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You shouldn't have trouble finding stocks for it...either original, reproduction or aftermarket.
 

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Good to here.
My only New Service is a .38 WCF with 7 1/2" barrel. In fact, I just sent in a letter request. I've got some minor pitting on my barrel and thought about chopping it down, but wanted to know it's history first.

 

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Good to here. My only New Service is a .38 WCF with 7 1/2" barrel. In fact, I just sent in a letter request. I've got some minor pitting on my barrel and thought about chopping it down, but wanted to know it's history first.
That's a good looking NS. It belongs to you, so do whatever you want with it. But it does look like a nice, historic, shoot-able condition revolver in a great barrel length. There's lots of New Service revolvers out there in worse finish/condition that are great candidates for a cut-down. Good luck, I hope the letter comes thru with some interesting information noted.
 

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A 7 1/2” New Service and 100 yard steel plate shooting go together like ham and eggs. Hope you give us a range report.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I will cant wait to fire it. I have never shot a 38-40 he has bags of lose ammo. one was 38 40 it had 30 shells in it 9 were live rds. He gave me that with it. I bought a box of lead cowboy ammo. now those 9 rds were R.P. jacketed soft points will it be ok to shoot them in a older gun?
 

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That's a good looking NS. It belongs to you, so do whatever you want with it. But it does look like a nice, historic, shoot-able condition revolver in a great barrel length. There's lots of New Service revolvers out there in worse finish/condition that are great candidates for a cut-down. Good luck, I hope the letter comes thru with some interesting information noted.
Thanks for the info. I'm still up in the air on what to do. We'll see what the letter says.

OP, nice old gun. Hopefully it shoots well. Just make sure the ammo you got with it are factory, and not someones mystery reloads.
 

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Factory jacketed soft points, either Remington ( discontinued over 30 years ago) or Winchester are safe and will seem somewhat mild out of your 7 1/2”. If you observed and cases that are stamped HV, then don’t shoot those. You have a lot of factory bullets to choose from since 40 S&W plus 10 mm uses the same diameter bullets. Jacketed bullets are a waiste of money in my opinion in a handgun. And of course you can cast your own as well. Older Lyman data shows some respectable loads for 38-40 and it was developed in a colt SAA. Since the new service has a thicker cylinder than a SAA, you could slowly work up from a starting load until you get the performance you looking for. Those lead cowboy loads are low recoil and are fun out to 50 yards but generally drop too much for 100 yard shooting.
 

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Enjoy it, those are great guns in .38-40. I'd probably throw away the few random rounds, since you don't know for sure if they're reloads. Personally, 100 yard shooting is for rifles, not antique pistols in obsolete calibers. Actually, at my range most people with scoped AR rifles, off the bench, can barely shoot at 50 yards. Sure, some people can hit something at 100 yards with a 100 year old revolver. But I bet most cannot. I shoot antiques at 100 yards - Antique .22 single shot rifles with antique scopes on them. A top class shooter in this silhouette sport might hit 45 out of 60 animals at the 4 different ranges out to 100. And those guys are shooting modern Anschutz rifles with 30X scopes.

The realistic range for a New Service is 10 yards to about 25, or 50 if you're good.
 

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Good thing no one told Elmer Keith a revolver was only good for 10 yards.

Go ahead; you will find shooting at 100 yards and longer fun. Just a matter of finding the right amount of front sight.
 

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I can think of no better point and shoot revolver than the Colt's New Service. It just fits my hands and points naturally. I've had four or five of these guns over the years and the best seemed to be .45 Colt, (I never had one in .38 WCF). Grand-dad's 7.5" and a U.S. Army 1909, both shot exceptionally well. 9" paper plates on a cardboard backer can become easy to hit at 100yds. if you take your time. Hang some 2 liter plastic bottles from wires and empty them in a violent way, 4" squares of 2x4 at 25yds can become explosive with a solid hit from a large bore handgun.

smkummer's right, no need for jacketed bullets, plain lead will do just fine, and there's plenty of molds available for .40, including the Lyman Devastator hollow point if you would want to carry the gun for game or defense. I like the .38 WCF as I believe it has a better sectional density than the .44 WCF and should give better penetration when desired.

The best shot I ever made with a handgun was with grand-dad's New Service. It was more luck than skill, but as I said, they just point natural for me. It was some 20 years ago at a local range with some friends shooting practice for league shoots with Gold Cups and a Trophy Match. Somebody got the idea of putting a 2-3" sticky dot on a piece of cardboard at 50yds. and the guy that could hit it would be declared the days champion. After a time of no-one hitting the dot with 1911's I brought out the old Colt, cocked the hammer, pointed and squeezed. The old .45 put a solid hole in the dot close enough to center that we packed up for the day. I don't think Colt put more skill and pride into a revolver than the New Service. They do shoot!
 

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A serial number would help, but the straight barrel suggests a pre-WWI gun. If so, the ejector rod knob is a replacement - it should be a three-section knurled knob.

A standard 38-40 is the ballistic equivalent of a .40 S&W. The bullets for either are 0.401" diameter. I've found them to be very flat shooting.

Buck
 
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