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I can't say with all certainty, but I believe this may be a simple error. My guess is they were probably trying to say 1965/66 and it's an editing error or typo. I can't imagine the DB being produced in the mid 50's only to sit for 10 years before being reintroduced

But even so, the numbers still seem suspect to me as I thought they produced less than 2000 in the first year of production. So it seems to me that they may be way off base.

Again I don't know this for sure. Maybe diamonback68 Dick can help out with the history as this is an area of specialty for him.
 

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Considering the Diamondback was styled after the Python and those were the first years of the Python I highly doubt those dates. Besides, where have they been stored all these years? Colt (which I seriously doubt)?
 

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According to the official Colt numbers, the first Diamondback was produced in 1966.

First year production ran from D1001 to D2599.
 

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Check out the Feb 11, 2005 issue of the Gun List, p.21, 3rd column. It says that an early run of 3,000 Diamondbacks was produced in 1955/56. This is an error, isn't it? All my source books say they were produced only between 1966 and 1986. Does anyone know about this?

[This message has been edited by RAMS (edited 01-31-2005).]
 

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I have done some research on Diamondbacks, and to my knowledge, none were made before 1966. I have a low D four digit serial number 2 1/2" 38SPL dating to 1966 and I have never seen one lower than that.

It doesn't make sense to make a smaller Python clone "D" frame in 1955 when even Colt didn't know yet wether the Python would be a big seller yet. Not possible.


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Dick

There is a word sweeter than mother, home or heaven--
That word is Liberty.
 

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It probably is an error, but it's a whopper because there is even a picture of a Diamondback and a $value/condition list a few hundred dollars higher than the 1966/86 Diamondback $value/condition list. The 1966/86 Diamondbacks and $values are shown as a distinctly separate category of Diamondbacks. Further, it's implied that these alleged 1955/56 Diamondbacks do not have the "short frame of the Detective Special..." as do the 1966/86 Diamondbacks. What's even worse, this error is not just in one issue of the Gun List--it's a reprint of a few pages of the Gun List's Standard Catalog of Firearms.
 

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I also pay a great deal of attention to Diamondbacks and their history. I have never seen or heard of any Diamondback manufactured prior to 1966.

Info: June 1969 issue of Gun World magazine mentioned in an article about Diamondbacks that the .22 version of the Diamondback was put out in the market in September 1968. They were cataloged in 1966. The article went on to say that only 38sp Diamondbacks were manufactured in 1966. Gun World magazine first reviewed or tested a 38 Diamondback in 1966 and reported in a Feb 1967 article. As I recall, the article mentioned that the 22 DB although cataloged was typical of Colt marketing to measure the potential demand for the handgun. Articles have also mentioned that DB's were quite scare and difficult to obtain for the first couple of years of manufacture regardless of caliber or barrel length. This article sings of truth and is an excellent reference piece.

Colt did put together some DB's in the early 1990's from parts. Cherry's in Greensboro NC was selling beautiful C Engraved DB's (new Custom Shop manufacture) in 1993.

I remember seeing what appeared to be Electroluss Nickel or matte stainless DBs for sale in Gun List and I have seen a couple at shows years ago.

Hope you find this interesting. Love to get my hands on a 22 magnum DB (with the appropriate barrel markings)
 

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Hey 22-rimfire, welcome to the forum. Glad to hear from another Diamondback officianado.
I second your notion about finding a 22Mag Diamondback.
You wouldn't happen to have a picture of a 2 1/2" 22LR bright nickel would you? My research says they never made any, but may have gotten 12-14 blued pieces back to the the factory and re-nickeled them. Everybody says "Oh yeah, they made them" but so far, no one has even been able to evenshow me picture of one.
Take care.

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That word is Liberty.
 

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Diamondback68: I have never seen a factory nickel 2.5" 22 Diamondback. Colt has never cataloged the 2.5" Nickel 22 DB option, not that that really means all that much. Blue ones.. no problem, scarce but around.

There are a few Nickel 22 Banker's Specials around.

I do have a nickel 22 Courier that I swear is factory original although the colt letter said the gun was shipped blue. I looked at that gun under an magnifying glass at a gun show before buying it (grips off). Absolutely perfect.

It would not suprise me to find a nickel 2.5" DB (22), as Colt always did what it could to make a buck.

When do you think Colt stopped manufacturing the 2.5" DB in 22? That is a $50 question?
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 22-rimfire:


When do you think Colt stopped manufacturing the 2.5" DB in 22? That is a $50 question?

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks for inputs. Yeah, that is a question I don't know the answer to.

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There is a word sweeter than mother, home or heaven--
That word is Liberty.
 

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My research so far suggests that the last 2.5" 22 was in about 1972 (production). I revise things as I get new tidbits of information (usually a serial number reference) these days. If some one still had a copy of the old rimfire annuals prior to 1975, they would be useful.

All that I have seen are D-prefixed... but that is not saying much as that takes things to 1976.

The Gun magazines didn't mention the 2.5" 22 much as it does not traditionally qualify as a personal defense or carry gun. It was an odd ball offering. Expensive and the barrel was too short for field use. Believe it or not, there has been information in Shooters Bibles and Gun Digests. With them, you have to estimate and back date the information to when they assembled the book for publication or further back in time and then try to confirm from another source.
 

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Diamondback mystery explained. Today I spoke with the editor of the STANDARD CATALOG of FIREARMS, Ned Schwing (hope I didn't butcher the spelling) about the reprint of a portion of his Colt revolver section in the GUN LIST of Feb. 11, 2005. It didn't take long to figure out what had happened. The GUN LIST had inadvertently inserted a 2"x2" picture of a Diamondback and the words "COLT DIAMONDBACK" at the top of a column which was in actuality a continuation of a dicussion about the Colt Courier, produced in 1955/56. It appears that the editor of the GUN LIST, with whom I had spoken earlier, did not catch the error and he assumed his publication merely reprinted what was in the STANDARD CATALOG of FIREARMS.

BTW, for those of you who may be interested,
Mr.Schwing mentioned that he and Bob Rayburn have updated the entire section on the Colt Woodsman in the current issue of the STANDARD CATALOG.


[This message has been edited by RAMS (edited 02-04-2005).]
 

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RAMS: Thank you for the effort. I was just about to pencil that info down as something to try to check out in the future about DB's.

I may just have to check out the latest Standard Catalog of Firearms. It is not a publication that I purchase regularly.

Always can use some new Woodsman info. Mostly a wheel-gun man though.

Diamonback68: If you have any additional infomation on the 12-14 Nickeled guns, I would be interested in hearing about it. I assume you know that Colt would have to hone down the frame a little bit to add the nickel finish (It is thicker than a blued finish.) due to the clearances and so forth (at least to do it right).
 

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Hey rimfire I'll let you know further what, if anything, I find out.
I would think that difference in tolerances would be handled in the polishing process after they were stripped of blue.
I can't find anyone to even show me a photo of one, so for now, I am going along with the assumption that they only made 11 different ones and not 12. I have 9.

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Dick

There is a word sweeter than mother, home or heaven--
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Diamonback68: Not sure what you mean about the different ones.... different calibers, different barrels ,etc. ??

2.5" Blue (22 and 38)
4" Blue (22 and 38)
6" Blue (22 and 38)
4" Nickel (22 and 38)
6" Nickel (22 and 38)
4" Blue (22 Mag)
4" Electroluss (22) Did I forget any?

Glad you have NINE I am not sure how many different ones I have. I don't have any of the 38's any more. I am sorry to say that I sold them off. At the time, I was interested in the 22's (still am), and looked at the 38 as something I didn't really need. Bought them to trade on other guns mostly. DB's always traded well if you bought them right. I passed up many a 6" 38. Wish I could change some of those decisions.

Noticed in an earlier thread that you might have a OM Special 22. I've got a box, but no gun.
 

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Yup, you forgot one the 2 1/2" nickel .38 and I forgot one, the 4" electroless .22, but I was only counting the main stream ones, the three barrel lengths and the two calibers in blue and nickel each.

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Dick

There is a word sweeter than mother, home or heaven--
That word is Liberty.
 

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Thanks for the correction. Years ago a dealer in FL had a 4" 22-mag DB for sale. I have talked to dealers who have had them as well at shows. Should have saved that Gun List... probably did and then threw it away later when I didn't remember why I was saving that old Gun List issue. Anyway, I really love those little revolvers. The 4-inchers are my favorite, but the 2.5 inch 22's are really special. The factory engraved ones are pretty special too!

I was going through Auction Arms yesterday and noticed a 2.5" (barely collectable) 22 sold for $1100. Wonder what NIB's would go for these days?
 

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rimfire This is an old picture (gotta get the camera out), but the 6" nickle .22LR pictured on the left, I was recently offer $1500 for it from the dealer I bought it from, but it's not for sale. Prices have become insane on some DBs.



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Dick

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That word is Liberty.
 

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Awesome Photograph!

I thought I would throw a new tidbit out that I just recently learned.... last production of the 2.5 inch 22 diamondback was in 1975.

I have a 6" nickel 22 also.

There was very limited production of 2.5" nickel's in 22. Never cataloged.
 

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If any of you guys shoot your DBacks, what after market grips do you like? I have a pair of Herretts Shooting Star grips that I finally settled on for shooting purposes, after trying everything I could find, including stags with a Tyler's T grip--very pretty but just not right with a 6" bbl.RAMS
 
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