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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My tale of woe: I sent off to Colt for a letter on an original E-frame .22 Trooper S/N 71,XXX. Knowing that this model has a reputation for being difficult to letter I included a short note on the letter form stating that the guns shared serial numbers with the Officers Models and were produced in the 1950's.

Fast forward a few months and I receive a call from the Archives: 'Mr. Weagle we are having difficulty lettering the .22 Trooper. We are showing it as a Trooper .357 shipped in 1968.' I explained the situation with these guns and emailed pictures of markings and features from the gun of interest. Included in my notes was information gleaned from this forum ('Collectors believe that production stopped in 1960'; 'Other collectors have guns in the 71,XXX S/N range that are from the 1950's'). I was cautiously optimistic.

Well, no such luck. Archives contacted me to say the gun is showing in records as a 1968 .357 Trooper. Obviously this is wrong because this .22 Trooper is an E-frame with features from the 1950's while a 1968 .357 Trooper is an I-frame. Nothing on the gun suggests it was ever converted, plus as just mentioned it has a hammer mounted firing pin.

Anyway, I canceled the letter. I was hopeful that I could get background on this gun like others on the forum but it wasn't meant to be. I haven't decided if I will just forget ever lettering the gun or wait a few years for turnover in the Archives and try again. I will say that the individual at the Archives was very interested in solving the mystery and it was easy to communicate with him, however we just couldn't nail down the data.

Ahh, the fun world of collecting....


7/17/13 UPDATE:
I have an unexpected, good news update on this situation.

The researcher from the Archives contacted me to say the records were found! My understanding is that Beverly Haynes became involved with the investigation and was able to locate the information for the gun using the Officers Model numbering scheme. The letter is on the way.

Thanks to all who participated in this thread for sharing your thoughts.​
 

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When you make many thousands of anything, records can get confused and can be just gotten wrong.

All I can suggest is looking very closely at the serial number for any signs of alteration, addition of a digit at the front or back, or a digit that's distorted and looks like another number.

Last, is it possible it's an Officer's Model Match that was re-barreled? This should still show up as an "E" frame gun, but .........
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. The S/N shows no signs of alteration and matches on the frame and cylinder crane.

It is possible that a gun like this could have been professionally re-barreled, but in this instance I don't think it was. It 'looks' original, plus is has a service hammer and what appear to be the original service stocks (with domed rear sideplate screw). An OMM built with a service configuration would be a rare item I think.

I want to think the records are there somewhere, but as you mentioned it is possible for mistakes to be made during the production of thousands of guns and several different model lines.
 

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I own a .22 trooper with serial # 69107. I see in my notes I had determined it was made in 1954. I cant remember how I came to that conclusion. I also owned a .357 mag I bought new back I think in 1972. The .357 is # 70538. I see on my old notes I had entered it made in 1968. I dont remember how I arrived at that date either.
I also own a 4" nickle trooper in .38 special. Its serial # 923115. Again, somehow I put 1959 in my records for it. This is confuseing me now. I would think the .357 would be made much later than the higher numbered .38 special but yet the .38 special has a much higher number. What gives?
 

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Did you explain to the Colt researcher that the .22 Trooper is numbered with the Officers Models and NOT with the Troopers?

I lettered a .22 caliber Trooper in the 71XXX range in 2007 and received a letter signed by Kathleen Hoyt stating that the gun shipped March 26, 1957 as a one-gun shipment to Tip Top Barber Shop in Tupper Lake, New York. I sent a copy of my 1968 letter from Colt confirming that the .22 caliber Trooper was discontinued in 1960 to Forum member 22-rimfire in March of 2007. Since I cannot find my source file for the letter, perhaps 22-rimfire would repost the copy of the letter I sent him.

I have a couple of Colts for which no record can be found, but I suspect the researcher is just looking in the wrong record for the serial number.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I provided the Archives with all the information I have, including the Officers Model numbering situation. It did not change the outcome despite repeated communications.

Even Wilson got this wrong in TBOCF. It is unfortunate that someone at the Archives did not note this in their records when lettering other guns correctly so that future researchers would understand the situation.
 

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Ever see that cartoon about 'What We Say' versus 'What They Hear'?

It's applicable to both dogs and teenagers, so extrapolating it out to someone who should, by all rights be working in a fully-scanned and cross-referenced computerized system by now - instead of one apparently contained in file cabinets lit by candles - one can begin to see the disconnect.

I had a very similar conversation about a Third Generation Colt SAA that they insisted was a Second Generation, and many of the parts were different, so they didn't work on them.

Keep plugging away.
 

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JudgeColt
My wife is from Tupper Lake! That barber shop is now a sporting good shop (Tip Top Sports Shop). Not avery common place name to hear. Ron
 

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She does not know but when she visits this week, will ask. Being a small town in the Adirondacks. liek other stores at the time, I am sure they also ordered guns . Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have an unexpected, good news update on this situation.

The researcher from the Archives contacted me to say the records were found! My understanding is that Beverly Haynes became involved with the investigation and was able to locate the information for the gun using the Officers Model numbering scheme. The letter is on the way.

Thanks to all who participated in this thread for sharing your thoughts.
 
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