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I was cleaning my new Detective Special today after a trip to the range and noticed some mystery numbers.

You can only see these characters if you push the ejector rod, on the cylinder, underneath the ejector ratchet. The numbers 2 0 0 stamped. There is also the letter "R" etched there as well. It looks as if the letter "R" was done with a very fine engraving pen.

Any idea what these numbers and letter denote? I can post a pic if necessary.
 

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Firearms, both new and old, almost always have some "mystery" letters and numbers on them.

These are added at the factory, by agency's, police departments, owners, and God knows who else.

Also God knows what meaning they might have had.

Very often these marks are inspectors or assembly numbers added at the factory.

Factory applied marks are almost always put in places where the general public won't see them, such as on the frame under the grips, OR under the ejector.

Usually, department/unit/agency marks are put on frame sides or on the butt or back strap, where they can be easily seen.

In your case, it's very likely these marks were factory inspector marks.
 

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As dfariswheel said,many of these marks will remain a mystery,and many are insepector/assembler & factory fitter marks.I have read that any Colt that was returned to the factory by the buyer for poor fitting,had to be "fixed"by the assmbler on THEIR TIME,after work hours!at least during the 1900-1940 period.(sort of like my keeping some of my students after school for poor quality homework papers!)Dont know if this is true or not,but what about the final inspector,who let the gun be shipped? These were good paying jobs,even in the Depression,and took years to move up to. ONE MARK Colt lovers should look for is a "T" on the frame on the crane area. This began in 1930,and meant the gun was "targeted";mostly fixed sighted revolvers. I bought a 6" O.Police,pre war,that a dealer friend had gotten at a show. I didnt want the stag grips,and the previous owner had used a hack saw to "criscross" the back strap for a better hold. Finish was about 95%,and it had special order wide front sight & the "T" was in the frame. What a shooter for $100! and the cuts on the backstrap polished out & I fitted some regular wooden grips. Another mark to look for is an "E" inside the grip frame. This denotes a New Service made for England in the 1914-16 period. Some of these guns were converted to other calibers with "new parts" from war surplus .455s and Ive seen a few,with all outside "British" marks removed,that dealers tried to pass off as "original" .44 Specials,44/40s etc with a clever refinish. Bud
 
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