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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear Forum,

I am new to the forum; frankly the subject of this post precipitated my joining (and I am certainly glad I did, of course).


Issue(s)/Inquir(ies) relevant my recent purchase of a new to me/used Colt Cobra .38 special (blued, serial # 73951R)

1) my serial number is 73951R - I have researched the same to find Year 1977 serial number series 60001R - 71400R. Year 1978 was the last year of manufacture and serial number series was 63401R. Can anyone tell me when my Colt Cobra (serial # 73951R) was manufactured?
must;

2) to the best of my knowledge, information and belief the serial # is present in just two places on my Colt Cobra - must open the cylinder to find stamped on the each side of the hinge (frame and cylinder). As described above, I am struggling to determine date of manf. Additionally I note there is an "E" stamped below the serial number stamped upon the frame. Does anyone know the meaning, if any, of the "E" stamped below the serial number?

3)
Lastly, my Cobra is presently blued. It is decent, but not perfect. I would like to nickel plate and get mint ivory grips w/ colt emblem. I appreciate the potential implications of "messing" with the original finish. To be quite honest, I am not concerned with the guns in terms of investment/resale value; instead (and this might sound shallow) I just always liked the look of the Cobra (the Cobra stamped on barrel and of course the famous horse). I simply want it to look nice to me--nothing more nothing less-- i am not disrespecting the weapon, or Colt etc etc (respectfully, please dont beat me up its not a money thing) -- I just want it to look nice to me-- that is a nickel finish (or some similar alternative) and ivory grips with emblem;

a. Objections to removing bluing notwithstanding -- is Nickel the way to go? Or, is there some better alternative to achieve the "nickel-esque" look I seek;

b. Can you recommend a party to refinish in Nickel, or alternative finish you suggest (btw I also intend to remove/replace the bobbed trigger with full trigger);

c. Can you recommend party/place for Ivory (or ivory-like grips); and

d. Any general thoughts or advice on refinish (particularly given the aluminum frame) -- understanding that money is not an issue at all, nor is resale or the like -- functionality and aesthetics (my personal taste) is the ultimate concern (if all goes as planned this will be my work week concealed carry -- i have some nice revolvers - BUT I'LL BE DAMNED IF ANYTHING LOOKS AS SMOOTH AS A COLT (smooth, in my opinion, is about the best word i can think of juxtaposing Colt with others)-- in the end, while I might personally be lacking, I would enjoy a revolver that you would expect a gentleman to carry).

I appreciate your time Men and look forward to your sage advice.

Semper Fi.

Respectfully submitted,

John Siejk
 

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The Searcher
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Welcome to the forum.

1) As you note, the Cobra serials began with 63401R in 1978. There were no R suffix serial used in 1979. That implies that all higher R suffix serials were made in 1978. Yours might be among the last.

2) The serial number is also stamped on the inside of the sideplate. The E is a typical inspection stamp.

3) To get the "blued" finish, the barrel and crane assembly; that is the steel parts, are blued and the alloy frame is anodized. Since the processes are separate and incompatible, rebluing requires that the barrel be removed. Colt recommends against that and most will not do it because of possible damage to the frame and lack of replacement. That said, nickel is a viable alternative as is hard chrome (known by several trade names). You would have to consider that the prep for refinishing can affect the Cobra and rampant colt markings that you like. As a finish, hard chrome is very thin (but very durable) and does tend itself to have minimal affect on the markings. Other members have had their Agents and Cobras refinished and should be able to add more specific personal experience based comments or recommendations.

Everyone is likely to ask for pictures. HTH :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks AIA -- I have done Hard Chrome on several other weapons -- I do believe all told superior to Nickel. In this instance, I simply thought Nickel more appropriate. So, Nickel or Chrome?

Thank you.
 
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