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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How does one go about lettering a Colt revolver? S&W has a form you download, but I haven't been able to find a similar form on the Colt website...do I need to call them?
I have an Official Police with 5" bbl that belonged to an Ohio Highway patrolman who was involved in a gunfight in 1938 (I have an S&W revolver that was presented to him because of that gunfight). I want to find out if he owned the OP prior to the gunfight..if he did, there is a good chance it was the gun he used.
I am contacting the Ohio Highway Patrol to find out about their freedom of information info to see if I can get any records on this fellow. Anything I find out will be posted, of course!
 

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Colt doesn't have a historian like Roy Jinks. Several years ago I heard, and I may be wrong as it was a while ago, that for a historical search with Colt the fee was several hundred dollars.
Unless the officer ordered the revolver records would probably only show what store or agency (if it was an issued weapon) it was delivered to.

[This message has been edited by Majic (edited 01-09-2004).]
 

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You can check the Colt site for their current archive letter fees at: http://www.colt.com/CMCI/archive_prices.asp

Most DA revolvers are $75-$100. I do know that pre-WWII Colt used to sell direct to US military officers, I have a Colt letter on a 1935 National Match indicating this. While they obviously sold to law enforcement departments, I'm not sure if they sold to individuals in the department. It would be worth a call to Colt Customer Service.
 
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SEBCo,
Tell us more about your NM. I've just written an article on them to be published in Man at Arms magazine and would like to learn more about yours. Thanks.
 

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Kevin,

I tried to use your e-mail but it bounced. I made contact with on this NM awhile back, you've got a copy of the Colt letter and photos. Looking forward to reading the article!

Scott

[This message has been edited by SEBCo (edited 01-09-2004).]
 

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I too have a Pre-War National Match. Mine has the New Safety Device (Swartz Safety). What do you want to know about it?

I assume you have expanded on, or taken a different approach from, "The American Beauty" book on the NM. What is the fact?
 
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Scott - I remember now. Thanks again.

JC - My article goes into a lot more detail on barrels and sights than either Clawson or Mullin (both of whom proofread the article). There are more variations of barrels than have ever been documented before. Ditto for the Stevens sight, although I don't really try to lay all that out in one article.
 

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Many people are surprised to find that up until the late 1990's Colt would sell directly to customers.

After the 1964 Firearms Act, the gun had to be shipped to a dealer, but you could still order the gun direct.

This led to much of the misunderstanding about Colt's intentions during the great "Shut-down" of the early 2000's.

Colt announced they would no longer sell DIRECT to customers, and everybody misunderstood this to mean Colt was no longer going to sell guns COMMERCIALLY.

Because of the turmoil at Colt, they didn't do a good job at all, at clearing this up.

A Historical letter from Colt will include everything Colt knows about the gun:
Who ordered it, and who it was shipped to.
When made, and when shipped.
What barrel length, caliber, finish, grips, and any non-standard features.

Since this was a police gun, the records will probably show shipment either to a wholesaler or direct to the agency.

If the Ohio records still exist from back then, they should show the Trooper's complete history, including the serial of any firearm issued to him.

Among the info the agency MIGHT have would be copies of any information related to the shooting, like autopsy results, corornor's inquest, and other info.
At least some of that info would contain the serial number of the Trooper's gun.

The only problems will be, do the records still exist, are they in any kind of shape to be searched, and the Trooper's and agency's right to refuse the info request.

As for as the request, as long as the info is in a search-able form, and somebody has time to do it, there should be no problem from a case dating to 1938.

If it does prove out to be a gun used in a shooting, I'd be a little careful who I'd tell.

There is a very specialized group of collectors, who really pursue what they call "blood guns". That is guns, (or other weapons) that are confirmed as having been used to kill.

These people are low-profile, and keep pretty much to their own small circle, but hearing about a verified blood gun can bring a bunch of unwanted contacts trying to buy the gun.

Some of these people have trouble accepting "No" for an answer.



[This message has been edited by dfariswheel (edited 01-09-2004).]
 

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DFW, I would pick a small nit in regard to what you said about Colt letters stating when a gun was made. I have dozens of Colt letters, the oldest being for a 1909 gun, but none state when the gun was made. My letters only state the shipping date, not the manfuacture date, along with the other items mentioned.
 
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