My shooting buddy just acquired a Colt marked Super .38 at an estate auction. He would like to know what year the slide and barrel markings changed to .38 Super. I told him someone here would have the answer in their memory bank. Thanks!
Have very limited knowledge of the modern Colts, but the barrel marking normally denoted the caliber which was .38 Super, marked just as the boxes of ammo. Since the caliber was .38 Super, many called the pistol a .38 Super also, although the pistol was the Super .38.
I think the Super .38 maintained the Super .38 slide markings until 1970 when it became a Series 70 Government Model, along with the introduction of the Series 70 Government Model Colt's in .45 as well as 9mm.
Thanks KW. I found a reference/suggestion of late 50s for the pistol markings from a NRA article online. I did not know if that was credible or a guess since it indicates a span instead of a year. I also found a serial number table which seemed to agree with the time frame you indicate of 1971. However, it was a table starting in 1929 and ending in 1971 showing Super 38. I did not think that proof of the old roll marks continuing to that time.
The pistol he found was made in 1950 according to the Colt automated look up. I have only seen the Super 38 slide roll marks in pictures. I asked him about the barrel markings. He said the barrel is marked Colt Super 38 as well. This came as a something of a surprise. I fully expected it to be marked either .38 auto or like the ammunition box pictured above.
I am anxiously awaiting to look at the pistol in person. It is only a 325 mile drive away.
I'm by any means no expert, but I do happen to have a copy of Douglas G. Sheldon's book entitled "COLT'S Super .38". It's pretty much the gold standard on .38 Super production history from 1929 thru 1971. Here are a few pages for reference: You should just be able to "click" on each picture to read the text...