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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
did anyone watch the courier on auction arms # 7292679 ?? man i came so close to clicking the b/i/n on it. something about the hammershroud screws just didn`t look right. i talked my darling wife into a loan for the money {i was a little short} but stopped just short of buying it /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif.any comments.
 

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I had it on my watch list just out of curiosity, but I dropped it off before it finished. Didn't look all that close. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

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I would just about guarantee the hammer shroud is not factory-fitted. I do not think the shroud was introduced until after the Couriers were out of production, but would have to check my catalogs to be sure.

Once the gun gets holes in it, it is just a shooter to me, with no significant collector value left, except perhaps for parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
[ QUOTE ]
I would just about guarantee the hammer shroud is not factory-fitted.

[/ QUOTE ]i agree on this example.i would ASSUME the shroud was made to compete with s&w`s bodyguard circa 1955, or centennial circa 1952. if you get a chance to look up the intro date please post it. i`m curious. dux
 

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Well Judge,your off on the hammer shroud introduction. I have it in the 1951 catalog,and Burr Leyson talks about in in his neat little 1953 book,"The Modern Colt Guide".

So,it was "available" for the Couriers short production run circa 1954-55.

icdux; did this Courier have an alloy or steel cylinder,if it was a .32? Someone will say,(and some books!!) that the Courier,like the Cobra had a steel cylinder,but mine came with the alloy cylinder,like some of the Aircrewman models. While it will handle commercial .32 rounds(they never made any hot ones over the counter),I installed a steel cylinder,when I shot mine regularly,and would load up some "warm" handloads with 115 grainers,when it was my wife's carry gun. Yeah,I know,alloy frame,but it only digested a few of these 115 gr. +P handloads.

BTW,my alloy Courier cylinder,as well as some of the alloy frame,are a nice "pinkish tint",I guess showing that it just isn't only alloys in STEEL that can pick up this hue from "bluing",or in this case,annodizing.

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
bud, gun was a .22 so i assume it had steel cyl. i have seen the.32`s with the alloy cyl but not the .22`s. a clean gun but looked like the hammer shroud screws were proud above the shroud. might just have been the photo quality. thanks for the info on h/s date. the gun sold for 675 which is not a bad price considering it`s condition. i have always wanted one in .22 for my modest collection.
 

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Yeah, I finally was able to bring the picture up on the auction site(sometimes completed auctions are hard to access).Nice little concealment piece(but better stick to eye/nose shots,unless you want to make an attacker "madder")

There seems to be,at least in my opinion,(and that ain't worth much!!) too /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif lower price on the Courier(as well as the Marshall) for two very limited production Colts from 1/2 century ago.

For example,Bankers Specials,yeah I know they are 20 years older than a Courier,will bring far more in .22 than a Courier.

If you don't have your heart set on a Courier,I will bet you can find a very nice 3" .22 Cobra from circa 1970. Of course it won't have the short grips,particular to the Courier and Agent. NIB specimens are NOT totally rare,and for the price of that Courier(I agree with "DA Judge" that once holes have been drilled,collector value is gonzo!),you could get a great .22 Cobra(they sure did NOT sell well. When new,as most people wanted the adjustable sights that were found on the S&W Kit Gun models(we all know how finicky guns can be with different types of .22 ammo-BUT my 22 Cobra is a lot easier to hold than those J Frame S&W's). I bought my Cobra NIB around 1990,and despite many bricks of ,22s,and being my daughter's "protection" for 3-4 years of grad/med. school in "the Big City",it shows virtually NO wear.

Good Luck in finding a nice Courier,they are out there,but hard to get,and those annodized finishes don't wear as well as blued/nickled steel.

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

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LW, your assertion that I am "off" appears to be correct if you have checked the catalogs. (I have not.) You're right; I am wrong. As much as I would like to, I cannot remember every introduction date. Lately, I cannot remember what I had for breakfast!

Despite that information, I still doubt that the shroud on the subject Courier is factory-installed. But it apparently could be. If it were, it would make the sale price very low.

I have never seen or heard of a .22 Courier with an alloy cylinder, while most .32 Couriers do have alloy cylinders. (Addicted has or had a .32 Courier with a steel cylinder. Mine is alloy.) In my observation, most Couriers seen are .22 caliber. I believe the .32 Couriers to be "rare."

The "plum" color problem seems to be common to some early alloy-framed Colts. My early first-year Commander does not have it, but one of my Couriers does. I think it may be a combination of a manufacturing issue, cleaning solutions and wear.

The comparison to the Bankers Special for value and rarity is interesting. Obviously, the Courier is "rarer," but the age and quality of the Bankers Specials, particularly the .22 caliber models, obviously makes the Bankers more valuable. Will that ever change? Who knows? There will be no more of either, and the fact that many Couriers are still in use so as to continue to be further deteriorated in condition may close the gap for mint Couriers in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
[ QUOTE ]
In my observation, most Couriers seen are .22 caliber. I believe the .32 Couriers to be "rare."



[/ QUOTE ] judge i agree,i dont remember where i read it but .32 production was less than 1000. this sounds reasonable as you see about twice as many .22`s as .32`s. don`t feel bad about not remembering what you had for breakfast, i can`t either. bud made an interesting comment about price vs rarity, the courier had a very limited production and considering this i think the gun sold cheap. the fellow who bought it is a well known dealer on a/a. while i have you two experts on this subject does anyone know how many{approx} .22 cobras were produced?? i used to see them regularly at reasonable price but they are rapidly going above 500$ nowdays.
 

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This past weekend at the OGCA we saw, from Colt, a small brown box not quite 2" square and in it from Colt was the shroud, the drill and tap and the screw & instructions for mounting this 'shroud' on various guns, Agent,Cobra, etc.
Sorry but it was NOT for sale. Would have loved to have taken a picture of this "set". So they were available to the public for 'installation', as well as "from the factory".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
dan, yes i have a 1965 shooters bible that shows that kit, i think they were around 5-7$, doubt if you can buy one for that nowdays.i think the shroud factory installed was around 10$ best i remember.
 

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This Courier topic prompted me to go to my catalog file for some research. The first reference I find to the shroud is in a catalog date-coded (9-8-50) bearing a form number of PL-229. The listing gives both a factory-installed price and a "kit" price of $3.50. As the years passed, the installed price on old guns rose to $5.00, with the factory "kit" price and factory-installed price staying at $3.50 for a long time. Year after year, the listing gave the guns the shroud would fit and it named the Detective Special, the Police Positive Special, the Cobra and the Agent. The Courier was never mentioned even though it was produced when these listings for the shroud were in the catalogs, and has the same frame shape and obviously would accept the shroud.

Related to the shroud application listing not mentioning the Courier, something that really shocked me was that NONE of the catalogs I have list the Courier! I guess I never gave it any thought before, and never had occasion to see if the Courier was listed when I would look at my catalogs for some other issue. My collection may be a bit thin in the 1953-1956 time period, but I have something from all years. I checked the September 1953 catalog, a Jobber Price List dated Janaury 28, 1954, the March 1954 catalog, a Colt .22 flyer dated 4-54, the June 1955 catalog, the February 1, 1956 Parts Catalog, a Dealer Price List dated October 15, 1956 and the December 1956 catalog. NONE of them show or mention the Courier. The fact the the parts catalog does not list the Courier is really strange, since even the Marshal is shown there.

The only Colt publication I found that showed the Courier is "The Handgun Manual" of the 1953-1954 era (the manual is undated, but mine is in a Colt envelope bearing a 1953 postmark) that pictures the Courier among the other Colt guns pictured in the back of the manual.

Unless someone has a catalog I do not have that lists the Courier, the Courier appears to be essentially "uncataloged!" ("The Handgun Manual" is not really what I consider a catalog.) Any speculation as to why that might be? It would seem that a gun made for three years would at least be listed for one of those years.

I have a loose shroud, but no box or "kit" with it. What style was the box of the "kit" at the OGCA show? I ask because the the box styles changed over the years, which would help "date" the kit seen as the show.
 

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Judge:

Regarding the Courier being uncataloged, I believe you are correct. I have the same "Handgun Manual" circa 1953 showing the Courier and also the next version (I think??) which is circa 1954-55 and by then the Courier had been dropped. My catalogs of the era show none. Can anyone else find one?
 
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