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Less than an hour ago I saw the same ad as I seek out BS's. "does not exist", is this the first honest seller or what? The seller needs to explain "does not exist". The s/n isn't in the database? He needs to lower his price by about 95% before someone will bite on this one. Maybe by mistake a extra 9 was added to the price. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 

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I think what the seller means is that Colt has no records on this gun. That happens sometimes. A record is just lost, perhaps because someone forgot to enter it in the records. I have an early Ace that Colt cannot find in its records. I do not think a missing record enhances the value, and, in fact, prevents the pearl stocks from being verified, which may hurt its value.

That said, I have a .22 BS with factory (lettered) pearl stocks, and they look exactly like those pictured. I think the box probably adds from $500 to $750 (at least) to the value of the gun, and the stocks add another $500 to $750 (at least), so, if we start with a $1500 (at least) gun, and add another $1500 (at least) for the box and stocks, you have a $3000 (maybe more) gun, but not a $6000 gun.

I suspect that this gun will end up being sold "off line" for less.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
if we start with a $1500 (at least) gun,

[/ QUOTE ]

JC, I didn't know that .38 spl's were bringing $1500 for gun only. Maybe for .22 cals. I ask because I have my eye on a minty 1929 square butt BS in a .38 cal. Asking $1300, no box and walnut stocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
[ QUOTE ]
That happens sometimes. A record is just lost, perhaps because someone forgot to enter it in the records. I have an early Ace that Colt cannot find in its records.

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Would you say this is fairly rare, or maybe a more common occurence on pre-1945 DA's?

Guess you have to trust your knowledge and instincts sometimes. This would be a hard call for me considering all of the "counterfeiting" we have discussed going on.
 

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Haven't you noticed mint Police Positive Specials bringing $600 and up? After all, there were about 650,000 of those made, and only about 35,000 Bankers Specials. Who knows what a mint round butt .38 BS is worth, but, I would speculate the pictured gun would bring a bunch.
 

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Sorry JC, I edited my reply as I went back to the gun listing and it is a square butt. This gun melts my heart. Is this 38 spl BS worth $1300?

 

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I assume there is a letter from Colt saying the serial number cannot be located. I cannot imagine forging such a letter. I can imagine forging a letter saying the gun is full factory as pictured. What would be the point of forging a letter saying the serial number cannot found? That would not add any value, and might hurt the value.

It would be easy to verify the letter. It would also be hard to counterfeit a current Colt letter, what with the watermarked letterhead and embossed seal, but I guess it could be done.

I suspect it is rare to have a gun not letter, but I have personal experience with one, so I know it happens.
 

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This is the first Banker's Special thread that I've seen since I joined the Forum. There are not too many Banker's Special threads on the Forum.

Addicted's photo shows a Banker's Special with square butt and a ramp front sight. Did Colt manufacture any post-war replacement barrels for the Banker's Special? Were there any pre-war ramp front sights on a DA Colt?

As a 31 year career banker I have a Banker's Special serial No. 360834 and a factory letter showing it to have been shipped to Tufts-Lyon Arms Company in Los Angeles, California on April 9, 1932. It has a blue finish and was the only gun in the shipment.

I was nosing around the Springfield Research Service recently and input my revolver's serial number. A number of similarly numbered Banker's Specials falling on either side of my revolver's number were pulled up. The data shown was as the following example:

Bankr 12 15 48 Railway Mail Svc Dist 4 (lost)

All twenty of the revolvers were notated in this fashion, the only differences being the various district numbers displayed.

I'm assuming that just before year-end in 1948 that someone was doing some "housekeeping" with inventory records. I noticed by randomly inputing serial numbers that a host of Banker's Specials were officially lost on 12 15 48.

Since my serial number falls within the range of the listed Banker's Specials, should I assume it was a part of a shipment of Railway Mail Service revolvers? Since the factory letter indicates it was the only item in the shipment I would think not.

My Banker's Special has a neat D D G stamped into the bottom of the left grip in serif-styled letters. It is in about 93% condition with outstanding walnut grips. The small amount of wear is from handling. It has little holster wear.

Any clues to what DDG stand for other than an owner's initials?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes Judge, that makes good sense. Wasn't using my thinking cap.

bmcgilvray: Your pistol sounds very interesting. Have any pictures?

Wish I had known more about the Bankers Special a year ago. Local pawn shop had a really nice one for about $600. Guess he didn't know what he had. Neither did I at the time or I'd have it now. I've always concentrated on Colts with adjustable sights. A dealer friend of mine told me many of these "sightless" pistols can be very rare and, although considered sleepers, are becoming much more valuable every day.
 

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I do not think the pictured BS is worth $1300 because of the ramped front sight. Apparently, Colt sold replacement barrels with a ramped front sight, like those on some 2-inch Commandos. This gun could be a PP with a BS replacement barrel. BS indeed!

I will have to check the ejector rod knob style too, as it does not look correct against the picture in my weak mind.

I do not see how it could be .38 Special, since the short cylinder is not long enough to hold a .38 Special cartridge. Is the barrel so marked?
 

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What is it with all these Bankers Specials showing up?
My local dealer just got in TWO in TWO weeks in trade...UNHEARD OF!
One has a four digit serial number in .38S&W that I suspect was a barrel replacement on a PP.
The other dates to 1931 in .38SPL that I could probably get for a song, by that I mean, $500-600.
Not sure about BSs and not sure what to do.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
What is it with all these Bankers Specials showing up?
My local dealer just got in TWO in TWO weeks in trade...UNHEARD OF!
One has a four digit serial number in .38S&W that I suspect was a barrel replacement on a PP.
The other dates to 1931 in .38SPL that I could probably get for a song, by that I mean, $500-600.
Not sure about BSs and not sure what to do.

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I'm not a BS expert /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif , but both sound wrong to me . I agree the 4 digit must be a rebarrel . As for the other , the PP frame won't accept 38 Spl length cartridges . 22LR & 38 S&W only .
 

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There must not be too many Banker's Specials out there in Colt Forum land. It is one of the models that recieves little discussion.
 

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And at $6000 per copy, we won't be seeing many here /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif.
They are a sweet little revolver. I would like to examine the GunsAmerica BS, as I am curious about the checkering on the gripstraps. The seller describes it as being done by machine, yet Colts of that era would have been done by hand at the factory. Maybe the seller isn't familiar with the checkering on Officers Models, etc. It also would have been an extra cost option, as it was not standard on non-target arms. If it's the real deal, I wouldn't let the lack of a factory letter deter me (just the price!).

Addicted's BS is the first I've seen with a ramp front sight. The barrel must be post-war, what are the markings??
 

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I just looked at the link to the Banker's Special to find that it's been misrepresented here. The seller isn't asking $6000 at all. Far from it. He's only asking $5995.

On a serious note, I'm curious about the checkered grip frame/back strap. My Banker's Special doesn't feature the checkering. Was it an extra cost option, later addition to the model's features, or non-original?
 

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With pre-war Colts, this was a special order option that was available on any revolver that didn't have it as a standard feature. It was never standard on the Banker's Special.

If it was non-factory or crudely done, it would lessen the value, in my opinion.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
I do not think the pictured BS is worth $1300 because of the ramped front sight. Apparently, Colt sold replacement barrels with a ramped front sight, like those on some 2-inch Commandos. This gun could be a PP with a BS replacement barrel. BS indeed!

I will have to check the ejector rod knob style too, as it does not look correct against the picture in my weak mind.

I do not see how it could be .38 Special, since the short cylinder is not long enough to hold a .38 Special cartridge. Is the barrel so marked?


[/ QUOTE ]

The ejector rod knob style is correct.
The cylinder of the Bankers is shorter, in fact much shorter than the Detective Special. 1 1/4" vs. 1 5/8" in the same caliber. Did the PP's have the longer cylinder or the longer cylinder?
This is the first I've heard of BS replacement barrels. Hmmm. Plots continue to thicken.

Edited:
I just got off the phone with the seller and he says the s/n is a 328,xxx and this is out of the s/n range of the BS's. I now believe this gun is a PP with a BS barrel. The stamping on the right hand side of the barrel is also not correct.
 

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In a nutshell, PP and BS have the shorter cylinder while the PPS and DS the longer cylinder; that is .38 New Police vs. .38 Special.
 
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