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Can someone explain the improvements that were made on the New Service Improved Models and when this took place??
Thanx Much,
A10ACN
 

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Welcome to the Forum,A10ACN. If you are interested in New Services,by all means get a copy of Bob Murphy's 63 pg. paperback. Its around $7.50 and I think you can find it still,on the I.D.S.A. Books website. The earliest guns came out in late 1898,and have the rebated or indented trigger guard,a different topstrap profile and a solid firing pin with the hammer. Around 1905,the firing pin became movable,the top strap had no more "step".Internal improvements to the lockwork came around 1909(1 piece rebound lever & coil vs. flat bolt spring. Then,in 1909,the internal safety lever was added and the trigger guard was no longer rebated,but even with the rest of the frame. Next visible change came in 1917,with the Army demanding a tapered barrel at the breech end,with no "step" between the frame and barrel on the 150,000+ Model 1917s. Colt then continued this on civilian New Services. Around 1928, checkered walnut stocks replaced the "hard rubber" found on the standard guns)target models had always had walnut),the sights were made wider,topstrap stippled and finished in "dull blue", to aid sighting,and most importantly,along with the better sights,from a user friendly point of view,the cylinder latch became "rounded" like the smaller D.A. Colts had had for 20 years.(old style with an "L" shape,can mangle the thumb in recoil!) Around 1932,the target model, Shooting Master,and the fixed sighted .38 Special model came out with a smaller rounded butt & walnut stocks,as did the .357s a few years later. This is far from "etched in stone",and Colt was great for building frames,keeping them in the factory,then shipping them years later when their was an order fo r a certain gun! An example is the "Civilian 1917", a parts clean up special made in 1932. Besides 1000 of these,Colt "found" some old untapered barrels in several calibers,old style cylinder latches & old style hard rubber stocks,and installed these on frames that had been sitting around for 15 years,so while the gun looks like a pre 1917 older model,its serial number is in the 1932-33 range! Confusing! Anyway,these are wonderful guns,and I am glad I bought most of mine 10-20 years ago,before their prices were driven upwards by "collectors". I enjoy shooting them. A major "problem" with New Services,is that over the years,so many have been altered by owners and gunsmiths,not only in their configuration(target sights added etc.),but caliber changes,as Colt "dumped" a ton of parts on the market in the 1950-60s. This is especially true for the approximately 50,000 made for the British in 1914-16,as many were changed from their unpopular(in the U.S.) .455 Caliber. Enjoy! Bud
 
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