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1920\'s Colt Catalogs (A-70 Series)

I have moved my post from the classifed.

I went through my The Colt Arm of Law and Order catalogs; A-70-xx series. The results are not definitive in terms of trying to place a year on each edition. But, I am venturing some guesses as to approximate catalog dates.

I have copies of each of the A-70 series except the A-70-2nd (assuming it exists) and one catalog that is of the series that has no form number on it. I assume it is the first of the series. Hopefully you all can make some constructive comments concerning applying a year to an certain edition. The Editions where changes were first noted are A-70-5th, A-70-7th, and A-70-9th. Interesting that they are all odd numbered editions?

First A-70 series catalog has no form number. It is the same in terms of the guns listed and descriptions as far as I observed through the A-70-4th edition. Army Special is listed with rubber stocks and the "Pre-Woodsman" is listed as the "22 cal Target Model".

A-70-5th: First mention of Army Special with walnut stocks. No Camp Perry or Woodsman noted. Also first mention of the Police Positive Target being a new heavy frame model. Rest of the guns, same as previous catalogs.

A-70-6th: Same as A-70-5th.
A-70-7th: First listing of Camp Perry Model and the Woodsman name for the 22 auto pistol.
A-70-8th: Same as A-70-7th.
A-70-9th: First listing of the change from the Army Special name to the Official Police name. Detective Special is also pictured. No Bankers' Special. Woodsman and Camp Perry are listed.
A-70-10th: same as A-70-9th. No models discontinued or added such as the Bankers Special model.

The 1929 new format catalog has the Bankers Special, Camp Perry, Woodsman, Official Police as well as the other models that continued to be offered.

1926: We know that the Camp Perry Model was introduced commercially in late 1926. It had been used at Camp Perry since 1921 National matches. The Army Special was changed to "Official Police" at the end of the year.

1927: The name change corresponds with the October 5, 1926 patent roll marked on the barrel. The Army Special did not have this patent date. I believe it had a 1905 date on the barrel. The Detective Special was introduced in 1927 and it has the 1926 patent date on it. We know that the Woodsman name was introduced in 1927 for the auto 22 pistol.

Discussion: The Blue Book says that that the change to walnut stocks on the Army Special began with the 1924 production. JudgeColt says 1926. (I have no idea personally.)

These are the only bench marks we have (so far). Colt price lists that I have first show the Official Police, Detective Special, and Bankers Special, on my July 1928 list. The Army Special is listed on the April 1927 list (so they were still selling off inventory). The Woodsman name is first listed in the price sheets on my July 1928 list. The Camp Perry first shows up on my March 1927 list.

(Lists: Dec 1922, June 1926, March 1927, April 1927, July 1928, and Jan 1929.)

Guess on dates: A-70 (no form#): 1923; A-70-3rd and A-70-4th: 1923-1924; A-70-5th: 1925; A-70-6th: 1926; A-70-7th: 1927; A-70-8th: Early 1927?; A-70-9th: 1927-1928; A-70-10th: 1928-1929. The catalog years correspond fairly closely to the calendar year, at least in the early A-70 catalogs. This may explain why there may not be an A-70-2nd.

I would certainly be interested in your interpretations of the information. I tried to list the "facts" as shown it the catalog and then make deductions as to approximate year.

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Re: 1920\'s Colt Catalogs (A-70 Series)

Just for your discussion re: Army Special; I have a 472XXX series (1922 according to Wilson) with hard rubber stocks and a 494XXX (1923) with walnut stocks. I believe these stocks are both as issued, but I will check to see if they are numbered to the guns. I was taught that most Colt DA's changed from rubber to walnut ca. 1924; however I do not believe that Colt's felt the need to change the illustration in a catalog to exactly coincide with the actual change, especially when the stockroom was full of the older style. (For example the first catalog mention of the DS shows a picture of the 2" PPS, pre DS rollmark.)

Anyway, .22-rim, you have a fine collection of reference material and being so complete, I think the sequence is more important than actual publication dates as it shows the evolution of each model. Congrats!
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