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Recently picked up a pair of very nice 1st issue cobras. They look like they have never been fired.
I know the vast majority of the Cobras were 38s. Anyone ever run across any figures on how many Cobras were produced in .22 and .32?
Both of these little gems are in .32 Colt New Police (32 S&W Long)
 

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Have never seen any figures,but I wish I knew.The rarest of all Cobras & Detective Specials has to be those in .38 S&W(.38 Colt N.P.)not .38 Special. I have a .22 Cobra that I shoot occassionally,but probably shouldnt have,as I got it 12 years ago NIB. I had a .32 Cobra,with 4" barrel,that had a badly pitted outside of barrel. Was trying to find a barrel,when a .32 Courier came along and.... The .32s tended not to sell,and most were pawned off on women,who were told they could not handle recoil of a larger gun. Of course "enlightened women knew differently,and there was a lady gun writer/ shooter,who wrote a column for the earliest editions of Shooting Times 40 years ago,that really denounced the .32s in all makes & models. That said,she was experienced & used to recoil,so maybe a hit from a .22 or .32 was better than a miss from a .38 Special. Enjoy the Cobras! Bud
 

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Not meaning to take over the thread, but the mention of a .32 Courier caught my attention.

lw, I believe the .32 Courier is one of the rarest of all Colts. It is the only production Colt with an alloy cylinder. Does yours have the alloy cylinder? Mine does, although I have heard of a .32 Courier with a steel cylinder. If you look at the specifications in the catalogs of that era, the weight given is much lighter for the .32 than the .22, much more than would be could be attributed to the bore size alone.
 

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Judge,I know the Courier is one of the rarest Colts,but collector prices do not reflect this. Not to nit pick,but the Aircrewman(not sold to public) also had an alloy cylinder,this causing its demise. I saw an Aircrewman while stationed at Kelly AFB in AirForce Security in mid 60s. My Corier has the alloy cylinder,but I bought a steel cylinder for shooting purposes,with standard velocity handloads. The Courier is NOT an easy gun to shoot,as it is light with a short sight radius,but steel cylinder helps to steady it. My Courier was not a collector specimen when I bought it,so my wife carried it for a while. Speaking of small frame Colts,go to the Auction Arms website and put in #5611757. You will see a one of kind 4" Bankers Special in .22!! Bids are already over $3000,with a week to go,all factory letters etc! Now there is a RARE COLT! Henry Stebbins,in his book,"Pistols a Modern Encyclopedia",mentions some rare Fixed Sighted 4" Police Positives being made as special order in the 1920s,and I thought this gun might be one,but no,it is marked Bankers Special. I happened to see one of the 4" Police Positive .22s twice at agun shows. BUT,it was NOT origunal,someone had bought it,had it "pawn shop" engraves and added pearl stocks,thus destroying its collector value; dealer still wanted $1200 for it.Im sitting here figuring how that 4" Bankers would shoot,realizing probably about the same as my 3" Cobra! God what an addiction! Anyway, go on the Auction Arms website,and prepare to salivate! Ive learned a long time ago,that anything is possible with "special order" guns! Bud
 

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lw, I specifically said the Courier .32 was the only PRODUCTION Colt with an alloy cylinder to distinguish it from the non-production AirCrewman.

I do not find the .32 Courier that difficult to shoot because the ammunition is fairly weak. The Pocket Positive is smaller and is still fairly easy to shoot.

I will check out the 4-inch BS. Without a factory letter, I would not believe it. I wonder if the letter is legit?
 

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Well, I checked out the 4-inch BS, and I am skeptical. No pictures. No copy of the letter. No mention of the date of shipment. The square butt is questionable since the .22 BS was not introduced until 1933 when the round butt was standard.

I suppose it is possible to be legit, but I wonder.
 

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There were many pictures of the Bankers Special,and photos of the letters! Notice I said that the Aircrewman was "not sold to public",but nearly 1200 were "produced". Bud
 

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Just looked at the Auction Arms site at the 4" Bankers Special 22. Very nice pictures, not just of the gun but the letters as well. Not just a factory letter specifying when and who bought the revolver, but some of the original correspondance about the original custom order. Noticed the factory reply talking about how Colt could make a 4" barrel, but it would cost $10.68 as the rifling machine would need to be reset for the longer length. This letter is signed by J Henry Fitzgerald, originator of the "Fitz" specials and noted Colt employee.
Pictures of other documentation, including a short biography (with pictures) of the original owner from an apparent family member, and letters from Frank Pachmayr and Elmer Keith. I don't think I've ever seen such a complete documentation package for any gun. Worth the time it takes to let all the pictures download.
 
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