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Discussion Starter #1
Hello boys,
I dove into something new today. I picked up an older Colt today. It's an Officers model special in .38 ctg.
I found that it's a 1952 vintage by the serial number. She's in wonderful shape.
I was wondering if anyone collects these or do they use them as shooters ?
Also, the muzzle end of the barrel is not blued. Was this normal ?
Any info on this little bugger would be great.
Here's a couple pics...



Thanks, Jeff (GUNKWAZY)
 

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Your Colt is one of the early 1950's revolvers made when Colt used the "two-tone" blue finish.

The sides are polished, the "edges" are bead blasted, and the muzzle was left bright and un-blued.

The OMS was only made a few years and it's a "sleeper" since most people have never heard of them.
 

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Good catch, Gunkwazy! I snagged a few of these for my collection, while they were still fairly cheap. Though not all that rare, they are a collectable, but the really nice ones are getting tougher to find. From memory, I believe they were made from 1949 to 1952, in both .38spcl, and .22lr caliber. Excellent shooters, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info guys.
I saw it at a local show today. I asked about it and he quoted me a price, I said,
" What's the bottom line " ?
He told me $300. I said "wrap her up".
I didn't know anything about her, but how can you go wrong buying a mint old Colt for that much ?
He claims he has the original receipt at home somewhere so I gave him my address to send it to me.
She has just a tiny little bit of where on the end of the muzzle and other than that she's a beauty.
I think & hope I got a sweet deal.

Jeff (GUNKWAZY)

[This message has been edited by GUNKWAZY (edited 08-07-2004).]
 

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Beautiful looking Colt,Jeff! You would've paid between $500 & $600 from most dealers here in the Northeast,especially for the 1949-52 scarce variant. Have you shot it yet? Depending on the "ergonomics" of your hand size & grip hold,you might want to try adding a grip adaptor(Pach.Tyler or Mershon)if the gun feels muzzle heavy with the standard "Coltwood" service stocks. The model that followed yours,went to the "fuller" target stocks,as standard.As much as I like the prewar Officers Models,adjusting TWO sights is a pain compared to the one like you have. Enjoy! Bud
 

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Jeff: You have a beautiful example of the OMS there. I like 'em myself, and have never understood why they never seemed to attract much collector attention. That is changing now, and fast. Below is a pic of the one in my collection with the target stocks.

Charlie Flick



[This message has been edited by ordnanceguy (edited 08-08-2004).]
 

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Hey, Congrats!, GUNKWAZY! That is a NICE piece! (As you well know.) I've only seen two of these for sale, ever and passed on them both as they were rather rough. (In my police days in Pa. in the 70's, there were quite a few cops carried these or OMM's as uniform revolvers and a step above the OP.) I figured that accounted for the their rather, "weathered," look. Other than those peculiar circumstances, how badly beaten could a .38 wadcutter gun get? I gather the super-accurate .38's had their day in the sun in the pre-war years and the OMS and OMM were of limited appeal by the 50's and later. (I still love 'em, though and I guess you do, too!)I have a 1957 .357 but I hardly ever shoot magums in it. Can't help but think a fella' could coax a few more 10 rings out of a OMS or OMM, like yours, though, in a gun designed for just that. Happy Shooting! [You know, your piece and your pictures are so good, I don't even mind the Coltwood stocks. I know I do like to be able to get my whole hand involved in the grip as you can on these skinny jobs. The wooden factory target stocks are very nice but rather large for me and best hold.]
 

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I have one of these in single action. How do I tell if the single action feature is factory original or a later modification? It is a true single action, not a "just take the self cocking strut out" job.
Doesn't have as much bluing as the one in the picture. Honest wear, everything is tight, bore's good.
 

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You would ask hard questions while I'm at work and don't have the revolver to look at. I'll look at it when I get home tonight and post the answer tomorrow.
 

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The revolver in question is an Officer's Match Special. I think at one time I dated this revolver to the mid 50's. It has a straight bull barrel. The hammer and rear sight bear the word "Micro" in script. I took the side plate off. To my surprise the hammer does have a self cocking strut that is sitting there doing nothing. The frame has a stud or boss that prevents the hammer from going all the way back to the standard manually cocked position. The trigger has a protrusion on the right side (Inside the frame, not visable from outside.)that prevents it from going all the way forward to the standard position. The trigger tail or sear looks a bit shorter than I would expect on a standard double action. Thus the piece operates only in single action mode with a short hammer fall. Whether the hammer and rear sight are original or not, the stud inside the frame that prevents the hammer from going all the way back must be from the factory. The trigger is certainly not a standard double action trigger. (It has a shoe added) The cutout in the frame that the trigger protrusion sits in may not be standard double action either.

So what do I have?
 

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Looks like you have a "short action" conversion.The "idea" or "theory" here is to make the hammer fall quicker,thus not disturbing your hold on target as much.Another benefit was to reduce the time it took to cock the piece during the rapid fire segment of bullseye competition. While to many today its hard to realize,50 years ago,bullseye shooting was very much alive,and any "edge"over the competition was tried.If you have ever shot a flintlock,you know that when you pull the trigger,ignition is not instantaneous. While its not noticable,there is a lag in "microseconds" on modern guns. You may have seen"skeleton hammers" that have a large cutout in them.This was done to lessen the "jolt" when the hammer hit,that would also throw ones hold on target off just when the gun fired.(The Colt Single Action Army is probably the worse offender of this,with its heavy hammer) Of course,if you lighten too much you get "misfires". In the "Book of Colt Firearms",on pg.353,there is a comparison photo of 2 O.M.Matches,with the hammers cocked,1 with short action, 1 with regular,and you can see the drastic difference. Your gun could be a factory job,or by a skilled gunsmith;but only a factory letter will let you know(but even then,it couldve gone back to the factory for the conversion,and this info would NOT be in the rather "pricey" letter!)Good Luck,Bud.
 

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I know all the "whys" of the SA on a DA frame. Both S&W and Colt sold a SA on a DA frame. The first question here is whether it's a factory original or a conversion. I'll pull the side plate again and look at the stud that blocks rearward travel of the hammer. If it's a solid piece with the frame it would have to be original. I was surprised to see the self cocking strut as it adds useless weight to the hammer. The machining in the frame that provides room for the trigger side extension looks factoryish too. As does the trigger, although that could possibly have been available on the aftermarket. The side extension on the trigger prevents it from going forward far enough to pick up the self cocking strut. On the other hand I don't know if the trigger tail or sear is long enough to pick up the self cocking strut any way. A third posibility is that it left the factory as a SA and someone replaced the hammer, trigger, or sight with an aftermarket one. But it sticks in the back of my mind that back in the days when the factories would build to order that Micro sights were sometimes used. My rear sight does not look like the one in the photo of the other guys OMS above.

[This message has been edited by unspellable (edited 08-16-2004).]
 
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