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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering opinions and if anyone can help,dfariswheel, are you here I hope? Picked up recently from a coworker of my father a Colt officers model 38 from the estate of his deceased granfather. Had a large gun collection, unfortunately it is being pieced out to various family members as luck of the draw and the coworker had no idea abot guns so he turns up trash(got a Ruby .32 and Tokarev) as well as treasure, the Colt officers model.

Ruby didn't work as expected, Tokarev did, had a trigger shoe and custom grips of all things! Anyways the Colt, I don't have it in front of me right now, has a serial number in the high 500000 rangeany idea what vintage? But the main problem was besides what looks like a non factory front sight and the gun is only about 80% is the fact part of the forcing cone blew off while shooting! Like the entire left side if it, barrel and topstrap look fine.

Only fired like 30 rounds of quality factory standard pressure ammo. My question is why did this happen, did this grandfather probably run some high prssure ammo in the old days and weaken it? Is this gun worth rebarreling? I only have $150 in it but I assume I have a wallhanger. Same as it has wonderful DA action.

Any info on the officers model, calibers, vintages(seems old, has that space below the topstrap to accumulate fouling) my options as to fixing gun(though I doubt I would be willing to sink much in to this particular gun) would be appreciated.

1,483 Posts
1) See if you can find a nice Officers Barrel on an online auction,such as eBay.There are also online parts dealers. I have seen them there. Based upon your serial#,you will need the one with the adjustable front sight,not the post wars with the ramp sight.

2) While you are looking for a new barrel,find a good gunsmith,who has proper barrel wrenches and tools to CORRECTLY do the bbl. change.

3) I would suggest that the gunsmith also do a complete check on the gun,such as headspace,timing, etc.

4) No one can say from long distance what caused your gun to do this. It is possible,that timing was off,and the cylinder was NOT totally lined up with the forcing cone,causing the bullet to actually hit the side of the cone,fracturing it. You were lucky you,or someone next to you was not struck by the "shrapnel" from the cone!

Good Luck!

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I don't have a lot to add to this.

Without an examination, and possibly not even then, I can't hazard a guess as to why the forcing cone would blow out.

That's NOT common.

Finding a USABLE barrel may not be easy, since used ones often have problems of their own.

Gun Parts does list some Officer's Model barrels:

For re-barreling and check up on these older Colt's, I strongly recommend:
Pittsburgh Handgun Headquarters
1330 Center Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15229
(412) 766-6100

An Officer's Model in the high 5 million range would have been made in the 1932 to 1937 time frame.
This was at a time when quality at Colt was SKY HIGH, so with $150. invested, you can spend some money having this one fixed up and have a NICE shooter.
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