Is this a real New Service?
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  1. #1
    gil
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    Is this a real New Service?

    Hello,

    A friend of mine dropped this revolver off tonight hoping I could identify it... It has no markings other than a serial number (8751) which you can only see when the cylinder is out, on the frame and cylinder arm (matching). I thought the caliber was 45 Colt, tried a round, doesn't fit. The barrel at the muzzle is .434 in the grooves. The cylinder chambers are .424 at the front, .474 at the back. Could it be .44-40? It is a double action. Sights are fixed. Barrel is 7-1/2'', tapered, no shoulder at the frame. It looks very much like a Colt New Service, but then, why no markings at all? A copy?

    Any idea?






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    That's a New Service allright. It's just so rusted you cant read the markings. Looks like a dug up relic.
    This is a fairly early one. I think you are probably right about it being .44-40

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    I'm getting slightly different measurements on my .44-40 but not by too much. Maybe it's a .38-40?
    Serial number puts it at 1903. I have a .45 Colt from that year.
    Last edited by twaits; 03-24-2011 at 08:19 PM.

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    From the photo it appears to be an unfortunate early type New Service that has suffered from improper storage and neglect. Was it a "found" gun perhaps? The serial number indicates it was probably produced in 1904.

    Based on your description of the measurements that you took it sounds like a 44-40 gun to me. Looks like it has later M1917 walnut stock panels and is missing its ejector rod head.

    I wonder if faint traces of markings might become visible if it was carefully cleaned. Don't do anything harsh to it. In its present condition, a cycle of daily soaking with Kroil, Liquid-Wrench, or light machine oil and wiping with rags would be all I would attempt. Later, a cycle of soaking and careful use of a bronze brush or copper wool might finish up all the restoration that could be done to the original surfaces. Don't scrub to bright metal or you will have taken it too far. Leave the brown patina but only kill the active rust.

    While you are at it you may as well liberally apply the penetrating oil to the gun's internals so action parts can begin to free up. Will the revolver's action cycle in present condition?

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    Twaits slipped in while I was checking out the serial number. He may be correct that it is from 1903 rather than 1904 and I may have crossed my eyes when viewing the chart.

    Hey, welcome to the Forum by the way and great first post!

    I always like to see New Service revolvers no matter what they look like.
    Last edited by bmcgilvray; 03-24-2011 at 08:23 PM.

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    gil
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    Action.

    Hello bmcgilvray,

    The action does cycle just fine. The problem is with the cylinder no locking properly in place. The pin that should be spring loaded and goes into the cylinder axis recess (not sure what it's called) must have lost it's spring. I must tilt the revolver barrel up to unlock the cylinder. Even when the pin is in (barrel pointed down), the cylinder still moves too much, and will unlock and spin if any rotation force is applied (only tried that once). The thumb unlock-lever fell off, and moves a lot..

    Seems like it needs a lot of TLC. I wonder about value.. Is it worth it?

    Thanks everyone for your input!

    Gil.
    Last edited by gil; 03-24-2011 at 08:36 PM. Reason: grammar

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    Neat old gun but I don't think it would be worth putting too much into.
    I personally can't imagine it bringing more than $150 as a parts gun in it's condition. If the outside looks that rusy I imagine the bore is just as bad.
    It's too bad it was neglected. It looks like some of the hurricane Katrina guns I have seen.
    But like bmcgilvray said,It wouldn't hurt it to hit it with some oil and try to clean it up a bit.
    Thanks for posting and welcome to the forum. I too like seeing any old colt posted, regardless of condition
    Last edited by twaits; 03-24-2011 at 08:39 PM.

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    gil
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    Thanks.

    Thanks Twaits. Too bad indeed. It might make a nice restoration project. I might make my friend an offer.. Although I am very familiar with firearms, and dabble a bit in amateur gunsmithing, I am not at all familiar with real antiques and their "dos-and-donts."

    I am sure some would cringe if I asked "could it be re-blued, with new internal parts, and shot once in a while?"

    I think it belonged to my friend's grand father, so he might want to give it the oil treatment and keep it in the family, who knows..

    By the way, on a personal note, I am a fan of large/heavy/slow bullets, so I will probably visit this forum once in a while :-)

    Gil.

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    Hi, Gil, and welcome aboard! As far as I'm concerned, anything Colt is worth saving. Love the New Service line. Good luck with it.

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    Restoration is possible, 24 hours of my work and Turnbulls to replace markins and reblue, see below. Easier with automatics because of simple flat and curved surfaces and that the barrel can easily be replaced.



 
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