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Hello,

I need some information about a old gun of mine.

It is a .38 Special Colt Revolver, 6 inches barrel, hammer-mounted firing pin, adjustable rear sight, hollow underlug, ventilated rib.

It looks like a Python, but definitely is not, because of its characteristics.

Its serial number is 355182, and after searching at colt.com, possibly is one of these models:

- 1950 Officers Model
- 1934 Single Action Army & Bisley Revolvers
- 1931 Police Positive .38
- 1931 Bankers Special
- 1928 Police Positive Special & Detective Special
- 1913 Army Special & Officers Model

There is no markings on the barrel, maybe because of its oxidation, maybe because there weren´t originally.

The only marking it has is the Colt Horse on the left side, almost gone already.

Can somebody help me to identify this gun?
 

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The after market rib, straight "heavy" barrel, likely a S&W rear sight, and the modified hammer spur, were once popular modifications to Colt fixed sight revolvers, usually the E frames. The hollow under lug is a nice touch.
I've owned several similar guns over the years, and kept a couple of them, with one being a short cylinder 38 spl WC only, with a set back barrel. Some were very accurate.
 

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This was probably a fairly early Army Special that someone has rebuilt using a heavy, non tapered barrel with the added sights w/rib. If you look carefully at the ejector rod head, it has a hole thru it, something that Colt only did in the "early days". The 1913 date for the Army Special would be about right. Probably not an Officers Model since the top of the frame does not appear to be flat nor is there a cut where the original rear adjustable sight would have gone. There was a gunsmith on the west coast named George Matthews that was known for this type of rebuild. You might take a look on line and see if you can find any pictures of his work. He was in business from sometime in the 40's until he passed away in the mid 1990's. Anyway, that's what I think!
 

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It is apparently an Army Special someone spent a considerable amount of effort making it look like a Python.

The barrel is not an actual Python barrel.
They installed some sort of adjustable rear sight and altered the hammer spur to look like a Colt Target hammer.

Lots of time and effort, but the gun itself is worth little.
 

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Conversions of this type were popular long before the Python was ever released.

The King Sight Co. was the most popular however the vent on the rib is much larger on the Kings I have seen.

The barrel is also an aftermarket that I have never seen before with the long shroud around the ejector rod and the large diameter.

The hammers were also a favorite to swap, again King made one called the Cockeyed Hammer that was very popular yours looks a lot like one.

King Sights for the rear were again the go to model, but there were others such as Walter Roper another popular maker.
 

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Are you guys even sure this is a Colt and not some foreign copy? The cylinder flutes look all wrong to me. I'm not sure about the triggerguard cutout in the frame either. The gun looks wrong beyond the Python style barrel.
 

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I have come across a Colt 32-20. Probably made around 1910 or so. I haven't looked up the date yet by ths serial #. But I have not bee able to find any ammo for it. I found somw rifle 32-20 WCF I think it was. Could that be shot in this gun?
Thanks
 

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I have fired "rifle" 32-20 in my Colt Army Special and my Police Positive Special without any problems. Couldn't vouch for any other model.
 

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Hello,

I need some information about a old gun of mine.

It is a .38 Special Colt Revolver, 6 inches barrel, hammer-mounted firing pin, adjustable rear sight, hollow underlug, ventilated rib.

It looks like a Python, but definitely is not, because of its characteristics.

Its serial number is 355182, and after searching at colt.com, possibly is one of these models:

- 1950 Officers Model
- 1934 Single Action Army & Bisley Revolvers
- 1931 Police Positive .38
- 1931 Bankers Special
- 1928 Police Positive Special & Detective Special
- 1913 Army Special & Officers Model

There is no markings on the barrel, maybe because of its oxidation, maybe because there weren´t originally.

The only marking it has is the Colt Horse on the left side, almost gone already.

Can somebody help me to identify this gun?
If you can find a copy of the 1989 Handguns book edited by Wiley Clapp there is a multi page article about gunsmith George Matthews with pictures of many of the guns he worked on. The barrel, rib and modified hammer all look like his work. In addition to his external work, he was well known for his super slick action jobs. There are some more pictures of his guns in the 1969 Guns and Ammo Annual. I would say that this Colt almost has to be some of his work.
 

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Now this is a gun that I would have no qualms about re-finishing!
 

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If you can find a copy of the 1989 Handguns book edited by Wiley Clapp there is a multi page article about gunsmith George Matthews with pictures of many of the guns he worked on. The barrel, rib and modified hammer all look like his work. In addition to his external work, he was well known for his super slick action jobs. There are some more pictures of his guns in the 1969 Guns and Ammo Annual. I would say that this Colt almost has to be some of his work.
I'm not sure about that. I found this picture which I think is from that 69 annual. The hammer profile here doesn't look like the revolver's in question. Also doesn't explain why the flutes look wrong. Unless someone widened the flutes to make the gun a hair lighter.

mathewssw3ingaannual197.jpg
 

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It's a real Colt, just heavily modified. Again, almost certainly a Colt Army Special.

The cylinder is a mystery. Not only are the flutes wider, the cylinder locking notches look more like S&W notches with the shorter "leade" or ramp in front of the actual notch, and it appears to be counter bored.
???????????
 

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The shorter leade leads me believe that the cylinder is a replacement rather than a modified Colt cylinder.
 

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Yup, you can just make out traces of the Rampant Colt on the sideplate. Looks like they modified a gun that was in sad shape to begin with.
 
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