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Thread: What Have I Got Here?

  1. #1
    Supporting Member rswartsell is on a distinguished road
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    What Have I Got Here?

    First of all sorry guys pictures have to wait until my son returns my camera. I have a vintage Colt revolver in my possession for cleaning and assessment and I will admit to a great deal of ignorance on this one.

    Colt Double Action revolver 4" bbl. Hammer mounted firing pin. Roll mark on barrel COLT D.A. 41. "L" Shaped cylinder release latch, checkered thumb surface, stamped 1253. Frame stamped same inside cylinder window. Cylinder crane stamped same. 2 sets cylinder notches. First set coinciding with drag line rectangular, second set at very rear of the cylinder look like long thin cylinder flutes. Mainspring screw(?) on outside of inner grip frame. Originally blue finish in rough shape from improper storage. Half moon front sight. Square butt grip frame. Colt hard rubber grips, black, flower blossoms opposing rampant pony, block letter COLT above. Small rampant pony rollmark in a circle directly above the circular Colt logo on grips. Fixed "channel" type rear sight. Top of barrel rollmark;

    COLT'S PT F A MFG CO
    HARTFORD CT U S A
    PAT AUG 5 84 NOV 6 88 MAR 5 95

    Appears about the same frame size as a D frame. Grip screw soaking in Kroil at moment. When grips can be removed it will get a complete bath and maybe a bit more learned. Too dirty to assess function definitively but cylinder ratchet has been dragging too heavily on cylinder latch. Counted 3 frame screws with grips on.

    What observations can be made at this point?
    Last edited by rswartsell; 01-30-2013 at 12:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member up196 is on a distinguished road

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    Based on your description of the caliber and stocks, it sounds like you have a .41 caliber civillian "New Army" revolver. This would be a medium frame, known at the time as a .41 size frame (a D frame, or .38 size frame, is not large enough to accomodate the diameter of a 6-shot cylinder of .41 caliber), which later evolved into the Army Special, Official Police and so on.

    The cylinder should rotate counter-clockwise, and there should be a number on the bottom of the grip frame, which, in the New Army, is where the serial number is located.

    Also, check that barrel length, as I believe it should actually measure 4 1/2 inches.
    Last edited by up196; 01-30-2013 at 12:14 PM.
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  3. #3
    Supporting Member rswartsell is on a distinguished road
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    Nothing on bottom of grip frame. How can this be?

    Yup, 4 1/2" bbl.
    Last edited by rswartsell; 01-30-2013 at 01:07 PM.

  4. #4
    Supporting Member rswartsell is on a distinguished road
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    Aha! That can be (ser. no. issue) because it resides at the inside edge of the bottom surface and is covered in schmutz. A wipe with kroil and I see its there, will need to soak awhile before it can be read. Your ID is spot on according to this GB listing,

    COLT D.A. 41 NEW ARMY : Revolvers at GunBroker.com

    The one in my hand actually appears to be in better shape, rough but not this bad. The serial numbers on the one in hand seem to be of a shallower stamp. If my cleanup efforts cannot raise a discernable number, what kind of legal issue does this become?
    Last edited by rswartsell; 01-30-2013 at 05:07 PM.

  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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    It could raise serious issues.

    Federal law simply says that any firearm that originally had a serial number, in which the number has been altered, obliterated or otherwise altered is ILLEGAL to possess.
    It makes no exception for antiques.

    Much depends on where you live, and on whatever lawman might question it.
    Most places, the law is not overly concerned about a 100 year old obsolete gun for which the ammo is also obsolete, even though it's illegal.
    However, some areas and some lawmen will only care that the guns serial has been tampered with and you're in trouble.

    You can contact the ATF and have them issue a new serial number and have it stamped on the gun to make it legal again.

  6. #6
    Supporting Member rswartsell is on a distinguished road
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    I was afraid of that. dfarriswheel thanks as always. What is your opinion of a soak in "Ed's Red" before continuing? The item in question is available for me to puchase/auction off for or from the owner.
    Last edited by rswartsell; 01-30-2013 at 05:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member kevin hines is on a distinguished road

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    I believe crime labs can raise filed-off SNs with some kind of acid treatment, then you can have the proper # re stamped on it. I believe your gun might have been military issue, and a past owner removed the SN and any military property markings to avoid possible prosecution for possessing stolen property, no matter how legally the gun was sold as surplus.

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

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    Randy was known to "dip" his sons when they were dirty.

    Oh My God It's Dip - YouTube

  9. #9
    *** 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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    If the serial is just rusted over, in all likelihood, after soaking and cleaning the serial number will be clear enough to make out.

    I must have mis-read and thought the number had been removed.
    In that case, since you didn't "Remove, alter, deface, or obliterate" the serial number you should be good to go.
    The law doesn't make mention of serial numbers that have been rendered unreadable due to the passage of time and corrosion, only numbers that have been deliberately defaced.

  10. #10
    Supporting Member rswartsell is on a distinguished road
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    I do believe that I recognize Vilhelm's voice. Glad to hear it too. He is one of the Austin Vilhelms, by way of Nuevo Laredo and Berlin. A.K.A "Guillermo", you may recognize him as the only Sombrero and monacle wearer in wanted posters on various forums in the gunny community. Welcome Vilhem, Guillermo, Nguyen, Ivan, Fu Manchu or whomever. We won't report you to the cyber marshalls.

    Thanks guys, I'm relieved I don't have to give up on my project gun. What can the illuminati tell me about the New Army? First hand-ejector? Underpowered and fragile? or landmark gun worth trying to save? Shoot if it still seems capable or never?
    Vilhelm likes this.


 
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