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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am looking at this Bankers Special. Serial number puts it at 1933. Overall condition seems to be quite good but the front sight doesn't look correct. Opinions please. Thanks

xb
 

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Most that I have seen are half-moon and not ramped like that.
 

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Post War Barrel, installed in a circa 1933 'Police Positive'.

And thus, not likely to represent a later Post War re-Barrel of an actual circa 1933 "Bankers Special".

So - unless obtaining a Letter from Colt, in which they state that this was a Banker's Special to begin with, ( which would then have been re-Barreled sometime after WWII ) I would consider this to be a Police Positive, someone put a post-War BS Barrel on to.


Being then a so to speak "Poor Man's Bankers Special"...and not a 'real' one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did the Police Positive have a checkered trigger, or was that something unique to the BS?
 

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Oy Veh (sorry, I couldn't resist!) has given you the correct information :)

This model was discontinued in 1942. After the war, Colt made a run of replacement barrels with the new standard post war semi ramped front sight. An original barrel has a pre war half moon or half penny front sight. Colt kept the pre war rolll stampings on the post war replacement barrels, which is the only shared trait between the pre war and post war barrels.
The gun has been rebarreled and likely left the factory as a 4" or longer barreled Police Positive, not a Banker's Special.
Barrel replacements of pre war Police Positives and Police Positive Specials were common modifications, done either by sending the gun back to Colt or most likely, done by local gunsmiths.

I would forget this one if I were you. It's pretty certain it isn't worth a Colt letter or an expedited letter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Well, I guess I can put the check back in the book. Thanks for the lesson on the Bankers Special. I will make a note of this, literally, because tomorrow I won't remember what was said. xb

Received a response from the seller that states, this is a Colt 38, not a 38 special, the shorter cylinder is a dead give a way. Meaning?
 

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Well, I guess I can put the check back in the book. Thanks for the lesson on the Bankers Special. I will make a note of this, literally, because tomorrow I won't remember what was said. xb

Received a response from the seller that states, this is a Colt 38, not a 38 special, the shorter cylinder is a dead give a way. Meaning?
Probably means .38 Colt New Police, same cartridge as .38 S&W, but with a flat point on its round nose bullet, instead of the full round nose on the S&W.
May also mean the old .38 Colt short and longs, but even Colt had stopped chambering them by 1933.
 

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XB40, we are fortunate to be able to have friends on this post that will guide us on questionable guns. I think you've just been saved from a bad purchase. The seller may not even know what he has but the collectors on this post are priceless when it comes to buying collectable Colts.
 

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Received a response from the seller that states, this is a Colt 38, not a 38 special, the shorter cylinder is a dead give a way. Meaning?
Meaning it is a Police Positive frame, which is dimensionally the same as a Bankers Special frame, and not a Police Positive Special, which shared its frame with the Detective Special.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't think the seller knows what he has. He got a little testy. People do not like it if they think you are calling there baby ugly. I just let it lay.
 

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XB40, don't feel bad. I had the same type of Fake Banker's Special as the one you pictured about 50 days ago. These experts on the Forum taught me a lot about Banker's Specials even though I resisted for a while. I finally purchased Gary Peer's book on snub nosed Colts and read up on this issue. The book was recommended by Malysh and a couple others.
 

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The 'Bankers Special' was ( the 'short' ) .38 Colt New Police, or .38 S & W or some were in .22 Rimfire.


There were never any 'Bankers Special's in .38 Special.

The Bankers Special was basically the 2 inch Barrel 'Police Positive'.


It is/was the 'Detective Special' which was in .38 Special.


The "Detective Special' was essentially a 2 inch 'Police Positive Special', having a longer Cylinder and a longer Frame 'Window' for the Cylinder, than the 'Police Positive' as such.
 

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I don't think the seller knows what he has. He got a little testy. People do not like it if they think you are calling there baby ugly. I just let it lay.

It's always a gamble, trying to inform a mis-informed Seller!


What does he or she want for it?

It is still a nice little Colt and it has no apologies to make.

I am confident, the re-Barreling was done in the late '40s or 1950s sometime, and, was done innocently.

Someone had a nice, low-mileage, 4, 5, or 6 inch Barrel "Police Positive" and they decided that a 2 inch Banker's Special Barrel being installed on it, would make it just right for the Purse or Coat Pocket or Holster.

I am sure no one was trying to fool anyone, and, back then, no one would have cared anyway. It was just a used Gun then, and it had no allure or mystique as Bankers Specials do now.

I like it!

I'd buy it, if it was reasonable...and, enjoy it for what it is.
 

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Seller wants 1000.00 or at least he did the last time I spoke with him.

Well, that is not an appropriate asking price at all then.

$400.00 I think would be about the top price and with this, and or $350.00 would be more like it.

Of course, while very unlikely, it is always possible that this did start off in life as a Bankers Special, and, that for some reason ( Hard to imagine a 'squib' making a swelled Barrel on one so short! But ) it was re-Barreled after the War sometime.


This is so improbable though, that it is only an academic foot note really, and, not a gamble worth taking.

The Value of the Revolver would still be seriously reduced, even if it DID 'Letter' as having been a Bankers Special to begin with, since the post War Barrel is in conflict with the whole.


Maybe you could interest the Seller to visit this Thread?

Or, for him or her to present the Revolver in their own Thread, in order to appeal to the Forum for an evaluation?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oyeboten, there are two things that tend to make a man angry. One is, you tell them that there wife is ugly, and the second is telling them that the gun they are trying to sell you is worth less than half of what they are asking. Maybe one more, telling them that there kid are stupid. Anyway, I would prefer he not even know about this forum. xb
 
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