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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The barrel is marked".38 Colt" . I guess this is .38 Long Colt. The seller says it dates to 1928.

The asking price is $3750 OTD. It is blued w/ a 4 3/4" bbl.

I'm trying to talk myself into it!!! :) It would mean selling off quite a few pieces to afford it.......

Best,
Charles
 

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According to David Brown's "36 Calibers" book, there were 1011 made in the standard frame with a total of about 3000 in both frame types. This one was probably made between 1922 and 1931 per the barrel marking. Sounds kinda scarce to me!
 

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According to Cochran's Encyclopedia, Vol 1, there were 1365 SAA's made (barrel marked) in 38 Colt after 1922. There were 1641 made before that, but even though the marking on the barrel of those earlier SAA's was 38 Colt, the bullet had some differences versus the post 1922 version. I am sure one of our experts will be along to detail the differences.
It was the 38 Special marked SAA's that had the listed lower production number. The numbers listed by Cochran are 27 for the 38 S&W Special and and 89 for the 38 Colt Special. As far as I know, the 38 S&W Special and the 38 Colt Special are the same except for the barrel marking which is what the collectors care about. I have also heard that the SAA's with the 38 Colt marking on the barrel will accept the 38 Special ammo.
 

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According to Cochran's Encyclopedia, Vol 1, there were 1365 SAA's made (barrel marked) in 38 Colt after 1922. There were 1641 made before that, but even though the marking on the barrel of those earlier SAA's was 38 Colt, the bullet had some differences versus the post 1922 version. I am sure one of our experts will be along to detail the differences.
It was the 38 Special marked SAA's that had the listed lower production number. The numbers listed by Cochran are 27 for the 38 S&W Special and and 89 for the 38 Colt Special. As far as I know, the 38 S&W Special and the 38 Colt Special are the same except for the barrel marking which is what the collectors care about. I have also heard that the SAA's with the 38 Colt marking on the barrel will accept the 38 Special ammo.
Good info, all! The reason for the barrel change was that the early 38 Colt cartridge used a heeled type bullet that was the same diameter as the cartridge case (much like a 22 long rifle round) while the later edition used an inside lubed bullet that was smaller in diameter. The early bullet which was outside lubed was about .370" diameter while the later version was the .357 size still used today. Assuming that the gun is strong enough for the 38 Special cartridge, the problem would be accuracy if fired from one of the earlier guns with the larger bore. The later style 38 Colt bullet had a hollow base, much like a Minie' ball so that it would expand to fit the earlier large bore barrel. Hope this helps.
 

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As far as value goes for the post 1922 .38 Colts, one with a 4-3/4" barrel in 90+% condition would certainly be worth in the $3750 price range. I cannot comment on the scarcity of the 4-3/4" barreled version, but of the four I have owned, two were 7-1/2" and two were 5-1/2". I would certainly select a 4-3/4" version if I had the choice.
 

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Be sure you want to keep it. If you later decide to sell it or trade it for another gun, that chambering isn't your friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I talked to the seller again. I'm going to see it in a few weeks.

Assuming it is mechanically sound, is $3750 OTD a fair price??

Here are some pics........
 

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A total of 3006 were produced, .8% of the total production. And it must be recognized that many, many of these were converted to more popular cartridges over the years, which makes more like rare, especially in that condition.

Yes worth the price, but not as much market desirability for re-sale out there for this cartridge chambering. Except if it's completely original configuration which it appears to be, in that good of condition, and with that popular 4 3/4" barrel length, it's a collectible item, especially for a collector looking to fill a hole in a SAA collection of all calibers produced.
 
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