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It's just hard to imagine how any inspector can miss such an obvious error...not even considering how many hands the barrel passed through before being installed. It must have been a case of seeing what you think is there but not actually seeing it when it's not there. It's still inexcusable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Several dealers and gun shows later, still no unanimous opinion on the value of this Colt. I find that very interesting. Maybe there are just not enough examples out there of gun oddities like this one to be able to judge the significance of the error (or as some have indicated, the lack of QC). With coins and stamps, there are thousands of examples of errors and their value. Maybe, this lack of roll marks is so rare that no one has ever had to, or been able to, place a value on their exclusion???
 

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In my opinion it will not add value to your king Cobra. A clever individual could remove roll marks (especially from a stainless gun) and add value. Just my thoughts.
 

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If the original poster doesn't plan on keeping this firearm, he may want to think about putting it on GunBroker with a reserve to see what the market says it's worth.
 

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dandak, do you know of any specific examples of the value of guns that have left the factory with imperfections such as missing "roll marks" or missing "anchor" stamp or wrong "caliber" stamped on the barrel. Colt is awfully interested in getting this King Cobra back!!!!
Interesting that they want it returned.

I bought an 8" nickel "Target Python", brand new from the Kittery Trading Post about 1980 or so, when they first came out. Barrel stamped "38 Special". Perhaps listening to the chorus of "who buys a Python in 38 Special?" or plain curiosity, but I decided to find if a 357 case would fit ..... and it did. And, being young and dumb I decided to find out if the gun would safely fire 357s (that the gun would demonstrate how it didn't safely fire 357s was lost on me ....) so I loaded some light to progressively standard 357 loads and the gun was fine. I called Colt and their response was the same 40 years ago as you got now. They wanted the gun back. Which I haven't done, still have it. More precisely, my 89 year old Mother has it. Used it (with 38 Specials) to qualify and get her MA LTC.

I've never figured out if the gun is a 357 with the wrong barrel, or a 38 Special with the wrong cylinder. The box reads that it's a 38 Special so I tend toward wrong cylinder. I've not considered it worth any more than a run of the mill nickel target model in 38 Special - would seem fairly easy to fake.
 

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The GCA of 1968 requires a manufacturer to mark a firearm with tithe name, and their city and state. It also requires the caliber to be marked.

Back in 1974 or so, Colt made some diamondbacks that were 22lr. The chambers were 22lr, the boxes were marked 22lr and the factory invoice was for 22 lr. But somehow the barrels were marked 22 magnum. The factory had to recall the guns and replace the barrel with a correctly marked one. We sold one where I worked and the owner didn’t want to send it back. Colt made him an offer so they could properly mark the revolver and the customer got enough cash to more than pay for the gun.
 

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I don’t think many vendors at gun shows would know the value of this gun. Especially if their tables are filled with black plastic guns.
Collectors will determine its value. Most people standing behind the table are not colt collectors. Some of the most knowledgeable colt collectors are on this site and have already given their opinion.
Gunbroker is a good option to sell and so is here.
I’m a sucker for guns like this and I will pay a premium but not much more than the value of a non error gun.
I can buy this king cobra for a little less than $800. I wouldn’t buy yours for more than $1000.
Somebody on gunbroker might pay more though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
If the original poster doesn't plan on keeping this firearm, he may want to think about putting it on GunBroker with a reserve to see what the market says it's worth.
I have listed the Colt on Gun Broker if you are interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
I don’t think many vendors at gun shows would know the value of this gun. Especially if their tables are filled with black plastic guns.
Collectors will determine its value. Most people standing behind the table are not colt collectors. Some of the most knowledgeable colt collectors are on this site and have already given their opinion.
Gunbroker is a good option to sell and so is here.
I’m a sucker for guns like this and I will pay a premium but not much more than the value of a non error gun.
I can buy this king cobra for a little less than $800. I wouldn’t buy yours for more than $1000.
Somebody on gunbroker might pay more though.
I have listed the Colt on Gun Broker if you are interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Not being able to come up with a price, I have listed this Colt on Gun Broker to test the water. We will see what kind of interest it generates.
"One-of-a-Kind Colt King Cobra 357 Magnum"
 

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I viewed your listing on GB. It states you’re located in Smithton IL. I’m in St. Louis county; about 30 minutes from you.
Please send me a pm if you’re interested in a ftf sale and if you’re in Smithton.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
I viewed your listing on GB. It states you’re located in Smithton IL. I’m in St. Louis county; about 30 minutes from you.
Please send me a pm if you’re interested in a ftf sale and if you’re in Smithton.
Not sure what a ftf sale is, not familiar with that acronym. Also, pm? personal message, don't know how to do that on this forum. Sorry,not a big user of the forum.
 

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Hi the colt letter says this gun doesn’t meet ATF requirements and cannot be resold unless marked correctly. Have you contacted the ATF to ask if that is true? Neat mistake!

FTF=face to face but since you guys are in different states I think it would need to go via an FFL.

Good luck!


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I would love to know how a gun with no caliber stamping can be registered/transferred. I would have let Colt take care of the issue since its their butt on the line for letting it leave the factory without the caliber designation.
 

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I would love to know how a gun with no caliber stamping can be registered/transferred. I would have let Colt take care of the issue since its their butt on the line for letting it leave the factory without the caliber designation.
I Cannot Comment any further but this needs to go back to Colt. It is not a legal gun. Period.
 

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Id get that in writing from the ATF and apply it to your listing and I think that would give a good solid argument for the valuation. Good luck!


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