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Discussion Starter #1
Just brought this home, Serial puts it in the last 55 Aces made. I originally thought they stopped making the Ace when they started the SM but clearly not the case.

It’s modified with King sights, checkered front strap and bakelite Pointer stocks.

Mag is two toned, spare mag is too but is marked service Model. Not sure when the spare would have been made.

Looking forward to shooting it.


 

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StenFreak,

Nice!

Looks like it has COLT front strap Checkering. ? A late ACE around 10881 might deserve a COLT letter? If so, consider asking (COLT Archives) when it was Assembled (be added to the Letter).

Best Regards,
 

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I had a 1949 Government Model with those King sights. I seem to remember the front strap checkered but do not recall a border. That Colt had one slick trigger.
Of course in retrospect I should have kept it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks gentlemen.

Here's a few more pics. BTW, the lighting here makes the finish better than it appears under a bright light. This gun was used for sure. But it's super neat.

If anyone has any other information about the front strap checkering I'd appreciate hearing it.

I will definitely letter this.

 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Yeah, taken from Sam's excellent page, I think he's a poster here. Turns out it's more like 39? from the final gun made. Serial is 10881.

1947​
10770-10935​
Last Pistol Manufactured
10919-10934​
Not Manufactured

I requested a letter, manufacture date is not an option, nor is 'special request' any more so I emailed the archive historian.

website: Colt Ace .22 LR Pistol Production Information - Coltautos.com
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Gorgeous.

I assume that must be somewhat common as the war hit and they suddenly shifted gears to 1911A1s or Thompsons etc. I don't know what they primarily fabricated for the war effort but I'd think the 1911 would be up there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Took the King Ace to the range today. No surprise, it is a shooter. With regular CCI it made nice group at 25 yards and could regularly hit a small 22 spinner at 50 yards.

It does seem a bit sluggish to go into battery, and I had 2 light strikes out of 50 or so. When I got it I disassembled and put a little bit of lube on the inside rails but the gun came to me incredibly clean.

Would a new main spring be recommended and if so, anyone recommend a place to get them (if they are available)? Also is it possible the firing pin channel needs cleaning? I have a Woodsman that started light striking and that's what the smith did to fix it - clean the firing pin channel so it comes to mind.

Thanks for any suggestions. I will take these to the gunsmith subforum if I don't get any replies here.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Some of the common knowledge about the dates on these appears to be wrong Or maybe they added the serial as the last step. In any case this gun was assembled and sold before Pearl Harbor was attacked making it prewar in my book

713609
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Also note after a few rounds of cleaning and sticking with CCI poly ammo it runs 99%. The trigger is heavier than letter says so I suspect some of the dried grease I found (like varnish) may be affecting it.
 

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Some of the common knowledge about the dates on these appears to be wrong Or maybe they added the serial as the last step. In any case this gun was assembled and sold before Pearl Harbor was attacked making it prewar in my book

View attachment 713609
StenFreak,

Yes,...they were Not assembled in numerical order. 55 numerically from the end, and made in 1940, years before the end of the ACE in 1947 ! (Another good example of asking for the assembly date. ?)

Best Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Stan
You are correct. I did ask for the assembly date. Thanks for clarifying that they didn’t build and ship in order of serial.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
At the time of manufacture all records would have been in paper ledgers which presumably are referenced by the archivist generating the letter.

The website on the other hand is obviously a database. I don't know if that is data pulled from paper sources or perhaps uses serial ranges and date estimates to provide information but given the website sometimes returns proven erroneous information I would trust the letter over the website without other corroborating information.

I've emailed with Paul at Colt Archives before and may reach out to him again regarding the data source though I'm not sure he will disclose it.
 

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That's interesting it shows 1940, but the Colt serial lookup site shows 1947.
I have lettered several of my Colts and found a discrepancy of several years on the manufacture or ship date between what the letter stated and what the online sources showed. It is especially common on pre-WWII guns.
I understand that some published serial number charts are just close estimates or don't state whether a serial number given is supposed to the the beginning serial number for a calendar year or an ending one so the online charts should be viewed as accurate + or - a year. But being off by 3 to 5 years or more is kind of ridiculous.

Of course we all know about the occasional gun that sat on a shelf for several years before being shipped but they are the exception. A few of my examples: A Detective Special that online charts say is from 1936 but letters as manufactured on 5/11/39, an Official Police .38 that the online sources say is from 1943 but shipped on 1/17/42 and an Official Police .22 that online sources say is from 1937, but actually shipped 2 years earlier on 7/2/35 !
 

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I'm sure that's true. But my Ace above is likely a prewar/post war, due to the fact they polished and finished it so nicely, yet put the plastic grips and a few war-time parts on it. I think in most cases with Aces (rhymes!) you can tell if it's really a 1947 one by those parts. I've never lettered mine, but if the lookup says 1947 on it, I bet thats right. In the OPs, it's wrong. And like you say, they should not have that big lookup site based on just serial ranges for any Colts that were commonly shipped post war, like the Ace.
 

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Most likely, the only way to Know if an ACE Pistol is a Prewar/Postwar (P/P) ACE, is to Letter it.

The OPs Pistol (10881) is a good example,...55 numerically from the end, but assembled and shipped in 1940. Apparently, many collector's are interested in P/P Pistols, and the P/P ACE is hard to find (there are less than 250).

Here's another Thread on the P/P ACE: Pre War Post War Ace
Post # 18 has info on the P/P ACE Pistols.
 

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That's interesting, I suppose I'll have to letter mine one day. I know it's got some paperwork ephemera in it's box that has post-war dates. I can't recall if it was a sales receipt or something else. But it's got the presumed owner's name and address. I'll have to get it out and see.
 
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