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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Colt New Army DA Model 1901, I\'m confused??

Hello all, I just purchased this old New Army DA and I'm a bit confused when it comes to its date of manufacture. According to DOM list that I've seen, its serial number of 62213 would put its DOM in 1895, yet it is stamped US ARMY Model 1901. What am I missing here? All serial number match on all parts (all small parts are marked 2213) and all are marked with the inspectors mark of RAC. It looks to be all original, including the holster worn finish. Would a letter from Colt be of any value to this pistol, assuming Colt can even letter this model? Here are some pictures of it. I appreciate any help you can give me on understanding this. Thanks!













Ben
 

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Re: Colt New Army DA Model 1901, I\'m confused??

Very nice looking revolver,and great to see one "original".

Hopefully,Bob Best will be along to explain to us the "inconsistency" in the date that the frame was stamped,and why it is marked Model of 1901.

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 

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Re: Colt New Army DA Model 1901, I\'m confused??

Hi jbw1776 & Bud,

The reason the gun is serial numbered in the 1895 production year is because that was when it was actually built. It was in the range of 60001 to 68000. And was originally marked "US ARMY MODEL 1894" on the butt.

In 1901 the Army changed the specs on their contract revolver model series to include a lanyard ring. The first contracts for the Model 1901 revolvers(with lanyard ring) were in the 166xxx serial number range. The army then gathered as many of the older models (without lanyard rings) and refurbished them and added the ring in the process. The butt markings were polished off and changed to read "Model 1901" and they kept their original serial number. Colt did the refurbishing on the ones with "Model 1901" marked on the butt. The Army refurbished some of the earlier models at various arsenals and didn't bother to change the Model designation on the butt. That is why you sometimes see Model 1892, Model 1894 and Model 1896 marked guns with lanyard rings... they were refurbished and rebuilt by the US Arsenals...

I found many different rebuild periods in the Colt shipping records and the Army's annual ordnance reports while I was doing my research for my book on these guns... Hope that helps! Bob Best
 

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Re: Colt New Army DA Model 1901, I\'m confused??

Thanks COLTDAGUY. Would this one be more or less "valuable"/collectable than an "original" 1901? Where in the collectablility range would this one fall in, lets say, between an original 1894, an original 1901, or one that was referbished yet again for WWI at Remington? And finally, from what you can see, what would you say the value of this one is? I appreciate you taking the time to explain all this to me.

Ben
 

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Re: Colt New Army DA Model 1901, I\'m confused??

Hi Ben,
As Far as scarcity is concerned, any of the pre-1901 models in their original configuration are the rarest, just because so many of them were upgraded and reworked during several different time periods. A reworked Model 1901 is probably less desireable collectorwise than a regular production unmodified Model 1901, again just because it has been reworked. Collectors seem to like original anything over reworked anything... As for the LEB marked 1918 reworks, 19000+ were reworked during that time frame and most went to the navy. There are not REPEAT NOT, any that received US Navy markings! The closest you will see to this is some have a USMC on the frame. This NOT , REPEAT NOT a US Marine Corps revolver.... This is one of the guns that went to the US MARITIME COMMISSION for use by gun crews on merchant ships on convoy duty in the Atlantic during WW II.

I personally have one or more of each model variation in origional configuration, reworked configuration by Colt, reworked configuration by the Army and Reworked configuration by Remingtom... plus a few others that have special markings that I have located over the years...

There has been considerable increased collector interest in the early DA revolvers over the last couple years and the prices are climbing... I would guess your gun is in the $400 to $500 range today... but if you wait 6 months to a yaer it will certainly be worth more... Hope that helps... Bob Best
 

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Re: Colt New Army DA Model 1901, I\'m confused??

Thanks for all the detailed information Mr. Best. It's great to have a place to come that has folks of your knowledge on these old Colts. Your time is greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

Ben
 

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Re: Colt New Army DA Model 1901, I\'m confused??

By the way, Bob publishes a very nice and informative book on these revolvers well worth owning.
 

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Re: Colt New Army DA Model 1901, I\'m confused??

[ QUOTE ]
By the way, Bob publishes a very nice and informative book on these revolvers well worth owning.

[/ QUOTE ]

I found it and will be ordering one! Looks like a VERY nice informative book.

Ben
 

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Re: Colt New Army DA Model 1901, I\'m confused??

Wow! This is a great thread. Information like this really makes the Colt Forum worthwhile.

I've owned my Model 1901 for many years but have known little about the revolver or the military DA Colts. I've been intending to research it for some time. I'd never heard that the serial numbers run sequentially through the entire series from 1892. I even have a reference that would have told me if I'd only consulted it.

The serial number on my revolver is 1258 which must indicate that it was manufactured in 1893. It possesses the 1901 marking on the butt. I'd always though the serial number was restarted for every model upgrade.

My revolver still sports much of its vivid blue finish and doesn't appear to be refinished. The grips are RAC inspected. I don't have a screwdriver handy so don't know if the inside of the grip panels are serial numbered. The thumbpiece possesses the "K" marking over the same serial number as is on the butt. The last patent date on the barrel is March 5, '95.

I will order one of Bob's books.

What is the significance of that "K" on the thumbpiece?
 

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Re: Colt New Army DA Model 1901, I\'m confused??

Hi bmcgilvray,

The significance of the "K" on the various Army contracts is not known for sure. Some advanced collectors think it may have been a Colt employee assigned to inspect the contract guns before their going on to the Army sub-inspector for final inspection and other collectors believe it was an Army assigned letter to signify that a part had passed inspection... I have never been able to find any mention of its exact meaning in my research. It is interesting that the "K" does appear on other Colt model Army contract guns of the 1890 - 1910 range... SAAs, Model 1902 45 revolvers ect...

As for the serial number sequence of the Colt DA revolver series, the Model 1892 Army contract revolvers were serial numbered 1 to approximately 8xxx... there is a serial number gap with the civilian model production starting at 10001 and running thru the 19xxx range. Then the serial numbers jump to 60001 with the introduction of the Model 1894 Army contract guns and go to 68xxx. The civilian model production starts about 68xxx and continues increasing from there to the end of production at a little over 293xxx. The Army Special model begins at 300,0xx and gets larger from there. All of this is documented in Colt's shipping records. Also, be aware that serial numbers do NOT run sequencially with time. Colt produced the the 10000 range serial numbered civilian models at the same time they were producing the 1-8xxx military models... they did this on later army and navy contracts as well... Colt would "skip ahead" and start a block of serial numbers which caused early numbered guns to be produced after later numbered guns...

As for your Model 1901 being originally a Model 1892, that's possible, but not a for sure thing. I found many instances in the Colt records where guns were sent to Colt for refurbishing by the Army and after the polishing process the gun "lost" the butt serial number ... Colt just put the assembly number which was the last four digits of the serial number that is found in various places on the gun, back on the butt and shipped it that way back to the Army. You can tell what model it really is by examination, as the contract s/n ranges are known and the various machining changes of the different models lets you pick out which model your gun really is. ... Hope that helps. Bob Best
 
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