Colt 38 army special from 1915
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Thread: Colt 38 army special from 1915

  1. #1
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    Colt 38 army special from 1915

    OK,

    I hate to be "that new guy." However, I did search the forums and I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I inherited this Colt and I was speaking to a friend about it. They said that I have to discern if it's a "long" or "special 38" for munitions purposes. I clearly don't need to fire it (I'm only familiar with service weapons that were issued to me - semis).

    I saw on another thread a discussion on what type of munitions this may take. Any ideas? On another note, I was offered $300 for the revolver, but the sentimental value is much more than that. Thank you very much.

    IMG_20190710_171248 (1).jpg
    Last edited by depreciated; 07-10-2019 at 09:10 PM. Reason: Grammar
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    They were chambered for 38 S&W, which is different in several ways from current 38 special. Is Army Special roll engraved on the left side of the barrel? 4.5 or 6 i ch barrel. Serial numbered from 291000 to 54000.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brassmonkey View Post
    They were chambered for 38 S&W, which is different in several ways from current 38 special. Is Army Special roll engraved on the left side of the barrel? 4.5 or 6 i ch barrel. Serial numbered from 291000 to 54000.
    Man, us former gov't agents hate to work off the clock - haha.

    Left side.

    4.5 inch. Serial 380946.

    Thanks so much!

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brassmonkey View Post
    They were chambered for 38 S&W, which is different in several ways from current 38 special. ...
    No, this is not correct.

    This Army Special is chambered for standard .38 Special ammunition. Thus the Special in the name. The AS was never chambered in .38 S&W, which Colt called .38 New Police or in the OP’s for the British .38-200.

    The confusion arises because before WW II Colt did not specify which .38 caliber a gun was chambered in, whether .38 Colt, New Police, or Special. The barrel just says 38.

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    As stated above unless modified after factory it would be a 38 special.

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    And BTW, welcome to the forum!
    depreciated likes this.
    "Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose."
    DeaconKC at surplusrifleforum.com

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    I stand corrected, esp from your expertise. I based my reply on the Standard Catalog of Colt Firearms, 2nd edition. But books contain errors. See below.

    The reference to S&W did surprise me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absalom View Post
    No, this is not correct.

    This Army Special is chambered for standard .38 Special ammunition. Thus the Special in the name. The AS was never chambered in .38 S&W, which Colt called .38 New Police or in the OP’s for the British .38-200.

    The confusion arises because before WW II Colt did not specify which .38 caliber a gun was chambered in, whether .38 Colt, New Police, or Special. The barrel just says 38.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brassmonkey View Post
    ... I based my reply on the Standard Catalog of Colt Firearms, 2nd edition. But books contain errors. See below.
    ...
    This is a reason why, in contrast to the S&W version, the Standard Catalog for Colt is rarely referenced. A lot of such inaccuracies have been pointed out over the years.

    Not only was the AS not chambered for .38 S&W, it also was not specifically chambered for .38 Colt only, although of course it could be used to fire both .38 (Long) Colt and .38 Short out of the .38 Special version, since they were identical in diameter and the Special was just longer.

    The catalog entry also gets the barrel lengths wrong, or rather incomplete. The AS was produced in 4”, 4.5”, 5”, and 6”.

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    Thanks so much. I find this all really interesting and really appreciate the help.

  11. #10
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    Live and learn. I'm just happy for the OP that he gets to avoid "the dance of the other 38s", which you guided me through when I acquired my New Army in 38LC.
    Good to know about the status of the St.Cat. Yes - I use the new S&W edition with confidence, and it's twice the size.


 
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