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Discussion Starter #1
ok this is my first post
I have a colt DA 38
it was my father's he was a collector
this one used belonged to my uncle then my dad. it was reblued in the late 50s early 60s
it is in excellent condition
Barrel measures 6-inches, has markings: “Colts Pt. F.A. Mfg. Co. Hartford Ct, USA/Patented Aug. 5, 1884 Nov. 6, 88, Mar 5, 95”, and “Colt DA 38”.
ok it's a so-so
the serial# is "2" that's the only # I can find
it is marked in several places
I've looked on the butt, and under the grips
nothing. I've always considered a 5 digit serial low but 2.
is this really what I think?
has anybody else run across a single digit serial before?
if it is what would something like that be worth?
 

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Hi Dave. Welcome to the Forum. Without knowing the barrel length or some other things,Id say you have an ex-U.S.Army Model of 1892(or one of its variants).The number "2"you see in various places,was the assembly #,to keep the parts together for the same gun. The true serial number is on the bottom of butt,in 2 columns. If it was an Army(or Navy) gun it might have a hole where a lanyard ring went. The Army markings,and I suspect,the serial number have been "ground off". Finally,IF it is this early model,the cylinder will rotate to the LEFT as viewed from the REAR as you cock the hammer.Tell us more info ,grips,barrel length etc. Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #3
6" barrel

the butt is clean no appearance of grinding. I don't believe it's been ground either, I'm pretty good at seeing things like that. also the butt is where alot of organizations marked their pistols. (wells fargo)
CCW cylinder rotation from rear
from my experiance the serial was on the frame they didn't move it to the butt til later in the 1900s.
the top of the grips have COLT encircled
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AquaDave:
6" barrel

the butt is clean no appearance of grinding. I don't believe it's been ground either, I'm pretty good at seeing things like that. also the butt is where alot of organizations marked their pistols. (wells fargo)
CCW cylinder rotation from rear
from my experiance the serial was on the frame they didn't move it to the butt til later in the 1900s.
the top of the grips have COLT encircled
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi AquaDave! I collect the COLT DA model 1889 and Model 1892 series revolvers. Colt put the serial number on the butt of all their revolvers in this frame size until they changed to the Army Special model in 1908. The number on the frame inside the crane is the assembly number and should match the rest of the numbers on the small parts. I have a book manuscript on these interesting revolvers being reviewed by a publisher now. I had the opportunity to visit the Colt factory and do research in the Colt shipping records. I can state for a fact that NONE of the civilian model 1889 or 1892 series revolvers have a serial number below 5001. There were NO one, two or three CIVILIAN MODEL serial numbers produced by Colt in this frame size in the M-1889 and M-1892 series guns. If it were a military model, it would have military inspectors stamps in several different locations on the gun. Navy guns had inspection stamps inside the crane, on the rear face of the cylinder and under the barrel. The Army guns were also marked under the barrel and the on the rear face of the cylinder and the left side of the frame. The assembly numbers were three and four digit series numbers (depending on the model) and were reused over and over again ... Sorry it's not a rare single digit gun. Bob Best
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I believe you, this isn't my first old gun I've owned
now being an exjeweler I've filled in and ground engravings and know the little tale tale signs and have seen ground #s before
if so somebody remachined this and then went to a lot of effort to send it back to an antique look. the machining is consisant with the rest of pistol using a 15x glass.

I have over 60 weapons in my collection
from french muskets to 1894win to 30cal paratrooper to parker to 1022ruger
why would anybody go through that much trouble for a $300 pistol
you got to believe me when I said I've looked very hard
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AquaDave:
I believe you, this isn't my first old gun I've owned
now being an exjeweler I've filled in and ground engravings and know the little tale tale signs and have seen ground #s before
if so somebody remachined this and then went to a lot of effort to send it back to an antique look. the machining is consisant with the rest of pistol using a 15x glass.

I have over 60 weapons in my collection
from french muskets to 1894win to 30cal paratrooper to parker to 1022ruger
why would anybody go through that much trouble for a $300 pistol
you got to believe me when I said I've looked very hard
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi! No insult to your observation skills intended... Colt's shipping records very clearly show the first production guns shipped and there are no civilian model serial numbers below 5001. You did say the gun was refinished and reblued. It doesn't take much to polish off the serial number from the butt and refinish it to look like new. Colt did not begin placing the serial number on the frame in the crane cutout until the Army Special model in 1908. It sounds like you have an interesting collection of guns... I have 91 of the Colt DA Model 1889 and Model 1892 series revolvers in my collection along with numerous other makes and models of guns. All of the Colt DA Model 1889 and Model 1892 series civilian models have the serial number on the butt. If you want confirmation, call Colt and ask Kathy Hoyt for a letter on serial number 2 and see what she says... I think you will find that she also will tell you that the beginning civilian serial numbers for both the Model 1889 and 1892 series began at 5001...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yes it was reblued in the late 50s early 60s
but I remember my father saying he warned him against blueing because it would ruin the value. so it had to have been done before then. it then is without dout one of the best jobs of serial # removing I've seen.
most of the time there is some trace of stamping unless you remove so much metal that you can tell it been removed. I collect pocket watches to and when people bring you their "granddaddy's watch" it's hard to tell them it not a pricless item. and in watches #s are changed often so I came to notice little discrepincies.
that sucks I hate having a gun with no serial # on it
but then again I could say it was used to kill a major figure then ground so it couldn't be traced. help me think of who it could have been used on
Like I always say why let the truth get in the way of a good story
 

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COLT DA GUY; Both of my early model DAs are late production(1906 and 1907),so it might not be the same for the earlier guns,BUT- is the serial number INSIDE the side plate???,or is it still the assembly number??? Let us know,and well have to tell Dave how to remove it,and the little caution about getting the hand spring in the right spot when replacing. Thanks,Bud
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lonewolf:
COLT DA GUY; Both of my early model DAs are late production(1906 and 1907),so it might not be the same for the earlier guns,BUT- is the serial number INSIDE the side plate???,or is it still the assembly number??? Let us know,and well have to tell Dave how to remove it,and the little caution about getting the hand spring in the right spot when replacing. Thanks,Bud<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi Lonewolf! It's the assembly number on the inside of the side plate of the later DA Model 1895 revolvers just as in the earlier 1889 and 1892 models. The change of serial number placement didn't happen until Colt came out with the Army Special model in 1908...you do indeed have to be careful on the spring placement as you can really mess it up if you aren't careful! :) Bob
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AquaDave:
yes it was reblued in the late 50s early 60s
but I remember my father saying he warned him against blueing because it would ruin the value. so it had to have been done before then. it then is without dout one of the best jobs of serial # removing I've seen.
most of the time there is some trace of stamping unless you remove so much metal that you can tell it been removed. I collect pocket watches to and when people bring you their "granddaddy's watch" it's hard to tell them it not a pricless item. and in watches #s are changed often so I came to notice little discrepincies.
that sucks I hate having a gun with no serial # on it
but then again I could say it was used to kill a major figure then ground so it couldn't be traced. help me think of who it could have been used on
Like I always say why let the truth get in the way of a good story
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi AquDave: If your gun was redone in the late fifties or early sixties, it was probably worth redoing well as it was only 50 -60 years old. They were shootable and I knew several people who used them as house defense guns and even "in the woods" guns. I bought my first one in the early sixties for $15... the guy even threw in some .41 Colt shells... They certainly weren't collectors items then and it was no different than having a fifties built Colt or S&W refinished now as a shooter... I've seen some very fine polish and reblue jobs done on these later Colts and S&Ws... You can get a mirror like finish that takes the bluing well... Bob
 

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Anyone need a 32/20 cylinder & ratchet(no internals)? I was going to convert an older '92,with a bad bore(and the oversize of .357 bullets) to a 32/20 when I bought these 2 pieces at a show. Was looking for a barrel,and then this 1907 "transition"(no rebated trigger guard) "showed up",so I sold the 92'. Think,I have some internal parts too,such as a hammer,trigger,hand etc.that I got for spares,but I rarely shoot my 1st Model Officers(but its accurate with mild wad cutters)or the transition,as it is close to mint shape & requires milder handloads than my other guns. Bud
 
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