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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,
I'm new here and hope to get to know some of in short order. I hope you have not answered the following questions to often. I've worked my way through a lot of past posts and did not see them addressed previously. So here goes my first posting:
I have an Officers Model Special .38 51' vintage. Does this gun take "Coltwood" grips or the plain brown plastic?
Also, I have a 62' vintage Officers Model Match 5th.Issue and I'm not sure which style target grips that it may take.
I can verify that the 58' vintage guns had the fully checkered version and the 65' vintage guns have the 2nd type that are checkered up to about the mid-point of the medallions. There was obviously some transition point but, I can't find when that is. A friend has one of the same 62' vintage with the 2nd version grips but, he didn't buy it new so I can't be sure if that is the proper style or not.
Thanks for any help you may provide on these issues. I look forward to some quality time spent here with other Colt enthusiasts.
 

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My 1951-vintage Colt Officer's Model Special in .22 LR has the original brown plastic grips, service style.

I always thought that "Coltwood" referred to these plastic grips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks BB,
My plastic grips are just one shade of brown. I assumed(never good)that "Coltwood" grips were dark brown with darker colored streaks running through them. I've seen these grips elsewhere and was thinking that is what I needed, since they seemed to simulate wood with grain structure.
 

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The 1961 catalog shows the OMM with full checkering. Unfortunately, I don't have the '62 catalog, maybe someone else can help out.

Coltwood was in different shades over the years, some solid colored, some with swirls of brown and black, etc. Color was determined by how much coffee and cigarette ashes the chemist spilled in the vat every morning /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

B.W.
 

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Jay, I have a 1964 OMM .22cal with the 2nd version grips. I didn't buy it new so I'm not sure if these are the correct grips. BUT, I also have a 1963 catalog that shows the OMM with the "full checkering" or 1st version grips. My guess is your '62 OMM should have the "full checkering" if you go by the catalog.

I have also been curious about the grips on mine and have been trying to find a 1964 catalog as a reference.

Hopefully, one on the COLT EXPERT HISTORIANS will reply with some words of wisdom.

My experience with S&W's is that you can never be sure how the gun was actually shipped from the factory, regardless what the catalog shows!!!!

Don
 

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[ QUOTE ]
I'm not sure which style target grips that it may take.


[/ QUOTE ]since you dont have the original #ed to the gun stocks it doesn`t make a lot of difference. i would try to find a set matching the guns present condition. that is very close to the change over time as you have guessed and even a factory letter wont list what type stocks other than target or service. if i had to guess i would say the full checkered came on it , but to my knowledge NO ONE knows EXACTLY. in my experience the python changed to type 2 stocks before the officers. the python was a brisk seller at that time and the officers mod. sales were slowing down.total o/m produced in 1960=1500 total python same year 5,700. i am sure the bean counters at colt gave priorty to the largest profitable product. this is just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Icdux,
That brings up an interesting point. The one I have has walnut service grips that match the condition of the revolver. Both the grips and the gun are virtually like new. The reason I was trying to find target grips was to put it in the condition it left the factory because it's in such great shape. However, I was told elsewhere that they only came with target grips! This gets more complicated every day. Jay
 

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By 1962 your gun would have had the Second type Target grips.
There wasn't a "cut off" when Colt stopped using one grip and started using another, it was just when supplies ran out.
By 1962 the First type fully checkered was used up.

You can't go by pictures. Colt often used old photos for years after changes were made, and gun publications were worst. I saw picture of the Colt Python with First type fully checkered grips up through the 1970's.

The Officer's Model Match had Target grips as standard equipment, but you could order it with Service type if you wanted.

Just remember, it was common practice when selling off a Colt, to "rob" the Target grips, and replace them with Service grips, or after market.

It's most likely someone just switched the grips.

Colt referred to all plastic grips as "Coltwood".
 

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[ QUOTE ]
By 1962 your gun would have had the Second type Target grips.

By 1962 the First type fully checkered was used up.



[/ QUOTE ]i would ask your opinion of the approx. date that the fully checkered target grips were "used up"? i understand this is a ballpark date but it would be handy information. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

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Things would be a helluva lot easier IF Colt had continued to "write" the serial # inside one of the stocks!!!

They continued to do this on SAAs,but the "newest Colt DA" that I own that has this is a 2" 1956 O.P. Last 4 digits in white pencil inside both stocks,yet a 1954 .32 Courier has no writing.

S&W was equally "lax" in this on many models from the 1950's on.

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bud,
I certainly agree it would make things a litte easier. However, finding a vintage gun with the proper grips might be as scarce as chicken lips! Although, maybe people would have been more reluctant to remove the original grips if they had been numbered to the gun. In my experience, most of the guns I've needed grips for were ones that were not originally serial numbered. Some of the oldest more pristine models I've come across have the correct numbers on the grips. Perhaps, I've just been lucky. Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I would like to thank all that took the time to respond to my inquirey. It has certainly helped and I have managed to procure the proper grips for both guns in question. Albeit they were a little costly, both sets are as new and perfectly match the original conditions of the guns. I'm sure they have already paid for them selves with the increase of value of the guns with the proper grips. Also, as we all know, that return will only increase as time goes buy with these vintage Colts. Thanks again, I'm happy I've found this site and look forward to spending a lot of time here. Jay
 
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