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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a line on a 1950 Colt Officers Match, in .38 special, at what seems to be a fair price, going to go see it tomorrow. For falling plates matches, assuming good mechanical condition, and good bore, would this be a good choice, or should I keep looking, and if so, for what? (The one revolver shooter at our club matches is a confirmed S&W guy, so I know what he would say.) Looking for a shooter, not a collector's piece, though I appreciate good design and traditional looks. This would be for a change of pace from my 1911's and Browning Hi-Power.
Thanks for any advice, comments, I am a newbie to this forum, and pretty much to revolvers, so there is a whole lot I don't know.
Ed
 

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My Officers Match .38 is my favorite revolver. I shoot it often.

If you want to make a safe queen out of yours, that's up to you, but unless it is NIB, I'd say shoot it!
 

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If you shoot the plates at the speeds that most others shoot with the semi-autos (meaning fairly rapid) then the OMM may not be a great choice for it. The OMM is more of a Bullseye handgun which is shot slower. The accellerated pace of the steel target shoots may require extra maintenance on the old Colt action. The MkIII action like that of the Trooper MkIII may be a better choice and of course the newest MkV action of the King Cobra should be just fine.
It's tough for any of the older revolvers (models with pre-war actions) to keep pace with a semi-auto without a lot of extra attention paid to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Majic. Good observations; I assume bullseye shooters are shooting single action. Frankly,I am not terribly worried about my speed, not at my age. My fellow club member who have been at it a long time, there is no catching up with them in my opinion, and I am fine with that, I parked my attitude at the door. I will try to A/B this OM with a couple of S&Ws this afternoon, see what feels good in the hand. UKnfortunately they don't have any newer Colts in stock at the moment.
 

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Hello, Ed333
I used my OMM as a target gun a bunch, and would 'A-B' with a S & W K-38 Masterpiece. The smooth, easy action of the Colt made it my favorite for extended periods of shooting.
Accuracy-wise, it's hard for me to score well anymore, but I did just as well (although slowly) with the OMM as with any other gun in my safe.
Good point on the maintenance issue. As a side note, I would add that a good stainless charge-hole brush from Brownells is essential if you're going back and forth from wadcutters to 'standard' ammo.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Teakwood said:
If you want to make a safe queen out of yours, that's up to you, but unless it is NIB, I'd say shoot it!

[/ QUOTE ]

This is a shooter, in addition to the usual muzzle wear, there is marked wear all along the left side of the barrel, looks like a highlite in the photos, but the store owner says it is thru the blueing, can't figure what kind of holster the former owner used. That accounts for a very reasonable price, and I will wait till I see it in person, but am thinking this is a good entry point, just to see how I like working with revolvers, in contrast to my 1911's. As you can tell, I am somewhat pre-disposed to get it.
Ed
 

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I will venture that you will like the way it shoots. The action was tuned from the factory and since it's been a shooter it should be very smooth. Accuracy was always one of the major points of the Officers Model series. The pre-war guns were always found among the winners back in the day. Since you aren't trying to make a speed racer out of it then I say why not give the old girl a try. If you get it a good price I would first send it to a good Colt smith (like Pittsburg Handgun Headquarters) for a good tune-up/check-up and let her rip. If you notice that she just can't hold up to the game then you can always retire her to a more sedate game or youo can get rid of her for something else. It's not real hard getting your money back out of one.
That 50 year old girl might just show them young whippersnapper Bottomfeeders a thing or to on the range.
 

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Something is wrong here. Either the gun is not 1950 production, or the gun is not an Officers Model Match. A 1950 production gun would be an Officers Model Special, while the Officers Model Match did not come out until 1953.

As a pin gun, I would prefer the heavier-barrelled OMS over the later OMM. As a pin gun, the superior accuracy of a Colt over a Smith will not be revealed, as it would be in bullseye shooting.
 

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You do probably have an Officers Model Special, made from 1949 til 1952.

Considering the fact that one of our Officers Models just turned 100 in 2006, you can guess how many variations were made over a century.

If you have a special it probably has the Coltwood grips/stocks which to me are not that comfortable. They appear to be like plastic. Depending on the size of your hands, you may want to pick up a set of target grips/stocks on Ebay.

In any case enjoy the old girl. You hold a piece of gun history in your hands. No one will ever make them like that again! To me they are the "swiss watch" of revolvers.

Good luck with it!
 

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I've long wanted an OM, which is on my list of future acquisitions ahead of the Python.

If you wanted to have a go at your falling plates with a revolver the OM would be a great choice in my view. I'd think it'd be a hoot to take on the ho-hum modern handguns and place ahead of some of them. I've never subjected my Colt revolvers to the heavy use given some of my Smith & Wesson revolvers. Some of the Colt guns have been in the collection for many years however, and have happily digested quite a few rounds by now with nary a hiccup. Strict attention to cleaning and lubricant extends the "milage" of any gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I picked it up. Serial #616418. The barrel says "Officers Model 38", and underneath that, "Heavy Barrel". Locks up very firm, quite smooth on the double action, and the trigger pull on single action is scarey light. Walnut grips, the checkering is not noticeably worn, they are maybe a little small for me (I am 6'3" with hands to match), but not at all uncomfortable. Very graceful looking design IMHO.
I kind of doubt that it will see much falling plates action, because it doesn't look (to my uneducated eye) as if a speed loader would clear. But I say that without ever having used one, if you can drop the cartridges when they are just nosing in to the chambers, maybe OK. I picked up a box of semi-wadcutters, will give a range report tomorrow.
Ed
 

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You scored yourself a Pre-War. Looks like Officers Model Target produced between 1927-1949. (For the Judge's benefit I refrained from calling it a Third Issue.) Yours was produced in 1937. Probably has last patent date on top of barrel Oct 5, 1926. It may even have what looks like a Maltese Cross before and after the Heavy Barrel.

Should have finely checkered Hammer, cylinder release, trigger, and back strap. Nice gun you have there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
[ QUOTE ]
You scored yourself a Pre-War. Looks like Officers Model Target produced between 1927-1949. (For the Judge's benefit I refrained from calling it a Third Issue.) Yours was produced in 1937. Probably has last patent date on top of barrel Oct 5, 1926. It may even have what looks like a Maltese Cross before and after the Heavy Barrel.

Should have finely checkered Hammer, cylinder release, trigger, and back strap. Nice gun you have there.

[/ QUOTE ]

Wow! I wanted something as old as me, and now I have it, whereas they referred to it as a 1950. It has the maltese crosses before and after "Officers Model 38" and "Heavy Barrel". And the last patent date (of three)is Oct. 5, 1926. And it has the fine checkering everywhere you mentioned.
Paid $425, did I do good? Tell me I did good, I love it when I do good, happens so rarely....
Ed
 

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Great find! A Pre-War Colt is a thing of beauty for fit and finish. You lucked out.

WS23, thank you for not perpetuating the issue business, although the difference is that you would be right to call this one a Third Issue, whereas the Blue Book's use of "Issue" is usually so inaccurate as to boost my blood pressure unnecessarily.

The mention of speedloaders not clearing makes me wonder if the stocks are original. They should be the standard service stocks, and would not offer much interference to a speedloader, although I have never tried one to verify. They are kind of thick at the top so might interfere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I put 50 rounds of semi-wadcutters down range this morning, from 20 and 25 yards (was sharing the range with some heavy metal types shooting steel), punching the tightest group in my pie plate with 1" orange dot that I have ever done (single action) with a revolver, I am very pleased. I tried a few cylinders of double action, and I can see that this will take some practise, I pulled a few shots on D/A. But very smooth, very pleasant. I need to adjust the front sight, the group was a bit high, but that is fine. 69 years old, and doing just fine! Now I need to find something made in 1940, my birth year, I already have a 1942 (my wife's birth year) Model 12 shotgun, in 16 ga. full choke, which seems appropriate /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif Speaking of my wife, I think that she should enjoy shooting this, if I can ever coax her back to the range.
My comment on speedloaders was made from ignorance, I looked in the catalog tonight, and I see a speed loader made for Colt Officers model and Python, the HKS HKPYA.
btw, I was advised that it would probably be best to shoot lead, not copper jacketed rounds, that it would be kinder to my bore over the long run. and that running a bore snake through with some CLP was all the cleaning needed for the bore. Good advice?
 

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Well I must say it was my fault if I caused any confusion. I just took for granted that it was known that the various OM's have various sights and the OMM has the most different ones of them all. I never paid much attention to the 1950 date being a specific year and not a time frame.
Anyway congrats on a fine pre-war. It's nice to hear when someone scoops up another of the old girls still out there.
Lead is easier on the bore. I would first clean the bore completely to make sure there is no copper fouling and then always shoot lead. If you don't get any leading then very little bore cleaning should be necessary.
 

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You got a super old revolver, at a great price.

I have been holding my breath on the OM's, that the auction knuckleheads don't start doubling, or tripling the prices, or worse. Some of them are doing their best to falsely screw up collector prices.
 
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