Colt Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
581 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I stopped by a pawn shop today right as they were closing. I had just enough time to glance at the gun display case. As I was looking I noticed a Colt New Service revolver on display. There was no time to get it out and look at it, so I am going to stop by again on Monday. I don't know much about the New Service except what I have been reading on this forum. Can you guys give me some criteria to follow and look for? I will write down all the information I can and take a picture of it Monday if they will let me and then post it here.

Thanks for all the insight you may have,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,411 Posts
It's tough to make someone an expert about the New Service in one post. I've been working on it for a few years, and I'm nowhere close yet.

You need to make an assessment of the gun's condition. This includes its visual appearance and its mechanical condition. As a minimum, the gun should have very little end shake (cylinder front-to back motion when closed), good carry up (the bolt enters its cylinder notch before the hammer reaches full cock, for all six chambers), and lockup (with the hammer down and the trigger at its rearmost position , there is no rotational play in the cylinder). These are things that apply to all older Colt DA's.

For the New Service specifically, there are several things that you will need a reference book for. I suggest Bob Murphy's Colt New Service Revolvers, a small monograph , inexpensive, and still in print. With that, you can identify what your prospective gun's characteristics are, and be sure that yours has not been modified. The reference is essential to be sure that grips, finish, barrel length, sights, cylinder latches and a myriad of other things are correct. If you are allowed to get detailed pictures of the gun before buying it, you can post them here, and we can help with evaluating it. Lots of clear, well lit closeups as well as wider shots would be good.

Buck
 
  • Like
Reactions: WaywardSon

·
Forum Friend
Joined
·
5,858 Posts
OK, I'll offer some New Service items meaningful to me. I won't waste time with items related to refinishing. Not necessarily all or in order of importance: bore condition, B/C gap between cylinder and barrel in battery - question over .010". Cock slowly with finger off the trigger and see if next chamber goes to battery. Many old Colts don't until trigger is pulled - not a crisis, usualy easy to fix. In new condition a New Service at full cock, the hammer is all the way back. As wear occurs it will go back all the way and then back down a little. If it is as much as 1/32" it has hammer sear wear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Another new owner here. I appreciate the info in both of the above posts. I am waiting on a mainspring for mine but have checked it out a bit and am surprised at how tight it is. Especially considering the age of the piece. I guess I am used to S & W but there is zero play at lock-up. The bore has a dark area near the muzzle, but there is no rust or pitting and the rifling is clean and sharp. I will be surprised if this gun does not turn out to be a shooter & am lookin forward to trying it.

BTW...I checked on Amazon for the Murphy book & they are showing it as out of print & have none for sale. Any thoughts on other sources?
 

·
Forum Friend
Joined
·
5,858 Posts
This seems like a good time to show again this little tool I made for the New Service mainspring. To use it, put a simple wood peg at the stirrup (link) end to keep mainspring from shifting. Push tapered fork end in under mainspring then slide it toward the stirrup end till it is compressed enuf to free the stirrup. Then move the tool to about 45 degree position so it will capture and hold the main spring. Lift spring out. I leave the tool on the spring till I'm ready to install it. For safety I keep it in a plastic bag just in case handling jars it loose - because if freed it can escape into the world or maybe cause injury.

To install a free spring, install the tool on the spring in the 45 degree position, etc. I try to have parts clean & dry. I oil it later. The little tool makes a convenient handle once it's captured the spring.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,411 Posts
I looked at a variety of used book shops, and I could not find a copy of Murphy's book. That may be a temporary condition, or it may really be out of print, like many good gun reference books are. I can only suggest that you keep looking. Google "used gun books" to find many of the little (and not so little) places that carry them. The bigger places (Amazon, Alibris, Abes, Bookfinder) are OK too, but the lesser known dealers (biblio, idsa, etc.) sometimes will have what you need.

Buck
 

·
The Consummate Collector
Joined
·
7,950 Posts
Also two factors will enter into the value department and that is caliber and barrel length. Colt built the New Service in eleven different calibers and for the most part each caliber had three different barrel lengths. Without trying to go into each it would be better if you listed this information and then we can let you know. Of course condition is always the top factor in determining the value.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
581 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, stopped by pawn shop today and got a few "terrible" pictures. I was sorta in a hurry as they didn't seem very happy I was taking pictures but here goes.

First, lockup was tight, both front to back and cylinder rotation.
Once the trigger was pulled all the way back it did not fall forward at all.
It is a New service .45 colt.
Serial # 19288
One thing that surprised me was when the trigger was pulled back I expected to hear it spell C-O-L-T with 4 clicks. There was only two. One was when the trigger was almost all the way back and the second when it was all the way back.
As the trigger was pulled back, the cylinder rotated and locked in postion by the time it was fully retracted.
Barrel rifleing looked good, but it did seem to need a good cleaning.

Again, I appologize for the "crappy" pictures. If anyone thinks this might be worth persueing I will stop back again and try to get some better pictures wednesday.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,411 Posts
This New Service appears to be a very late "Old Model", and it probably does not have the new lockwork with the Colt positive lock introduced in 1909 at about #21,000 in what is called the "Transitional Model". If it does not have the 1905 patent date (for the Positive Lock) on the barrel, it's an Old Model. It doesn't appear to have been refinished, but the finish appears somewhat worn. Old Models have more fragile lockwork than later ones, and parts are effectively unobtainable. If you plan to shoot this a fair amount, I would wait for something made later. However, there are not a lot of Old Models around, so for a collector, you have to decide if the asking price is OK. I personally think it should be a bit lower (say $650 based on condition), but some of the advanced collectors here may advise you otherwise.

This gun doesn't have 4 clicks like a SAA. The two are normal - one when the bolt drops into a cylinder notch, and one when the hammer reaches full cock. That sequence means that the gun "Carries up" correctly, or is in proper "time".

Buck
 

·
Forum Friend
Joined
·
5,858 Posts
This is a 1904 I paid $350 for. It had its original barrel on it but with a big chip off the lower left grip (shown here repaired). I was surprised to find it met all my criteria in #3 above except bore was only fair. Here it has a piece of .44 Mag barrel replacement. Interesting that bad grips seem to cut value in half. I've got some great guns with bad grips.

 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top