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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I didn't find anything definitive in my search about colt numbering revolver grips to the gun.i have a colt army special with rubber grips in pristine condition.they are numbered to the gun which is serial# 478xxx and they are marked very clearly. is there any rhyme or reason behind colt numbering their revolvers.did they just do this occasionaly, was it certain historial time peroids ,was it certain guns only.or was it just the whim of some assemblers.is there any sense at all to it.perhaps there is no answer to the question at all.anyway it was something I found myself thinking about.what say you all.john
 

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Its my undestanding that the early pre-war revolvers were fitted with the stocks. Then removed and the SN was etched on the plastic and written on the wood stocks so they could be sure to use the same one when the gun returned from bluing.
 

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Back in the pre-war days, Colt did final polishing of the steel for bluing with the grips on the gun. This insured a perfect fit of the wood to the frame.
The serial number was written in the grips to insure that after bluing the correct grips went back on the gun.

After the war, Colt stopped polishing with the grips on the frame and wrote numbers on grips for some years to keep grips themselves together during final finishing of the wood.
After the war, writing numbers inside grips seemed to be a on and off thing where some grips have some sort of number, other grips have nothing inside.

Early on, the numbers may have been the serial number, but later it was just "A" number.
At some point, probably in the 70's this appears to have stopped, and any numbers, letters, or stamps seem to be for some other purpose, perhaps stock or makers control numbers, if anything is inside the grips at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
skilled and dfariswheel thanks for those answers.i appreciate the knowledge on this forum. on my army special the entire serial # is marked on each grip.i also purchase a 1923 era police positive special some years ago with 6 inch barrel and nickel plated.it lettered just that way.i came with very good pearl grips with some nice color but they appeared old.they too were numbered as well but the serial # of the gun is 224xxx and the grips are 6720 but they are a perfect fit even tho they must be for another gun.i sort of like the mystery around a gun like that.anyway it is all fun.this gun looks like it might have been made in 1920 but it was shipped june 1 1923.if I ever get a camera ill try some photos.john
 

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Collect older handguns from Colt and S&W primarily
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Coly Numbering Revolver Grips to Gun

I have an Army Special from 1923 I just recently purchased and when I went to check it out and clean it, I took off the grips and on the inside of both panels was the gun's serial number scratched into the hard rubber. All my other older Colt DA revolvers have wood grips and none of them have the serial numbers recorded on them.
 

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The practice of numbering Colt grips to their pistol dates to the Paterson days. This is well documented in such books as "The Book of Colt Firearms" by Wilson.
 

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These are Model 1909 grips with the serial number on both grips.

I lettered this one because it was shipped directly from Colt to Manila in the Philippines.

 

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yes colt did number their grips to the gun. I just got a colt 3-5-7 and the grips are numbered to the gun, looks like they used a pencil on the back of the grips. I have seen this way of numbering many times on walnut grips. the gun I have dates to 1957. I will have to get the camera and take pics later.
 

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When I bought my 1960 Cobra the first order of buisness was a detail cleaning. When the grips came off I smiled to see the serial # written on the back.A terrific 350 dollar find.
 
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