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I saw a Colt New Service for sale today, a quick look through the glass dispaly case showed it to be in great shape, with a 5.5" (I think) barrel and it was chambered in .38 WCF (.38-40). The price tag said $1,450.00 and it came with a padded, zipper pistol case and a box of "cowboy" .38-40 cartridges. A closer inspection showed it was made in 1920 (serial #310XXX), but as I looked it over more closely, the barrel just didn't look quite right. I asked the shop owner if it had been reblued and he said no, but the finish on the barrel seemed more polished that that of the cylinder and frame, plus there were some "striations" near the patent dates on top of the barrel and some rounding of the letters/numbers. What really brought out the "Doubting Thomas" in me was the barrel-cylinder gap. This revolver had the tightest b-c gap I'd ever seen and when I cocked the hammer, there seemed to be some perceptable "drag." In the area of the forcing cone I could also see one of the barrel theads barely peaking out, plus the front sight had some tiny "dings" on the rear surface. For those big bucks I had to shy away. Did I screw up or should I run back first thing in the morning and plunk down my hard-earned $$$??? For that kinda money I want something both collectible and shootable, not just a shooter.

I feel you made the correct choice, by 'walking away' on this one.

'Striations' on the Barrel Texts is indeed a typical sign of a clumsy Polishing, which would be associated with a less than 'Professional' Grade re-Blue.

Barrel Gap. or Cylinder Gap between Cylinder and the Forcing Cone...should be 'next to nuthin'...if it is larger than that, indeed, something is not right.
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