gun is actually a genuine .38 special-then, aside from just being a nice gun, as a collectible, as you have already pointed out, since so many of these revolvers were made, is it right, that it wouldn't have much value?

    4)Now, where in the devil are those pictures of that "Hot" British airlines stewardess........................? Since my thread hadn't garnered much interest from this forum, I think that these pictures sure would have added some "Spice" to this thread, don't you think so?

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    Re: Colt New Service .357: How rare & collectible?

    [ QUOTE ]
    ...

    2)Just roughly considering this New Service revolver to be in about 96% condition ...
    ...
    4)Now, where in the devil are those pictures of that "Hot" British airlines stewardess........................? Since my thread hadn't garnered much interest from this forum, I think that these pictures sure would have added some "Spice" to this thread, don't you think so?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    2. A 96% 38 NS might go for $750-1050 . Or more or less . Depends on who's selling and where they live .

    4. Scantily clad stewardess holding a NS posing with an ice cold gin & tonic while beads of sweat roll down ... the glass ... in a hotel room located in a hot tropical far-eastern island ... and no photo's . man that's wrong ! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
    Is that about how it went down Bud ? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
    Atleast the NS still looks the same after all these years [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

    146 views isn't what I'd call "no interest" . You're probably right about the photo ?

    How much do they want for it ?
    Mitch

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    Senior Member Onomea is on a distinguished road

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    Re: Colt New Service .357: How rare & collectible?

    I have been reading Colt New Service Revolvers by Bob Murphy, a short book on these old revos. While I have read that a lot of info has been discovered since it was published in 1985, I think it an informative book. The advice to check posted auction prices for the recent Supica and Krull auction is certainly a good one to get a feel for the market. I think it's a good idea to read up before buying, if possible.

    Say, Bud, didn't you tell me that you kept one pic of the stewardess honey hidden from your wife in the side pocket of your old dop kit? Howzabout post that one? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

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    Senior Member Colt38 is on a distinguished road

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    Re: Colt New Service .357: How rare & collectible?

    The best price that I can get on this New Service .38, is $875(Down from the asking price of $1,050)! I looked this revolver over again today! I'm convinced that this gun hasn't been reblued! All of the very delicate barrel markings are not polished away, as they might have been due to polishing prior to any re-bluing! This gun looks to have been well maintained and shot very little! The Colt walnut grips are original and in nice shape with minimal wear! The forcing cone shows no sign of erosion! This gun locks up tighter than a bank vault(With a solis snap, when the hammer is pulled back and the bolt locks into place!)! The timing is spot on with negligible cylinder end shake! The cylinder gap looks great to(Not too tight or too loose!)! Only a touch of wear at the edge of the muzzle! Only one slight blemish in the finish about 1/2 the size of a small pencil eraser! It's a nice old Colt for sure!


 
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