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Discussion Starter #1
Got a New Service in .45 Colt at a gunshow saturday. Not a mint collector grade gun, but pretty good condition for a 92 year old Colt.
Serial # 39xxx indicates 1911 manufacture.
Marked on bottom of grip frame with serial number and "US Army Model 1909".
On the right side of the frame near the grip it is stamped with "R.A.O.".
Anyone know what RAO stands for?

I`ve got a little pocket reference book that gives dates of manufacture, but I don`t have any reference books that give a lot of details about these old Colts.

This is my 3rd New Service. Other two are a 38-40 made in 1925 and a .38 Special made in 1933.

I`ve always been more of a shooter than a hard core collector. It`s just in the past year or so that I`ve become more interested in the history of some of the guns that have found their way into my collection.
Recently got a copy of "The Standard Catalog of S&W". Excellent reference book. Are there any similar books out there coving Colts that I ought to be looking for?
 

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Try C*O*L*T, An Amarican Legend, by R.L. Wilson. I bought my copy about 20 years ago and have found it to be very accurate with dates of manufacture. You might want to check with "dfariswheel" on this forum about the RAO stamping. Could it be Royal Army Ordinance? Are there any British proof marks?
John

[This message has been edited by JCM298A (edited 04-06-2003).]
 

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Please take a closer look at the marking . I believe it actually is RAC . Rinaldo A Carr US Ordinance Dept sub inspector . He inspected Colt handguns going to the military .


Mitch
 

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Discussion Starter #5
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JCM298A:
Are there any British proof marks?

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No Brit proofs.

I`ll see if I can find a copy of the book.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by guy sajer:
Please take a closer look at the marking . I believe it actually is RAC . Rinaldo A Carr US Ordinance Dept sub inspector . He inspected Colt handguns going to the military .


Mitch
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Could be. It`s stamped pretty deep. That could make a C look like an O.
But even under a 3x glass it still looks like an O.
 

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Not a reference book but , type colt new service into your search engine . All kinds of cool stuff pops up .
 

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Mike: On the issue of reference books for the New Service, try the monograph on the New Service published by the Gun Report. I think it is about $10 and has a lot of information specific to the New Service in it. I find that I use mine quite a bit. Charlie
 
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