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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
\"True\" Coltwood \"plastic: stocks?

This has been a question I have been pondering for some time.We know that the "brownish" plastic "Coltwood" stocks originated on the W.W. Two Commando version of the O.P. probably to save a few cents,as was done on 1911's. They also became standard on Colt revolvers continued in production after W.W. 2,up until approximately 1953-54.

Looking at the photos of turnerivers' nice .22 O.P.(under that thread from 5/4) these plastic stocks don't seem to fit that well-and have the SILVER medallion. I have always believed that "true" Coltwood stocks are all ONE color,with NO silver medallion-and those Coltwood stocks I have on several O.P.s,that are original to the gun, have NO silver medallions, and fitfit perfect,even after 60 years.

To further "confuse" things,Colt either made,or had made for them,plastic stocks for the New Service,that were installed on New Services rebuilt at the factory after the war,as well as some "lunchbox" guns and a few New services "built" from NOS parts in the early 50's.

I also have several pair of these plastic stocks,some for New Services(regular square butt) as well as some for E/I frames. The brown plastic on these do NOT appear to be the same "texture" as true Coltwood,and the silver medallions are "attached",a separate piece.

There are NO makers names on the backs of any of these stocks,such as "Franzite",who made very similiar plastic stocks,but with their NAME on the back and on the "silver medallion. Franzites' have been known to "shrink" especially "vertically".

My question is,after that long lead in,DID Colt ever "issue" silver medallion plastic stocks(other than the New Services-which are confirmed in BOTH Pate's and Murphy's books- as original equipment and any of the 1946-53ish revolvers??

It is question of "originality" I have been trying to answer.

Thanks for any info.

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 

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Re: \"True\" Coltwood \"plastic: stocks?

Bud:

I don't know if this is going to be exactly relevant to your question or not? However, you know the 1938 Colt OMT .22 that I had been discussing with you recently? Well, in the same gun shop was a second identical OMT .22(Except, for having just one color(Brown)plastic Coltwood stocks on it-WITH silver medallions!)and, these fit this OMT .22 perfectly(As if they had been precisely fitted to this specific revolver!)! They looked so good, that I almost mistook these for being made of wood! They had very fine(And, lightly done, fake wood graining)! The serial number on this gun was in the 16300 range!
 

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Re: \"True\" Coltwood \"plastic: stocks?

[ QUOTE ]
My question is,after that long lead in,DID Colt ever "issue" silver medallion plastic stocks(other than the New Services-which are confirmed in BOTH Pate's and Murphy's books- as original equipment and any of the 1946-53ish revolvers?? Bud /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

Hey Bud:

I don't have the proof for you but my opinion, FWIW, is the answer is "Yes." I have see too many of the Colt plastic stocks with silver medallions to believe that they are fake or aftermarket. Perhaps a look at the Colt catalogs for this time period is one way to get to the bottom of this. I have personally eyeballed Turnerriver's .22 OP posted earlier and it is a beauty, and the grips appear original to me.

BTW, I believe that there is another variant of the Colt plastic grip material. This variant has noticeable streaks that permeate the plastic, perhaps in an effort to simulate a wood grain effect. It is particularly noticeable on the 2nd Series of Woodsman .22 pistols that were being produced in the late '40s to mid '50s or so. The earlier brown plastic grips as seen on the Commando are sort of an all solid "Hershey Bar" milk chocolate color. These solid brown grips do not seem to exhibit the shrinkage problems that the later plastic grips appear to have.

Interesting question. Perhaps Majic and a few other old hands can jump in here to comment.

Charlie Flick
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: \"True\" Coltwood \"plastic: stocks?

Charlie; I have a 1952 5" O.P. that WAS NIB when I got it a year or so ago,and a 6" O.P. "transition model" made in 1947 that have the "mottled colors on the stocks versus the "Hersey" as on the Commandos: I have also seen some lighter brown Coltwoods on a 1949 vintage D. Special. NONE have any silver medallions.

Mikal; that serial number of that .22 OMT puts it in 1937 range,and these guns certainly would have the "real" wood silver medallion stocks as original.

So,the mystery deepens,and I am wondering if Colt got too many negative comments on the "plain" appearance of the "non silver medallions" Coltwood stocks??? They could have had some made up during say,the 1949-53 time frame.

I know at one time they had a "plastics" division,but don't recall when. Coincidently,saw a Colt marked humadoir(sp?),plastic or bakelite,from the 20's or 30's that was for sale for "big bucks" in an antique shp we visited today.

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 

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Re: \"True\" Coltwood \"plastic: stocks?

Bud:

The 1938 OMT .22 that I'm considering to buy, does have the dark, real wood Colt stocks with the silver emblems in it. However, I put the 1937 OMT .22 and the 1938 OMT .22, right beside each other, so I could compare them? The Colt grips were definately plastic on the 1937 OMT .22. These were made so real looking, that it was hard to tell? However, by looking at the butt of these grips, and by feeling them with my hands and then, doing the same with the real wood grips, on the 1938 OMT .22, there was no doubt about them being made of plastic!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: \"True\" Coltwood \"plastic: stocks?

These "plastic" ones,with the silver medallions ARE nice looking stocks. They are mostly hollow inside so you can "feel" a slight difference with a firm grip.. I had a pair,with a grip adapter,that I had on my 4" 357 Model when I carried it. Swore that the little "give" in the plastic stocks helped soak up some recoil with some vicious 125 JHPs!

Bud
 

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Re: \"True\" Coltwood \"plastic: stocks?

Other than for the advantage of some recoil absorption, which Colt grips do you like the best(The dark wood or the nice grained plastic grips, with the emblems?)on your Omt's or your Model .357 revolvers?
 

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Re: \"True\" Coltwood \"plastic: stocks?

Without doing any research, and going only from my poor memory, it is my recollection that the early Coltwood stocks had the multicolored streaks and molded-in medallions. Later, the color became darker and uniform in color, but still with molded medallions. I believe the last version of the plastic stocks was the darker brown with metal medallions. I think this last style was sold in the 1950s as the replacement stocks for all frame sizes, including the New Service. (I have also seen Post-War wood stocks for the New Service, which are identified by the large-headed blue screw instead of the small-headed nickel screw.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: \"True\" Coltwood \"plastic: stocks?

"I gotta go with da wood"! As nice as some of the plastic stocks can look,and tend to "wear better",there is nothing like a great set of well finished(BUT NOT "varnished"-they "glow") wood stocks.

I especially like the fleur de lies,with or without medallions found on some of the earlier Officers models(and New Services) as well as the deep set medallion ones with the diamond centers,an option on the 1930's vintage Officers. There was also another non medallion option,dished at the top,with a diamond center. Have seen these referred to as "Camp Perry Stocks",but I have a 1933 Official Police,a "special order" piece,6" bbl. .38 Special,with a wider front sight,light trigger that came with these(and are numbered to it). Far from a mint gun,it saw plenty of carry time by the railroad detective,whos heirs I bought it from. It is incredible in its accuracy,and I would shoot a bullseye match with it,even with fixed sights,using its preffered 148 gr. cast wadcutter/Green Dot handloads.

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Bud
 

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Re: \"True\" Coltwood \"plastic: stocks?

for the benifit of the less experienced who might read this thread i will post this photo.shown are e-frame wo/medallions and new service with . both of these show simular construction on the back side, there is a different type which i dont have an example, this type shows more reinforcing ribs and is made from a thinner plastic. this last type is the one in my experience which warps and shrinks.


 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: \"True\" Coltwood \"plastic: stocks?

icdux; I think the type you don't show,but refer to,are those made by Franzite,usually,but not always,with their label. I think the reinforcing ribs were a vain attempt to stop the shrinking.

The shrinking is most evident on the Franzite "fake stags" for the E/I frames. I have seen as much as 1/4" vertically on these,and some "honest" sellers,such as on eBay will relate this-IF they have tried them on a gun!

Had a pair of Franzites with the rounded butt for a Shooting Master/.38-.357 New Service. Nice looking grips and fit well(brown plastic) and were great for "saving" the original irreplacible stocks when shooting-BUT- plastic SO thin,that they began to warp!

Bud
 
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