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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
I am new to the site.
I have a revolver that belonged to an uncle. I am trying to figure out what year it was mfg, etc. I am a semi auto guy so not to up to date on revolvers.
What I do know from the gun itself is. Its a Colt 357 magnum with a 4" barrel and the serial number is 349460.
I have all of his original paperwork with it. Trying to figure out its worth more than anything. I won't sell it because it was his and it shoots straight as an arrow.
Thanks in advance.
 

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Does it look like one of these?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Similar but not quite. I am trying to upload a picture of it.
My barrel says 357 magnum on the left side. Not shooting master. My front sight is solid also.
 

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You have a Colt New Service, made in 1940.

The serial numbers that year started at 348000.
1941 began at 350000.

Here's some general info on the New Service models........


From the hole in the bottom of the grip frame, I think it originally had a lanyard loop.
The grips may not be original.
Military issue New Service models had smooth Walnut, 1930's on usually had checkered Walnut with Silver Colt medallions.

Some New Service experts hopefully will post some better info.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you. It does look like the model 1909 pictured in the link you sent.
It has a few blemishes on it and a small chip in one grip. Its a great range gun so far.
I was going to take it to my local FFL for an appraisal but I know how that usually goes. (Its worth $50. but we'll give you $75.)
 

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Hello and welcome to the Colt Forum from West Virginia. Glad you have joined us all here.
 
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The Consummate Collector
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From the pictures, it is difficult to tell if it has been re-finished. Is the Rampant Colt logo on the left side clear and easy to see? The grips are wrong for that year, they should be checkered walnut with the Colt medallion, see below. If the finish is original it has some good value and is collectible.

This is what it looked like when it shipped from the factory:




Cam.
 

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The value depends on several factors......

Is it in original as-shipped condition? In this case the grips are not original and it may have been reblued. Value is lower.

Is it in correct operating condition? This means timing and alignment. See the Colt Fever site gunsmithing section for how to check this.

Is it in a less common caliber or barrel length? The .357 Magnum version is less common and the barrel length is also.

Just as a wild ball park value, a New Service in 50% condition would be worth around $1,000.
I would think a 4 inch .357 would be worth more.
 

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Much better pictures would be needed to give an accurate value. Also the fact that you say the barrel says 357 magnum and you didn't know what you had make me wonder if the barrel is an after market replacement or a remarked .38 special barrel. A colt barrel would say Colt New Service .357 on the side. Telling you exactly what it was and there would be no magnum after the 357. If it doesn't look exactly like the Colt Guys Picture its not a Colt 357 barrel.

If the barrel has been changed you need to check the cylinder face and make sure there is a small star stamped on it. This was done to denote that a higher grade of steel was used due to the pressures generated by the .357 cartridge. A rebored 38 special cylinder is not a good thing.
 
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Numrich used to sell non-Colt made .357 barrels for the New Service but they had a different front sight.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
I will try to get better pictures. Better lighting may help to get all defining marks.
Thank you all.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here are more pics. My uncle carried this everyday for God knows how long. He used it for every hunting season as well as his side arm. She has some scratches on her. But shoots straight as an arrow as I said. The little white dots must be dust from the towel on my bench that the gun is sitting on. I am really confused as to its age and actual model. As stated above, I'm not a big revolver guy. Till now. Lol. I would love to know what model, and frame design this is.
 

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The 357 marking on the barrel is not Colt. The barrel itself is colt and was probaily a 38 special barrel. What does the crown look like, it may have been shortened. So only a letter can tell you what it started out as. Make sure you check the front of the cylinder for the small star to insure its safe to shoot.
 

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Thanks colt1860. It is very safe to shoot. He shot it frequently and I have put 150 rounds through it myself.
 

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Thanks colt1860. It is very safe to shoot. He shot it frequently and I have put 150 rounds through it myself.
The fact that the gun HAS been shot is absolutely NO indication it's SAFE to shoot.
A prime example of this are people who state that they and their family have been shooting a Damascus barrel black powder shotgun with modern shells for years "And it's perfectly safe"..... until one day it just lets go and a barrel blows out.

Any time you see an old gun that is not in the original caliber, that should set off alarms.
I've seen older medium framed .38 Special revolvers from the 1920's that had been altered to .357 Magnum.
I cringed when the owners informed me that they saw no reason not to continue shooting it because.. "Daddy shot it and I've shot it for years and it's safe".
And it is....until it isn't.

These older Colt's were not heat treated for hot cartridges like the .357 Magnum and you should find out if it was made for the Magnum round and the frame and cylinder were heat treated for it.
 

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Dfariswheel is exactly right and unless the cylinder has the * on the front of the cylinder that indicates high-pressure steel I would highly recommend not shooting .357 Magnums in it. You may be OK with standard .38 Special but you are risking damage and injury with anything more. It may work just fine for hundreds of rounds and then become weak enough to let go. This is what could happen:





Cam.
 

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A little JB Weld and some Flitz and that should be good as new.
 
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