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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm mostly a S&W guy but I love King modified guns and guns with history. This is a glorious example of both and I am absolutely in love with the gun.

My hope is that someone here might be willing to part with the "right" new service grips to complete the package. Something period and in condition similar to the gun would be perfect. Ivory, Wood (Fleur de Lis?), Jigged Bone, aged Stag. If you have anything you might part with please let me know, I have a pile of Colt grips for trade (Ropers, Ivory, Fuzzy Farrants, etc). I would love to work something out, I feel like this gun deserves to be set somehow right, if you know what I mean.

If anyone has any information about Bill Keim I would also love to hear it.

On to the gun: It is well used (though the action is still beautiful) and the grips that came with it (as described in the first letter) are awful, warped, and don't really stay on. Here they are behind the gun and used as a rest to showcase the King sights:








I was in love with the gun the moment I picked it up because of the King work (which appears to be the Sights, Hammer, Action, shaved for .45ACP). The history is just awesome though:




The owner in 1977 wrote to Charles Askins:




who wrote back:





And a couple more shots of it in it's nakedness. Again, this gun needs some "right" stocks on it, I really look forward to the day it's wearing something that it should be wearing:






If anyone can fill in any details to fix a bit of my Colt ignorance I would love it. My pile of Colts is small but I really do love them.


Edit:

Found some grips for it





They are awesome, they fit almost perfectly, I took the pictures at an angle to see that there is just a little edge showing down towards the bottom.
 

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With all the modifications to the revolver isn't there a good chance that the stocks were added when the other work was done? Just me, but it would be like looking for an original hammer for the gun.
 

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Very neat gun - a real piece of history. I suspect it's in the right hands now. Thanks for sharing,

Jerry
 

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SixgunStrumpet, I too am considerably more a 'Smith guy', but particularly love my small group of Colts and of those, my New Service revolvers as 'jewels in the crown'. Here in your NS, I see not only an unusual gun, but a real piece of history and a continuing tribute to the memory of a hero otherwise long faded from memory. And what better provenance than the letter signed by Col. Askins himself on a subject of which he was presumably imminently qualified to speak! There’s a big 'triple Wow’!
Though never in uniform or in a local department setting, I carried a gun through a law enforcement career. Quite frankly, chasing sophisticated crooks involved in financial crimes and occasionally dealing with public integrity cases, never exposed to the level of danger typical of the general LE profession. However participating in routine exercises including such as 'entry training', I became convinced that such as “high risk entries” well-earned that title. There I ‘died’ more than a few times. In too many scenarios, the real lesson… Outside mandatory training, having the prerogative of just not going there! Yet P/O Keim came from another era. Most likely no semblance of such training; nothing of teamwork/coordination and absent all that… substituting considerable ‘era correct’ bravado. He no doubt was brave and in a setting where too often you’re only allowed one mistake. Yet he then survived to tell!
Now you have his gun awarded by colleagues. Now also sharing his history and that of his gun here. Perhaps yet to consider sharing it with the NRA toward publication. A real story. A real man. A really interesting gun. A ‘moment’ in history recaptured!
Thanks for sharing that ‘moment' here!
My take.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks iskra, I had not really considered sharing it with the NRA, though I suppose there may be more interest then just in these forums. I'll certainly look into doing just that when the gun is wearing some more appropriate grips (like some Fleur de Lis) and I have maybe established a bit more about who Bill was. I expect based on what little I can come up with online I need to actually talk to some museums.


With all the modifications to the revolver isn't there a good chance that the stocks were added when the other work was done? Just me, but it would be like looking for an original hammer for the gun.
Replacing the hammer would ruin the gun. King put the holes in there for a reason.

As to the stocks being added when the work was done there is no chance in my opinion. They aren't made of bakelite and have warped and cracked since '77 when he wrote that letter. With as flexible as they are they don't seem to be similar at all in my experience to Bakelite, which would crack if I applied the pressure I have to these. The closest thing I have ever seen to them what is on a Nylon66, I would bet they were made in the 60's, or maybe 50's.
 

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It may well have originally had the standard Stocks of the Day - Checked Walnut with the Colt Medallions.

Very interesting New Service..!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You are probably right, but I figure putting a set of period correct but higher end grips on it will better match the fine action/sight work and the nicely engraved text.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I just barely missed those, but I think they went to a good home. It's Ok though I found some grips for it:





They are awesome, they fit almost perfectly, I took the pictures at an angle to see that there is just a little edge showing down towards the bottom.

Can anyone tell me what era these grips would be from?


A few more pictures:







 

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Discussion Starter #12
Those stocks are the first type Target/Deluxe wood for New Services from about 1900 through 1912 when they started to add medallions.
Very nice find.
Fantastic, thank you. I suspected they were older then the gun but I didn't realize they were quite that old. The seller said that he took them off of a gun to add carved ivory to it many years ago.

I noticed there were numbers stamped onto the back of these. Were they numbered to the gun like S&W grips are?
 

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Yes, the New Service stocks, both wood and hard rubber are numbered to the gun. The rubber stocks have the number scratched on the back and the wooden ones have the number written on with pencil or grease pencil. The numbers on the wooden stocks are often hard to make out, especially if they've had a lot of oil on them over the years.
 

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I have a New Service Shooting Master that I bought with a set of Lew Sanderson target stocks. I removed them and put a set of original stocks on the gun. Both look good, but those you found are gorgeous! Congrats
image.jpg
image.jpg
 

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Those stocks are very sexy! I think they may "belong" on an earlier target model. I agree that, with all the custom modifications, it's not unreasonable that this presentation revolver has worn some fancy stocks at some time in it's history.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Those stocks are very sexy! I think they may "belong" on an earlier target model. I agree that, with all the custom modifications, it's not unreasonable that this presentation revolver has worn some fancy stocks at some time in it's history.
I agree. Long term I am going to see if I can't get someone to post with a set of those ivory steer head carved stocks. Seems as though they may be the most appropriate "wrong" stocks to put on there. Probably offer these in partial trade for them.
 
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