Colt Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I have a Colt Officers Model Special, 38 with a six inch barrel. I think it is from the early 50's with a serial # starting with 67****. It has matte black finnish on the top sight and is an "E" frame from what I can gather, since the cylinder retaining screws on the right side form a figure eight type of arrangement. This colt has been used very little, and has been checked thouroughly by a competent gunsmith.
My question is, can +P loads be shot safely in this revolver? I'm planning on reloading.
Thanks,
Joe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
909 Posts
Joe, I would stick to standard loads. Why accelerate wear on a 50 year old target revolver? If you need more juice, get a magnum. You have a fine, collectable revolver that will appreciate if it is treated right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Joe; Because you mentioned the "figure 8 screw",your gun is pre 1950.(Colt went to a single screw cylinder retaining arrangement after the war.) Should've given First 3 serial numbers,as 1942 began with #679000,so if it is before that,your gun was made in 1941.

What is confusing here,is that Officers .22 Models went to a separate # range when that caliber was introduced in 1930. Your gun is serialed with the other popular E frame,the fixed sighted Official Police.

Gonna go against what Bushwacker said ,a bit. Colt advertised in their 1930's catalogs,that their E,and even smaller,D frame guns,like the Detective Special, were OK to use the 38/44 Hi Speed loadings in. This was a 158 grain lead bullet(or 150 gr. metal piercing jacketed load),at close to 1200 fps. The immediate predecessor of the .357 Magnum,it is hotter,or as hot as any +P loaded by factories today.

Would I make it a steady "diet" of +Ps?? No! And being a target revolver,it deserves accurate loads,such as 148 gr. full wadcutters,at about a sedate 750 fps.

I fired 6 rounds of 38/44 out of my 1932 square butt Detective Special,and even with a grip adapter & 2 hand hold,recovery for a second shot,would take "a while".

My pre war E frames,have shown no ill effects,with a load such as 158 gr, cast SWC over 5 grs. of Unique,for about 900+ fps, depending on bbl. length. But they are not shot daily,or even every month.

Also,with those "fussy to adjust" front sights for elevation,I would say,find an accurate,safe load and stay with it.

Good Luck,and enjoy your Officers Model! It's even older than me,by a year,or two!

Bud
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Genltemen,
Thank you for the informative replies.
As you may have guessed, I'm new to shooting / reloading for hanguns, Colts included. I have experince reloading my hunting rifle loads however.

I have to say, I find the Colt history facinating, and love the feel and balance of the OS in my hand. I can't wait to shoot with it.

The serial # is 673*** on this Colt, so it's date of manufacture is 1941. Thank you Lonewolf for this!

Paper is on the menu for this gun along with lead wad cutters, but, I just wanted to know if it could digest +P loads safely. It's nice to know I'll be shooting 38 spl. with a wide margin of safety.

Any opinions on powder? Bullseye and 231 seem to be quite popular for the 38. I have yet to decide on the brand of WC to try, but it'll be in the 148-158gr. range. Should I choose the bullet first, then the powder? or does it matter? I have a line on some federal small pistol primers I'll be buying.
Thanks,
Joe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
It's hard to beat 231 for a .38 Special powder. It's readily available, lots of published data for it, burns clean, meters accurately, and generally delivers higher velocities within the .38 Special pressure range than other powders.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top