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I am new to this forum, but not to collecting Colt's. I have just acquired a nickel plated Colt New Service Target 45LC w/ 7.5 inch barrel, a mirror bore w/ excellent lands & grooves. I have seen my fair share of good and bad Colt's, but this one has me stumped. The serial number is 224841(all matching numbers on the gun) which puts its production in 1919. I know that they were making nickel colts then and the total production was only about 5%. It also has the letter "P" with 6442 next to it under the cylinder crane, and "AA" for Augusta Arsenal on the left side of the receiver under the cylinder. Now the stumper, I can spot a refinish with the best of them, but this looks to be a factory nickel or a very good arsenal(if they ever did that type of finish). It also does not have any Colt markings at all on the barrel or the rampant colt on the left side of the receiver. There are no signs of divits from buffing, no sag or smearing marks in the nickel. When I say that this is an excellent finish, I mean that the finish is a mirror without a blemish.
I know a lot about colts, but there is a lot I don't know about Colts also. If anyone can shed any light on what it may be, I am open to suggestions. One of my friends said that it may have been re-arsenaled at Augusta and made into a 7.5 inch, I dont know. Info would be nice, but if all I have is a rebuild, then it was a sound $350.00 investment.

Here are some pics of the revolver, the smudges you see are my fingerprints:











 

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I think what you have is a reworked 1909 or 1917 and not a New Service target. The s/n puts it around 1919, but the cylinder latch is from a later model. I don't think the rounded latch was used until around 1928 and later. The lanyard swivel hole appears to be plugged, as was common to customizing jobs on 1917's. The front sight is either a later addition or a barrel swap. The barrel and sight profile looks similar to the aftermarket barrels once sold by Numrich Arms which might explain the lack of roll marks. If I recall correctly, the only markings on the Numrich arms barrels was the caliber. Or, the super polish job under that beautiful nickel may explain the lack of markings. It sure looks nice. The nickel finish is so mirror like it's reflecting a very clear image of your Canon camera.
 

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Welcome, RD. First, a New Service Target has adjustable front and rear sights, so yours is not a target model. Your front sight has been altered from the NS "shark fin" sight. As you look at the finish, notice that not only the rampant colt on the sideplate and barrel markings have been buffed off before replating, but also the VP and inspector's stamps by the trigger bow. This would not have been done by the factory. As to an arsenal refinish, I will defer to the military experts, but nearly all that I have seen were parkerized. Keep in mind that this Colt has probably had a lot of owners in its lifetime, and lots of opportunities for alteration. Still a sound $350 investment as a shooter.
 

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My guess is a WWI-era frame that went through a rebuild after WWI and the resulting gun later got into civilian hands, where it was "customized" with a nickel refinish and a different barrel. The screw holes have the tell-tale "dished out" look that indicates a refinish. It is better than most, but not even close to an original Colt finish. If you do not care about originality, like flash and it shoots well, keep it as a fun shooter. In my opinion, it has no other value.
 
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