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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For openers, I know next to nothing about Colt revolvers.

I have an Officers Model 38, #603175, shipped October 22, 1935. It is billed as a Roper Custom (Grips/Sights/Action Job/etc.). Both the backstrap and the trigger are checkered. The checkering on both is perfect----too perfect. Add to that the fact neither the trigger nor the backstrap (nor any/all other parts of the gun) show any sign of being refinished, and I am left to conclude the checkering is from the factory----and is more likely the result of knurling or stamping rather than cutting. Am I right or wrong?

Many thanks!!

RCT
 

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Hi, RCT, and welcome to the Forum. I'm still a newbie when it comes to Colt revolvers myself, but there are many, many knowledgeable members here who are willing to help. If possible, pix are always helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, RCT, and welcome to the Forum. I'm still a newbie when it comes to Colt revolvers myself, but there are many, many knowledgeable members here who are willing to help. If possible, pix are always helpful.
I have pictures----also not the first clue about how to get them from where they are to this forum. I will be happy to email them to whomever, so they may post them here. (My pictures show the backstrap, albeit not in great detail, but not (the face of) the trigger.)

RCT
 

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RCT, welcome to Coltforum!

What a great way for you to enter the forum!

Your Officers Model target is absolutely magnificent, in extremely high condition and the genuine custom Roper stocks are even more magnificent!

That Colt exhibits the quality that Colt is famous for, due to the highly skilled gunsmiths who once manufactured guns in Hartford, at a level of quality that no longer exists in mass produced revolvers. Similarly, I do not believe that one can purchase a set of stocks as fine as those Ropers, of modern construction. I would like to be proven wrong, however.

The checkering looks factory original to me, and I believe was made by cutting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Roper Grips are 100% authentic. The Rear sights are Roper but the front..I have never seen anything like those from Roper.
The front sight (per se) is (I've read, and have been told) one of several Roper variations on the same theme----that is, to make a screw adjustable sight from one that isn't (and this sight is screw adjustable). My further understanding is the earlier Colt front sights required a blade change in order to alter the elevation setting. That said, I don't know if Colt ever made a screw adjustable front sight or not. The "white outline" attachment to the front sight is (I'm also told) a "WhiteX"----a period aftermarket accessory for those (bullseye) shooters who preferred a point of impact aim/hold to a "six o'clock" hold. It is a two piece affair attached by a screw, and located by two pins through the blade----standing proud on both sides.

Speaking of aftermarket items, I'm also told (by an apparently big time Colt collector) the hammer on this gun is neither a Colt nor a Roper item, but another aftermarket item Roper was high on. I'd appreciate confirmation of that. (I was unable to find any illustrations of Colt revolvers with such a hammer. I also was unable to find any indication this was a Colt item altered such as is the case with the several King "Cockeyed" hammers----and other similar.)

RCT

And as far as exquisite grips go (now), check out Keith Brown's work. He'll make anything you want, but Roper (patterned) replicas/reproductions seem to be his specialty-----and they are magnificent!! The wood he uses is especially magnificent! I have a couple of other sets of Roper grips. The wood on those shown here is vastly superior to my others---which might very accurately be described as fence post grade.
 

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Rct...there has been a lot of speculation as to whether or not Roper did hammers. I know of no documentation that he offered it. However we can only speculate that it make since, that it was at least plausible. Why not go all the way if you are gonna do sights and Stocks. Perhaps he had them done for him to his specs and just installed? Who knows. Your front sight is very unusual to say the least. Roper was a pioneer in stocks and sights and loved to experiment. He even authored a book on his experiments. You may have just an experiment on your gun. And the condition is truly stunning. All my front Ropers look like this:

 

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I've been around this old world a few years now and handled, viewed, examined and generally been exposed to a lot of nice guns. It is not often that the word "pristine" seems appropriate. This one seems however to justify that word in its description. It is not often that condition and accessories leave me with my mouth open, but that one does and I Liiiiiike IT !!

She is a stunner !! No staying on the porch for you Sir. Welcome and OH, please share more often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you all for your kind words and your help! I would be happy to share more often, but alas, I have little to share here. My other stunners came from up the road a piece----in Springfield, Massachusetts. I have but five Colts, all very nice; but this one is the only one out of the ordinary. I was dumbfounded when I first saw it----during a show and tell session of a friend's collection. Needless to say, It was NOT FOR SALE!! Time passed, and then it was!

Then I was in trouble! Okay----this is a Roper Colt-----what's Colt? What's Roper? I had all of Roper's books and several of his various articles, so most of the "What's Roper" questions were answered in short order-----most, but not the hammer! Then I started to try and get educated about Officers Model hammers. I fairly quickly arrived at the point of knowing what this hammer was not-----but not what it was. Then I was told what it was. And that's all well and good, but I'm one of those pesky sorts who wants PROOF-----black ink on white paper. Not yet. The answer may lie inside----I haven't been there yet. I did buy a book that tells me how to get there, so that comes next. And we shall see what we shall see------or not!

RCT
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Front sight---one last word: The front sight on this gun is (essentially) as illustrated on page 53 of Roper's book (Experiments of a Handgunner----May, 1989 reprint). It differs only in the blade, which in this case has been fabricated to accommodate the use of the "WhiteX" device. The end---or not.

RCT
 
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