Need some help identifying and establishing value on an early Colt DA revolver. I'm helping a friend who is selling the gun for a lady with large medical bills, and would appreciate any help you folks can provide.
I believe the gun to be a 1889 "Navy" / New Navy Model of 1889 from what I can determine in the Blue Book. Here's the basic info I can determine at this point:
* Marked "Colt D.A. 41" on the L/H side of the barrel - Appears to be a .41 Long Colt
* Top of the barrel is marked (1st line) "Colt's FT FA Mfg CC Hartford CT USA" (2nd line) "Patented Aug 5 1885 Nov 6 88 Mar 5 95"
* Frame & Crane both marked "803", with a "9" above the 803 on the frame
* Cylinder latch marked "803"
*Inside face of the ejector star marked "3"
* Rear of cylinder, under ejector marked "3"
* Serial number on the bottom/butt of frame is "193" over "300"
From what little I know, this gun has been passed down by the males in this lady's family for several generations. Beyond that, I know nothing of the gun.
Any information you collectors/Colt fans can provide will be greatly appreciated. If this is the gun I believe it to be, the Blue Book gives some ideas as to value. I would say this one is roughly 95% although it appears it may have been buffed and re-blued. I can't tell for sure, but while it seems the original Colt stampings were unevenly done, some are quite faint at this point. Any thoughts as to market value would be appreciated as well.
Please email me at: [email protected] with any questions/for additional pics.
Thanks again to all.
While you're waiting, I'm the proud owner of Mr. Best's book and, if those grips are numbered to the gun, it appears to be the civilian version of the New Army Model of 1894. The military models were .38 caliber and the Navy models had the word "COLT" on the grips, rather than the Rampant Colt with roses. On page 183, the author states, "By December 1902, serial numbers for the civilian New Army Model of 1894 revolver production were in the 193xxx serial number range...." I agree it appears to have been reblued, which will detract from its value.
I realize I'm sticking my neck out here, but if I need correcting, I'm sure Bob will do it gently. He's a pretty nice guy. And wrote a darn good book!
Your gun is a colt "New Army", made in 1903. It's is sort of an upgraded version of the model 1889, which lacked a cylinder bolt and bolt lock notches on the cylinder. It is commonly called the model 1892, but went through a series of lock work upgrades in in 1894, 1895, 1896, 1901 and 1903, and is sometimes referred to by those model numbers. The US army used this revolver, in 38 colt, until 1909. The 41 colt model was for the civilian market.I love these old Revolvers, they are some of my favourite guns ever made. That being said, they are not very popular, parts are very rare, and gunsmiths who will work on them are even rarer. Sorry to say, they generally sell for very little. I've almost never seen a refinished 1892 sell for more than $300 on gunbroker. I have several, and have never paid more than $175 for mine. A way undervalued piece, in my opinion.
Thanks again for all your input folks. It helped give me and the owner a better idea as to what she has. Given the re-finish and comparatively low market value, I suspect she'll just keep it for her son instead of selling.