King Modified Colt New Service - Border Agent Award Gun - Charles Askins Letter
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Thread: King Modified Colt New Service - Border Agent Award Gun - Charles Askins Letter

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    King Modified Colt New Service - Border Agent Award Gun - Charles Askins Letter

    I'm mostly a S&W guy but I love King modified guns and guns with history. This is a glorious example of both and I am absolutely in love with the gun.

    My hope is that someone here might be willing to part with the "right" new service grips to complete the package. Something period and in condition similar to the gun would be perfect. Ivory, Wood (Fleur de Lis?), Jigged Bone, aged Stag. If you have anything you might part with please let me know, I have a pile of Colt grips for trade (Ropers, Ivory, Fuzzy Farrants, etc). I would love to work something out, I feel like this gun deserves to be set somehow right, if you know what I mean.

    If anyone has any information about Bill Keim I would also love to hear it.

    On to the gun: It is well used (though the action is still beautiful) and the grips that came with it (as described in the first letter) are awful, warped, and don't really stay on. Here they are behind the gun and used as a rest to showcase the King sights:








    I was in love with the gun the moment I picked it up because of the King work (which appears to be the Sights, Hammer, Action, shaved for .45ACP). The history is just awesome though:




    The owner in 1977 wrote to Charles Askins:




    who wrote back:





    And a couple more shots of it in it's nakedness. Again, this gun needs some "right" stocks on it, I really look forward to the day it's wearing something that it should be wearing:






    If anyone can fill in any details to fix a bit of my Colt ignorance I would love it. My pile of Colts is small but I really do love them.


    Edit:

    Found some grips for it





    They are awesome, they fit almost perfectly, I took the pictures at an angle to see that there is just a little edge showing down towards the bottom.
    Last edited by SixgunStrumpet; 08-22-2015 at 04:00 PM.

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    Great gun. Great bit of history. David

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    With all the modifications to the revolver isn't there a good chance that the stocks were added when the other work was done? Just me, but it would be like looking for an original hammer for the gun.
    Mustango likes this.

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    j38
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    Very neat gun - a real piece of history. I suspect it's in the right hands now. Thanks for sharing,

    Jerry
    OIF2 likes this.

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    SixgunStrumpet, I too am considerably more a 'Smith guy', but particularly love my small group of Colts and of those, my New Service revolvers as 'jewels in the crown'. Here in your NS, I see not only an unusual gun, but a real piece of history and a continuing tribute to the memory of a hero otherwise long faded from memory. And what better provenance than the letter signed by Col. Askins himself on a subject of which he was presumably imminently qualified to speak! There’s a big 'triple Wow’!
    Though never in uniform or in a local department setting, I carried a gun through a law enforcement career. Quite frankly, chasing sophisticated crooks involved in financial crimes and occasionally dealing with public integrity cases, never exposed to the level of danger typical of the general LE profession. However participating in routine exercises including such as 'entry training', I became convinced that such as “high risk entries” well-earned that title. There I ‘died’ more than a few times. In too many scenarios, the real lesson… Outside mandatory training, having the prerogative of just not going there! Yet P/O Keim came from another era. Most likely no semblance of such training; nothing of teamwork/coordination and absent all that… substituting considerable ‘era correct’ bravado. He no doubt was brave and in a setting where too often you’re only allowed one mistake. Yet he then survived to tell!
    Now you have his gun awarded by colleagues. Now also sharing his history and that of his gun here. Perhaps yet to consider sharing it with the NRA toward publication. A real story. A real man. A really interesting gun. A ‘moment’ in history recaptured!
    Thanks for sharing that ‘moment' here!
    My take.
    skwcoltguy and BC in TN like this.

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    Thanks iskra, I had not really considered sharing it with the NRA, though I suppose there may be more interest then just in these forums. I'll certainly look into doing just that when the gun is wearing some more appropriate grips (like some Fleur de Lis) and I have maybe established a bit more about who Bill was. I expect based on what little I can come up with online I need to actually talk to some museums.


    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyP View Post
    With all the modifications to the revolver isn't there a good chance that the stocks were added when the other work was done? Just me, but it would be like looking for an original hammer for the gun.
    Replacing the hammer would ruin the gun. King put the holes in there for a reason.

    As to the stocks being added when the work was done there is no chance in my opinion. They aren't made of bakelite and have warped and cracked since '77 when he wrote that letter. With as flexible as they are they don't seem to be similar at all in my experience to Bakelite, which would crack if I applied the pressure I have to these. The closest thing I have ever seen to them what is on a Nylon66, I would bet they were made in the 60's, or maybe 50's.

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    It may well have originally had the standard Stocks of the Day - Checked Walnut with the Colt Medallions.

    Very interesting New Service..!

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    You are probably right, but I figure putting a set of period correct but higher end grips on it will better match the fine action/sight work and the nicely engraved text.

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    A nice set of grips was just sold on the forum
    SKW

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    I just barely missed those, but I think they went to a good home. It's Ok though I found some grips for it:





    They are awesome, they fit almost perfectly, I took the pictures at an angle to see that there is just a little edge showing down towards the bottom.

    Can anyone tell me what era these grips would be from?


    A few more pictures:







    Last edited by SixgunStrumpet; 08-22-2015 at 04:42 PM.


 
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