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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Letter Info. Update

I put a rush letter request in with Colt on this to see if the Grips were original or if it shipped to Wolf & Klar. Pretty disappointing response:

Caliber .45 auto cartridge
Barrel Length: 5 ½”
Finish: Blue
Stocks: Checkered wood
Ship to: Cline & Cline Co., Los Angeles CA
Ship Date: September 22, 1926
Colt Factory Order: #11922 / 15
Number of guns
in Shipment: 15

Records do not mention the carved MOP stocks or checkered backstrap.
Anyone have any info. on Cline & Cline Co. out of LA? The checkering looks as factory as other Colt checking I've seen from that era.

Based my research, these were popular with the LAPD. Here's one 22 serial number digits from mine that is LAPD inscribed.
Colt - New Service-Revolver Firearms Auction Lot-700



****Update***

So I went back and picked it up for $1200. I think it's a military frame that they used to make this ("G" on frame under grips, and a remnant of a 3 below serial number. Possibly scrubbed and remarked?). For some reason it doesn't come-up in the Colt look up. I wonder if it will letter? Grips fit fairly well, but the pin hole isn't deep enough on the steer head panel for the grip to fit flush. Possibly not factory? Do the 4 hash marks on the inside of each grip panel mean anything (maker)? Cherkering only on the back strap. Is it Factory?

Overall it's pretty tight and should be a good shooter. Bore is bight and shiny. Probably in better condition than I remember.


**Original Post**

So a local shop has a Colt New Service with 5 1/2" barrel marked .45 Colt, but has a 45 acp cylinder. Checkered back strap (and maybe front?) and I think it dates to 1924. I always thought this was a franken gun but than I found this thread.

http://www.coltforum.com/forums/colt-revolvers/26622-new-service-45acp.html

So I think this gun matches the description from the above thread (I always thought the checkering looked factory). It also has steer head carved mother of pearl grips which the shop says came with the gun when they got it. Condition is probably 80%. Could the grips be factory? I've also read these might not letter and come up as "sold to the military".

The shop wants $1350, which I think is high. They seem to think the grips alone are worth $400.

What do you guys think the value of something like this might be?

Thanks.
















How it currently looks.

 

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The price may be a bit high but this sounds like a unique New Service. The first commercial .45 ACP chambered New Service revolvers did have the barrel caliber marking .45 Colt. The checkered backstrap, 45 ACP chambering, and MOP stocks would have me reaching for my wallet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do we know if Colt has the New Service shipping records in the 324000 to 325000 serial number range? I ran my 3242xx through the on-line look-up and nothing came up? The gun I listed about above is in this range (IIRC).
 

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If that lettered with the MOP stocks, then plausible. I have been watching gun broker a lot lately for New Service revolvers and sometimes nice examples are “sometimes” selling in the 5-$800 range.
 

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So a local shop has a Colt New Service with 5 1/2" barrel marked .45 Colt, but has a 45 acp cylinder. Checkered back strap (and maybe front?) and I think it dates to 1924. I always thought this was a franken gun but than I found this thread.http://www.coltforum.com/forums/colt-revolvers/26622-new-service-45acp.htmlSo I think this gun matches the description from the above thread (I always thought the checkering looked factory). It also has stag head carved mother of pearl grips which the shop says came with the gun when they got it. Condition is probably 80%. Could the grips be factory? I've also read these might not letter and come up as "sold to the military".The shop wants $1350, which I think is high. They seem to think the grips alone are worth $400. What do you guys think the value of something like this might be?Sorry I don't have pics.Thanks.
I will differ with a few of the previous comments and say this. The Colt New Service chambered in .45 ACP. had the same barrel marking as the .45 Long Colt so that part could be fine. I can tell if it came from the factory like this if you can measure the width of the cylinder stop lug and let me know. The stop lug on the auto's were wider. The checkered front and back strap was a factory option, I own several, and it will increase the value quite a bit if it is original. Look to see if it is blued as any after marked would show the white in the checkering unless the gun was re-blued. If the carved pearl stocks fit perfectly then there is a good chance that they came on the gun from the factory which is another big plus and would increase the value by quite a bit. If you can send a picture or two I should be able to assist. At the price that you mentioned it is a steal if it passes the test of the items that I mentioned. I hope this info helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I will differ with a few of the previous comments and say this. The Colt New Service chambered in .45 ACP. had the same barrel marking as the .45 Long Colt so that part could be fine. I can tell if it came from the factory like this if you can measure the width of the cylinder stop lug and let me know. The stop lug on the auto's were wider. The checkered front and back strap was a factory option, I own several, and it will increase the value quite a bit if it is original. Look to see if it is blued as any after marked would show the white in the checkering unless the gun was re-blued. If the carved pearl stocks fit perfectly then there is a good chance that they came on the gun from the factory which is another big plus and would increase the value by quite a bit. If you can send a picture or two I should be able to assist. At the price that you mentioned it is a steal if it passes the test of the items that I mentioned. I hope this info helps.
Thanks for the info. I probably won't get back to the shop until later this week. I'll check out the things you mentioned.
 

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I'm pretty sure that in 1924, 45 Colt bullet diameters & 45acp diameters were vastly different. I believe that 45 Colt & 45acp bullets diameters were not harmonized until after the war, or much later.
 

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I'm pretty sure that in 1924, 45 Colt bullet diameters & 45acp diameters were vastly different. I believe that 45 Colt & 45acp bullets diameters were not harmonized until after the war, or much later.
I think the barrels on .45 ACP New Service revolvers are the correct bore diameter for the .45 ACP. The .45 ACP was not a cataloged caliber in the New Service until about 1933. Prior 1933 Colt shipped several bathes of .45 ACP chambered New Service revolvers but did not want to make a new roll die for an un-cataloged caliber. Thus the barrel markings .45 Colt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
A little more research I did shows the grip work might be Wolf & Klar due to the 4 hash marks (Roman numerals) (not factory).
 

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That looks much nicer than an 80% finish - congratulations!

Did you figure out what the cylinder is actually made for - .45 Colt or .45 ACP? The half-moon clips are confounding me. I can't imagine that Colt would continue to manufacture the New Service in .45 ACP that far after WWI without actually boring the chambers for the ACP cartridge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That looks much nicer than an 80% finish - congratulations!

Did you figure out what the cylinder is actually made for - .45 Colt or .45 ACP? The half-moon clips are confounding me. I can't imagine that Colt would continue to manufacture the New Service in .45 ACP that far after WWI without actually boring the chambers for the ACP cartridge.
It's .45 acp/AR. Cylinder holes are too short for anything else. An ACP cartridge case rim hits the wall in the cylinder. Seems it could be fired without a full/half-moon clip. It would be a pain to remove the shell though. These are probably left over WWI cylinders, but who knows?
 

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A little more research I did shows the grip work might be Wolf & Klar due to the 4 hash marks (Roman numerals) (not factory).

It's a Roman Numeral "4".

Roman Numerals were used by diverse Artisans back when, to distinguish elements of a given project in the Workshop, mated pairs, or whatever, so when working on multiple like same projects, they would be able to keep track of which parts go to what...which parts belong together.

As a Cabinetmaker I have often done the same, when working on multiple like-same or multiple similar projects which had how-ever many parts each...only I would use Pencil.

Such numerals have nothing to do with any particular place, business, or name.

Blacksmiths used the same Roman Numerals, all kinds of occupations did.

Nor do we have any idea whether Wolf & Klar even were producing such Stocks in house.

More likely, they ( like any other Retailer ) got them elsewhere, and at most, fitted them in House...a far more practical arrangement for all concerned.

Most MOP Stocks I ever got to see the back sides of, had Roman Numerals lightly carved in, using the same Abrasive Wheels to carve them in, as they use to shape the outside contours and details of the Stocks themselves...others had them in Wax Crayon or Pencil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I put a rush letter request in with Colt on this to see if the Grips were original or if it shipped to Wolf & Klar. Pretty disappointing response:

Caliber .45 auto cartridge
Barrel Length: 5 ½”
Finish: Blue
Stocks: Checkered wood
Ship to: Cline & Cline Co., Los Angeles CA
Ship Date: September 22, 1926
Colt Factory Order: #11922 / 15
Number of guns
in Shipment: 15

Records do not mention the carved MOP stocks or checkered backstrap.
Anyone have any info. on Cline & Cline Co. out of LA? The checkering looks as factory as other Colt checking I've seen from that era.
 

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Anyone have any info. on Cline & Cline Co. out of LA? The checkering looks as factory as other Colt checking I've seen from that era.
Cline & Cline was a retailer to whom I've seen many Colts & Smiths shipped.

FWIW I've seen many commercial Smith & Wesson Model 1917s shipped to Los Angeles in the 1920s. It seems that .45 ACP revolers seemed to be pretty popular there at that time, at least more so than other cities.
 
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