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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks.

I'm trying to help a nice older gentleman I met this weekend at the Rock Island Auction. This gentleman is not very internet saavy and does all of his research via books. His scooter was stuffed with books! :)

Anyways he ended up buying this Colt 1899 Navy at the auction. As you guys probably know the original guns did not have a locking mechanism when the hammer was down -- meaning the cylinder would spin freely in the holster, potentially making your next shot fall on a spent shell. the navy sent most of the guns back for retrofit, but approximately 363 did not make it back and are still in original configuration. this is what he bought. notice the long flutes and lack of notches on the cylinder.



what he is trying to determine is if there should be a marking on the barrel. According to one of his books written by Bob Best, the barrel should be marked "colt DA 38". as you can see from the picture this gun does not have the marking. I was trying to help him look on the internet and we found other guns sold at auction which also have a unmarked barrel.

I did find, however, pictures at coolgunsite.com of a 1899 Navy owned by Bob Best with barrel markings. However that gun has been retrofitted.

We don't know if the original original guns should be blank, or if the marking was applied on only retrofit and later guns.

Anyways I'm just trying to help this nice older gentleman. If I can find out the answer I'll give him a call (he doesn't do email!)

thank you!
 

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As far as I know (note the qualifier) all Colt's of that era would have the Colt name and address on top of the barrel.
Every one of the New Army & Navy models I've seen (admittedly not a huge number) had the D.A. 38 barrel stamp on the left side.

I can't tell from the photo, but the military issue guns had smooth walnut grips and US stamps on the butt and military inspector stamps on the left side of the frame.
 

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Why don't you send Bob Best a PM and ask him what he thinks? His forum name is COLTDAGUY (if you didn't know), and he's probably the most knowledgeable person on the subject.

Buck
 

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Hi folks.

I'm trying to help a nice older gentleman I met this weekend at the Rock Island Auction. This gentleman is not very internet saavy and does all of his research via books. His scooter was stuffed with books! :)

Anyways he ended up buying this Colt 1899 Navy at the auction. As you guys probably know the original guns did not have a locking mechanism when the hammer was down -- meaning the cylinder would spin freely in the holster, potentially making your next shot fall on a spent shell. the navy sent most of the guns back for retrofit, but approximately 363 did not make it back and are still in original configuration. this is what he bought. notice the long flutes and lack of notches on the cylinder.



what he is trying to determine is if there should be a marking on the barrel. According to one of his books written by Bob Best, the barrel should be marked "colt DA 38". as you can see from the picture this gun does not have the marking. I was trying to help him look on the internet and we found other guns sold at auction which also have a unmarked barrel.

I did find, however, pictures at coolgunsite.com of a 1899 Navy owned by Bob Best with barrel markings. However that gun has been retrofitted.

We don't know if the original original guns should be blank, or if the marking was applied on only retrofit and later guns.

Anyways I'm just trying to help this nice older gentleman. If I can find out the answer I'll give him a call (he doesn't do email!)

thank you!
Gentlemen,

As happens sometimes in books errors creep in and are not caught before they go to print... The first Navy contract for 5000 Model 1889 New Navy revolvers in ORIGINAL CONFIGURATION will NOT have the "COLT DA 38" on the left side of the barrel ... That is an error which was not caught before I sent the manuscript to the publisher. I apologize if this has caused problems for people ... There WILL be a two line barrel address on the top of the barrel ... Hope that helps. Bob Best
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gentlemen,

As happens sometimes in books errors creep in and are not caught before they go to print... The first Navy contract for 5000 Model 1889 New Navy revolvers in ORIGINAL CONFIGURATION will NOT have the "COLT DA 38" on the left side of the barrel ... That is an error which was not caught before I sent the manuscript to the publisher. I apologize if this has caused problems for people ... There WILL be a two line barrel address on the top of the barrel ... Hope that helps. Bob Best
Hi Bob.

thank you very much for the reply! I'm sure the gentleman will be thrilled to learn this! Thank you and best regards.
 
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