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Discussion Starter #1
I was cleaning my Cobra after a range session this weekend and noticed the faint impression of a different serial number under the one that is prominently engraved. It looks like it was barely imprinted, and then ground out, but the numbers are definitely different.

Near, but below the serial number is the number 1, and a small mark I can't identify. The gripframe carries two letters randomly stamped near the backstrap, a "P" and a "w" or "M" (can't tell which).

The original grips are marked with the last three numbers of the prominently marked serial number, so I never gave the serial number authenticity any thought.

Anyone know what to make of this?
 

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Take a closer look at the "ghost" numbers.

I'll bet they're a faint imprint of the same serial number only in a mirror image.

Colt stamps the serial number on the crane and frame by roller stamping.
This causes the area around the numbers to be slightly raised.

These cranes are so closely fitted that the slightly raised serial numbers on the frame and crane can leave "ghost" marks on each other.

This is usually more noticeable on the softer aluminum parts used on the Cobra and Agent.

The "1" and the other marks are Colt inspector's stamps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good call dfariswheel. There are two # 5's that look like 3's when applied to the opposite part, so your theory seems likely.

The only thing I can't figure out is why the shadow for both the frame, and crane appears below the prominently engraved serial number. You would think that if the numbers were not perfectly alligned vertically, and they were imprinting on one another, one shadow would be above, and one would be below.
 
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