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Thread: Colt Officers Model - Colt 38 DA Can I Use 38 Spl Ammo?

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    Member straightcut is on a distinguished road

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    Colt Officers Model - Colt 38 DA Can I Use 38 Spl Ammo?

    I have a Colt Officers Model Marked Colt 38DA on the barrel. I can drop a loaded .38 special round in the cylinder. Is it safe to fire? Is 38 DA also known as 38 Long Colt? Am I best to load a 38 LC for this revolver?

    I just bought a S&W Victory model chambered in 38 S&W, so maybe I need to wade into the loading of oddball 38 ammo! I'm certainly not an expert on this, so spelling it out in crayon won't hurt my ego.

    Thanks for your help!

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    Senior Member Wyatt Burp is on a distinguished road

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    Read this super extensive thread on Colt 1st model Officer's Models. Your gun is a .38 special. These guns came out around 1904. The .38 spl. was already out and I believe the "Colt DA.38" marking is on there because Colt used older barrels from the old D.A. .38 long Colt's but just added the front sight and "O.M." markings. I have one old book that states these were .38 special originally, too.
    I'm saying all this assuming you have a gun like in this link below. Your grip checking style will be important, as will the year of manufacture as the grips were all very nice but the patterns changed quickly and overlapped with later models.
    A really early Officers Model

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    Supporting Member Oyeboten is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by straightcut View Post
    I have a Colt Officers Model Marked Colt 38DA on the barrel. I can drop a loaded .38 special round in the cylinder. Is it safe to fire? Is 38 DA also known as 38 Long Colt? Am I best to load a 38 LC for this revolver?

    I just bought a S&W Victory model chambered in 38 S&W, so maybe I need to wade into the loading of oddball 38 ammo! I'm certainly not an expert on this, so spelling it out in crayon won't hurt my ego.

    Thanks for your help!

    Post some Images please!


    We LOVE seeing the Old Colts, and, the one you describe has a lot of followers here!


    But yeah, as Wyatt relays - ordinary Lead Bullet, Standard Loadings, .38 Special is fine, Mid Range Wadcutters, are especially suited, being Target Rounds.

    Steer clear of any Jacketed Rounds though, if you want to be kind to the old thing.

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    Member straightcut is on a distinguished road

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    Officers Model Acceptible Ammo

    Thanks very much for the fast replies!

    My Officers Model looks just like the one posted by charles isaacs in that thread if I'm recalling the grip checkering pattern correctly. I'll try to get some pictures up soon.

    I'm happy to hear this will just shoot standard 38 special ammo. Thank you for the suggestion not to shoot jacketted ammo, as I wouldn't have known that.

    Ok, I'll be back with some pictures!

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    Supporting Member Colt75 is on a distinguished road
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    Mr. Robert Best notes in his great book A Study of Colt's New Army and Navy Pattern Double Action Revolvers: 1889-1908 3rd ed.(2010) '"Even though the caliber marking is "Colt D.A. 38", the Officer's Model Target revolvers were advertised to be able to shoot the .38 S&W Special, as well as all .38 Long Colt cartridges."' Mr. Best did literally write the book on these revolvers so that should suffice. You have a great historic Colt target revolver. Enjoy your Colt.

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    Member straightcut is on a distinguished road

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    Pictures

    IM007652.jpgIM007653.jpg

    I'm sorry for the poor picture quality . It's night and my camera and photography skills are lacking. How's that for a list of excuses?
    bmcgilvray and pistola like this.

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    Supporting Member Oyeboten is on a distinguished road
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    What a nice old Colt!

    Those earliest ( ie: New Army pattern ) 'Officers Models' have a special place in my Heart.

    I admire them any chance I get.

    Especially nice to see one in such good condition!

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    Member Normbal is on a distinguished road

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    One of the few guns I regret selling, but I'm not big on Colt revolvers, more of a S&W guy even though I own a handful of SAAs.

    I had a 1938 Colt Officer's Target model and with the right 148 grain HBWC loads I could cut a 1" hole in paper at 7 yards. It was fun, but I'm really a semi-auto kind of shooter. Still have my grandfather's 1911 (mfd 1913) he bought in 1918 to take "over there" in WWI. I take it out to the range about once a year.

    Don't ever sell this revolver. You'll regret it.

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    Junior Member kd5exp is on a distinguished road

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    I just went through this with a Smith and Wesson 38. Do some research on the cases and you will find out that a 38 and a 38 special are different. Someone had bored out the cylinder on mine to accept 38 sp and it came with a box of them. Won't shoot for beans. Cases get all bulged out. Come to find out the 38 is bigger at the head than 38 sp. and the neck is different also. Lesson well learned. I got this from my dad after he passed and I will keep it just because of that. It is heading for a wall mount. I did some research on my Colt offical police 38 and they only made them in 22, 32, 38 sp and 41 long colt. The Colt shoots fine and I am getting into pistol reloading after loading rifles for bench rest for several years. A whole new ball game for sure. Anyway just some info for you. I suggest you print out the specs for the cases and you will see what I mean. Good shooting to you and Merry Christmas!

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    Senior Member Wyatt Burp is on a distinguished road

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    Here's one that was in a local ad. I could have sworn it was priced at around $575 but later at $700. Someone bought it along with two other Colts the guy had so no doubt got a discount. Below is mine with a grip adapter on it. Both of these look just like yours. Mine is 1905. DCWilson's from 1904 in that other thread has fancier grips, so changes occured right around there.




 

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