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Discussion Starter #1
Somebody ask me three questions about the New Service revolvers and I wasn´t able to aswer them.

How many types of latches did they have?
And when did the thumb latch appear? (which year)

He told me the new services revolvers were chambered in 11 calibers and I only know 8:
.38 spl
.38-40
.44-40
.44 Russian
.44 Special
.45 ACP
.45 Colt
.357 Magnum

Which are the three I didn´t know?.

I hope somebody can help me.

Anibal.
 

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The new,and very improved thumblatch,appeared in 1926,but may have taken a year or two before all the old ones were used up.

As far as calibers,.476 Eley,and the .455 Eley or Webley. Some even count the .450 Boxer. All 3 are British Rounds. More than 55,000 New Services were chambered for the .455 during World War One for the Commonwealth Add to this,those before the war,and this may well be the 2nd Most popular chambering,behind the .45 acp.(over 150,000 1917s for U.S. Govt.). I know .45 Colt was popular,but so many of these British .455s were converted(to .45 Colt,.45 acp) or rebarreled and cylindered to other calibers.

Several New Services were done in experimental calibers,including one in a ".41 Colt Special",in the 1930's. This round was very similiar to the .41 Magnum 30 years later.

Why Colt waited 20 years or so to change the latch,after they'd done this on the D & E frames, on the New Service,is a mystery! My right thumb bears much scar tissue from that L shaped monster!

Bud
 

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Blue book says .450 Eley, .455 Eley and .476 Eley.
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your answers.
I have another question:
Was the .41 Colt special similar to the modern .41 Magnum? or was it similar to the police downloaded 41 Magnum of the sixties?.

Anibal.
 

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I have checked both the H.P. White and Suydam books to try & get an answer for you,to no avail.The bullet diameter,velocity and case length of the special is not detailed,but reports say yhat a N.S. shipped to Colt representative,Lorch fired a 210 gr. bullet at an estimated 1150 fps. The downloaded,as you say,210 gr."police load",was in the 950-1000fps range in the 4" M-58's.

Ironically,Remington developed the .41 Special for Colt too!

This search for a great .40-.41 caliber bullet was first touted by Colt's great man Fitz,who liked the old .41 Colt as a stopper,but realized its limitations. Problem was,that a true "40 caliber" bullet needs a wider case than the .41 Colt,that was originally designed for the same diameter as the case, heel billet. When the .41 Colt went to inside lube,bullet shrank to .386 diameter,and velocity is tough to get above 800fps.

Then there is the size of the cylinder! If youve ever seen a .41 Colt D.A. or Army Special cylinder,there is NOT much room for "additional diameter".(I know,I tried to get 3 different shops to build be a 10 mm revolver on a >357" model,but we all agreed,that walls between cylinders wouldve been "too thin"(some .41 mag Pythons were custom reworked,but I wouldn't fire one with anything but your police load!)

So,the E frame couldn't be used,and Colt tried the cartridge on the New Service,which was big enough(my "guess" is that a 38/40 barrel(.401-.403 bore was used).And,in part,this was what doomed the .41 Magnum and big N Frame S&W,the weight and bulk of the revolver for carry.

I also think that Missouri gunsmith and wildcatter,"Pop" Eimer, was instrumental in helping this,as he developed a cartridge, in the 1920's,using .401 WSL brass and 180-200 gr.38/40 bullets,that would travel at 1200 fps.Used it only in SAAs,as the .401 WSL case didn't have a rim for an ejector to catch.. If you have ever heard of the Herters .401 Powermag,of the 60's,used in their imported single actions,this was very close to Pop's round.

I guess the search for the ideal "40 Caliber",in a smaller size gun and round,ended with the .40 S&W,which at 180 grs @ 975 fps originally,was identical to the old 38/40 revolver load. Too weak for me,as I like the .41 Magnum with 210 hard cast at 1100 fps,or the 10mm,with a 180jhp at 1250 fps,both out of N Frames.

BTW,New Services were expeimentally chambered in .22 long rifle(must be close to 50 ounces) and .22 Hornet!

Sorry for the long post,but the mid bores have always been an interest and experimental field of mine!

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Please don´t be sorry, I like those kind of post.
So we can say the .41 Colt Special was a little hotter than the .41 Magnum developed for the police in the 60´s, but hotless than a actual .41 Magnum.
Maybe that caliber (.41 Colt Special)had more future in the 30´s than the downloaded .41 Magnum in the 60´s because in the 60´s the .357 Mag. and the .38 spl was improved with the Hollow Points bullets.

Anibal
Please forgive me if my English isn´t good enough.
 

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Lonewolf:

Your reply jogged my memory and I dug out the Summer 2001 "Rampant Colt" (CCA mag) that has a .41 New Service on the cover. There is a short article and some photos of this prototype .41 Colt Special. It has no serial #, no verified proof, and no inspector's stamp. Otherwise, it looks like a typical NS. The author also said that one prototype OP was made in the same caliber. Remington made the 210 grain cartridge - one is pictured with no headstamp.

Next issue "Bob Murphy" (his pen name) questioned it's authenticity, so somewhat of a mystery - sure looks like the real deal to me.

B.W.
 
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