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The Consummate Collector
6,488 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have collected the Colt New Services for over 50 years I have recorded a lot of information on them and thought that I would share some of it with you. I have always found the 6" Target Model intriguing and since Colt made so few I thought that maybe a conversation on them may shed some new light. If any of you, that I have not already talked to, have one of these I would be interested in hearing what you have. I have only been able to record 19 serial numbers on this rare model. Here is some of what it shows:

Two barrel lengths were offered in the New Service Targets with the vast majority being in 7 1/2". According to previously published numbers, Colts total number of New Service Targets was between 3000-3500. If I was asked to give an estimate as to how much of the production was made with the 6" barrel I would venture to say it was about 3%-5%. Here are published total numbers of each caliber which I am sure are only an estimate. These figures include both barrel lengths:

.45 Colt: 1000

.455 Eley: 960

.44 Russian: 700

.44 Special: 500 (Marked: .44 RUSSIAN & S&W SPECIAL)

.45 ACP: 80

.44-40: 10

The 6" barrel New Service Target was only offered in the following four calibers:

.45 Colt, .44 Special, .45 ACP & 44-40

If you apply the estimate of 3%-5% it would yield the following for the 6" barrel:

.45 Colt: 30-50 Guns

.44 Special: 15-25 Guns

.45 ACP: 3-5 Guns

.44-40: Six are known and this is believed to be the total production. In this caliber the 7 1/2" NST is more rare.

Here are totals for the 6" NST that I have collected over the years and have serial numbers for:

.45 Colt: 9 Guns

.44 Special: 4 Guns

.45 ACP: 3 Guns

.44-40: 6 Guns

Note: While many of the 6" NST were shipped in the 1930's a few were shipped before that date. I have record of two of them shipping before 1920.

As with any study the more information that becomes available the more precise we can be with our estimates.

6" New Service Target in .44 Russian/S&W Special:

A 6" New Service Target .45 Colt with the round butt:

A Comparison of the 6" and 7 1/2" New Service Target. Shown on the left is the .45 Colt and on the right is the .44 Russian and S&W Special:
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