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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My grandfather just gave me his old revolver that he has hidden in his garage for over 40 years. He only rembers buying it in the 60’s. By the serial number it’s 1950 officers model special in 38. Some interesting markings I have not seen on others I have researched. I’m very interested in the story of this gun.
 

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Interesting, will a 38 special chamber? 380 was used by the Indians to designate the 38 S&W cartridge. Are you sure of the date of manufacture? The wood stocks and short barrel are pre-war features. Does the top of the barrel have patent dates?
 

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I would letter that one. The short barrel and lanyard loop are special and it may be one that was "donated" by an American during the days after Dunkirk when drives were conducted across the US for any and all types of firearms to be sent to England for Home Guard defense. It may have had an interesting history, not all of which will be shown from the factory letter, but it will be a good start.
 

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That isn't an Officers Model Special, nor was it made in 1950. It is older than that and probably built during the early 1940's or late 1930's.

Dating an OM can be tricky. Colt's website won't work and I'm not near my reference materials. What is the S/N? X out the last numbers if needed for privacy.

Iron crosses are factory Colt marks. I believe the others are from England during the WW2 timeframe. The gun could have gone overseas. 4" barrel?

Those are the correct stocks for that era and probably original to that gun.
 

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That "J" kind of looks like the symbol for the British pound.

Neat old "target" model though. Should be fun to shoot.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
S/N 642 60x.
If I recall the last patent date was 1926.
The barrel looks to be either a 4” or 4 1/2”. Will measure and report back later.
Sounds like this gun has a real story behind it as I suspected.
 

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The upside-down 'J' is likely an 'L' - for 'Liege' - where the big Belgian proofhouse is located.

The caliber designation is found on those revolvers sold commercially - pre-WWII.

The 'maltese crosses' are a part of he factory rollmark.

Postwar, Europe emptied their shelves of firearms, and exported them for resale - both military and commercial guns were in the mix, and were sold by 'Ye Olde Hunter', 'Interarmsco', 'Walter Craig' and whole host of other dealers sold them from illustrated ads on the backs of gun magazines of the era - right up until 1968.

I doubt there's a 'real story' in the classic sense - just a 'repatriated' American revolver that was initially sold overseas for normal police use - but you may want t o buy a factory letter from Colt to verify.
 

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S/N 642 60x.
If I recall the last patent date was 1926.
The barrel looks to be either a 4” or 4 1/2”. Will measure and report back later.
Sounds like this gun has a real story behind it as I suspected.
The Officers Model revolvers were serial#d with the Official Police during the 30's-40's. If your's has a serial# of 64260X it dates to about 1940.
 

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4 inch barrel. Last patent October 5 1926.

i apologize but the serial number is actually 646 20x
It still dates to 1940. There shouldn't be any large gaps between the numbers. Maybe you can post a pic to confirm.
 

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This revolver has an (Royal Small Arms Factory) Enfield inspection mark near the hammer. This is combined with a 'broad arrow' which is a government ownership mark. This marking was applied in the United Kingdom after the gun was received there. It also has the .380 mark on the barrel ring signifying that British service .38/200 ammunition can be used in it.
This revolver is one of the thousands that was purchased off the shelf from Colt by the British Purchasing Commission in June 1940.
Barrel lengths for .38 Officer Models that were purchased by the BPC in June included 4, 4 1/2 , 5 , 6 , 6 1/2 and 7 1/2 inch barrels. The most common barrel length was 6 inch with the 7 1/2 inch second. All the other lengths were only purchase in small quantity's.

As has been suggested this is a desirable revolver with an interesting history, it warrants a letter in my view.

Regards

AlanD
Sydney
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
image.jpg
Correct me if I’m wrong but this is 4in barrel.
image.jpg
On this portion it looks like a space in the serial number.
The other location of the serial number does not have spaces.
 
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