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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Another Snubby :)

I know, I have to stop collecting one of these days, however I have never seen a Colt Courier and had to have it. This is a real light weight as it is an alloy revolver with an alloy cylinder. It weighs less than 13 OZ. This 1st year 1954 LW revolver does not look like it was used and has just a little ware. The Courier was only made from 1954 - 1956 and only about 3000 were produced. I guess it was not a big seller. They were made in .22 long and .32 NP. The .32 NP model had a steel or alloy cylinder. Does anyone have any more history on this Model? Pictures below:
 

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Very nice! :) The Courier was made from 1954-1956, though. I've never heard of the .32 Courier with a steel cylinder. I believe all .32s were made with the alloy cylinder and all the 22lrs had steel cylinders. The production figure I've heard most often was about 3200.

You are on quite a roll getting some great Colt revolvers lately!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Very nice! :) The Courier was made from 1954-1956, though. I've never heard of the .32 Courier with a steel cylinder. I believe all .32s were made with the alloy cylinder and all the 22lrs had steel cylinders. The production figure I've heard most often was about 3200.

You are on quite a roll getting some great Colt revolvers lately!
Thank you Malysh,

For the record, I called Colt and this Courier S/N 285xxLW was shipped in 1953. Also, the Blue Book states: "Approx.3,053 mfg. 1953-56" . But as usual, who knows.. :)
 

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The other feature of the courier was that it introduced the agent grip frame. So courier and pre-1966 agent stocks are the same. I had an aluminum cylinder 32 courier that I sold because I made a little on it and I couldn't see any use for it. But now of course I wish I had kept it just for its uniqueness.
 

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Elliot, R.L. Wilson's Colt's Dates of Manufacture says the common serial number range for Cobras, Agents, and Couriers show all above guns made in the serial number range of 26150LW - 33899LW to be from 1954. Frankly, this would be very interesting as I've never heard anyone say Couriers were made in 1953. Wilson's books also state the Courier didn't start production until 1966. Obviously, that is wrong. I think it was a misprint rather than Wilson getting the information wrong. The error is common knowledge but I don't know anybody who's talked with him to find out exactly who was responsible for the dating error. He also worked at Colts doing research for his books.

I wouldn't take the Blue Book's word on the number of Courier's made. I find numerous errors in that book and I don't use it.
If Colt said that gun shipped in 1953 I would be inclined to take their word for it. Is it possible that a Colt letter will refute the phone info? I don't know.

If I'm right, good, if I'm wrong at least I learned something of interest! :)
 

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That is a very nice example!! I was looking at one in .22, but the barrel and the cyl.atch were very purple in color and the guy wanted $1,000.00 - I passed on that one. This one looks great! I've got a set of JayScott pearls if your interested.
 

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I think the Wilson books place the first Agent in 1962, not 1966. The Agent actually was introduced in 1956. The Wilson charts have the Courier beginning in 1954. I have not seen the reference to the Agent beginning in 1966. Was it buried in the text somewhere, since it is not in the serial charts that way?

Since the Courier was first cataloged in 1954, I wonder about a 1953 date on one. A factory letter is needed. All the person who is answering the phone does is look at the Wilson serial number charts for a year of production. Perhaps the chart was misread.

The unique thing about the .32 Courier is that it is the ONLY regular production Colt to have an alloy cylinder. (The Aircrewman was not a regular production gun.) I believe the .32 Courier is an undervalued rarity.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Guys, I thought it was a 1954 because of the Charts at Proofhouse. It is very possible the guy I spoke with at colt looked at the data wrong. I will give them another call monday when they open and see what they say. I am always learning.. Either way, it is a rarity as I had never seen one.
 

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I pulled out Wilson's The Book of Colt Firearms and Colt's Dates of Manufacture (aka the little Blue Book, not be be confused with The Blue Book of Firearms Values), just because I'm getting old and my memory sometimes plays tricks.

If Colt uses the Wilson books to provide dates of manufacture for serial number checks via the phone, the person Elliot talked to is wrong stating that Elliot's Courier sold in 1953. That is what I suspected. Looking at the charts in both books, it shows the dates of manufacture for any alloy D frame in 1953, which includes all Aircrewman, Cobras, Agents, and Couriers to be from 20200LW - 26149LW and 1954 production to be from 26150LW - 33899LW, with a sub notation "Courier begin # 26275LW", which is in the the 1954 range. Although our memories may fail there's not much proof to support that the serial number charts would be off so much as to place Courier # 285XXLW as made in 1953.
In re-reading Wilson about the Courier, I find he said "....Advertised only in 1954 and 1955, it was quickly superceded by the Agent model", but in the text below the header he states " Manufactured 1953-1956" So we have some confusing wording there.
It seems safest to say the Courier had two full years of production, 1954 and 1955.

A big mistake is my mis remembering that the Courier info was misprinted as starting production in 1966! I should not have forgotten that. As Gary said, it was the Agent that was misprinted as starting production in 1962, not 1966, which is a gun I own and study copiously! I find looking at my Colt catalogs no Agents listed in the 1954 catalog but that the Agent is listed in the 1955 catalog.

Agent production did not start in 1956. Agent production started in 1955. Mine is serial number 43481LW which corresponds to the Wilson figures. He states 1955 alloy D frames run from 33900LW - 44599LW.

Here's a few pics of my 1955 1st yr. production Agent, #43481LW. The original stocks were replaced by me and I found a Colt hammer shroud to replace the missing one.





Wilson states that total Courier production was "aproximately 3,000" so my figure of 3200 is also wrong.

To reiterate about cylinder composition, .32 Couriers had alloy cylinders only and 22lr Couriers had steel cylinders.
 

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Couriers are very rare if we consider the low numbers made. I don't know if I would say they are undervalued, though. I look at them often and I see asking prices from $900-$1800. Actual selling prices may differ.
I have considered buying one every time I see a specimen for sale. Alas, definitely not this year. I have been putting money into much needed home repairs :(
 

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Thanks for the excellent information and your Agent looks great.
Thanks Elliot :)
The Agent is well worn externally but wasn't shot much. I like it for the very short butt and excellent concealment characteristics, and that it is first year production. The timing is perfect from what I can discern, and it is quite accurate. It just went for a walk in a front pocket holster with Gunny and Yogi and me. For some reason I couldn't fit the dogs in the other front pocket :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Guys, I thought it was a 1954 because of the Charts at Proofhouse. It is very possible the guy I spoke with at colt looked at the data wrong. I will give them another call monday when they open and see what they say. I am always learning.. Either way, it is a rarity as I had never seen one.
I spoke with Heather this morning at Colts CS and she said 1954. All the books are correct.
 

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I have several guns that the shipping date was the year before the Model date, or references say they were in production. Go figure.
 
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