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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Is anyone familiar with Colt Bantam? It's supposed to be a 1960s Cobra-like revolver in .32 that never made it to production and exists in a small number of prototypes. A guy claims he has one. This is the only picture I got so far. It looks like a post-66 short frame. It's engraved "7106" above the trigger guard. I have never seen one, so asking if anyone is able to tell me what the correct roll marks, grips, other features are. What are the correct serial numbers? I heard that's it's in the Cobra LW frame range, but not sure. Lastly, anyone venture to guess what the value might be?

Colt Bantam.jpg
 

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I don't know the answers to your question but it's interesting, thanks for posting. I wonder what role this was supposed to have filled that an agent, a cobra, or DS couldn't fulfill?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I believe these were supposed to have lightweight alloy cylinders. Since Aircreman was blowing up the cylinders in .38 and Courier did marginally better in .32 with aluminium cylinders, this could have been an attempt to make a stable more lightweight D frame. This is conjecture on my part because I don't have any published information to refer to, just what I heard over the years.
 

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A 66 grip frame would use over lapping stocks, this does not have that. The 32 courier had an agent grip frame like this but with a 3" barrel. The only item different and that is if the cylinder is aluminum, is the barrel length of 2".
 

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Didn't the Agent always have a short frame? If so, that revolver could be correct for the time period. If, in fact, it does have an aluminum cylinder, it is nothing more than an .32 Agent with an alloy cylinder and appropriately marked barrel.

Or it could be an Agent someone retrofitted with a "Bantam" marked barrel they somehow came up with.

An archives letter is called for before any conclusions can be reached.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I requested both, more pictures and a copy of the letter. I may be dealing with a computer challenged individual, since it has been hours since I emailed him and haven't heard back. Not sure yet. I was hoping someone here could tell me definitively the real Bantam characteristics, so I can compare with what I see. Letters are easily faked too (easier than the gun), so I will be checking it out with Colt Archives if and when I see a copy of this supposed Bantam letter. I am one of the most skeptical Colt buyers you will ever encounter. :)
 

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The only thing I know for sure is the ejector rod length is one that was used approx. 1950-mid 1952 at the latest. By mid 1952 Colt started using a slightly longer one, albeit with the same pattern knob. If the crane and frame are consistant with the ejector rod, then we are looking at a platform that would be a 1950-1952 long frame Cobra (aka Lightweight) with a shortened grip frame.
Glad to read you want to see a letter, get the serial number, and hopefully much better pictures.

I have never heard of an experimental 32 Colt N.P. Lightweight tentatively called a Bantam.
I would think by the 60s Colt was already considering dropping guns in 32 Colt N.P. and 38 Colt N.P., not introducing a new model in either of these 2 calibers. It would seem more like a mid 1950s Colt project than a 1960s project to me, unless this is a "made-up rarity".

I hope you have a winner! :)
 

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I do hope you can get better pictures. The cylinder looks like it's aluminum, and may have dual tone cylinder flutes (potential "clues" this could have been a 1950s project gun :confused:)

Unfortunately I can't really tell from that pic.
 

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As a follow up I did put Winston in touch with the only person that I know who has knowledge on the Colt Bantam. These were a light weight Detective Special in .32 with an allow frame and the barrel was marked Bantam. My friend has one that does letter however they were a prototype gun by Colt that never went into production. A few may have made it out with employees and sold later on so there could be a few out there. The picture that Winston posted does look correct. This is probably the rarest post war Colt that was made with only one gun known to letter.
 

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As a follow up I did put Winston in touch with the only person that I know who has knowledge on the Colt Bantam. These were a light weight Detective Special in .32 with an allow frame and the barrel was marked Bantam. My friend has one that does letter however they were a prototype gun by Colt that never went into production. A few may have made it out with employees and sold later on so there could be a few out there. The picture that Winston posted does look correct. This is probably the rarest post war Colt that was made with only one gun known to letter.
Great info!
Do I have the right time frame?
 

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Winston. Glad to assist and certainly happy that you got a chance to talk to my friend about the Bantam. He has more time into these than anyone I know. I hope you are successful in adding it to your collection.
 
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