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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a refinished Colt with replacement .38 special barrel and cylinder. I cannot figure out what generation the cylinder is from. The flutes and approaches look like a first gen. The front bevel looks like a second gen. There are no markings of any kind anywhere. Ideas?


 

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The flutes look pre-war, but it may have been one of the replacement cylinders Colt sold before the 2nd gens were being made. I think I have one in 38 special that looks like the one you pictured.
 

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Here is an early first generation with a .38 special barrel and cylinder. Photo credit goes to Swamprat.

SAA 38 spl-left.jpg
 

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I referred to Kuhnhausen's SA Shop Manual that utilizes the ratchet side of the cylinder to distinguish 1st or 2nd gen

Imgur is more challenging for me to post because I can't post the photo with mac device, but can post a link to the photo.

If successful, there should be a photo of what the 2nd gen Colt rollmark looks like on the ratchet face side.. could be hard to pick out if really worn. Also photos of a 1st gen and 2nd gen cylinders, ratchet side . Teeth of both cylinder appear to be in line between each chamber. The 1st gen teeth have a bit of wave or slight curve to each tooth. The 2nd gen teeth side edges more straight and angular on the tooth end.


https://imgur.com/a/yZZVc
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here is a pic of the back of three cylinders. Cylinder in question is on the left. First gen from 1935 in the middle. 2nd gen from 1973 on the right. The cylinder in question certainly looks more like the first gen than the second.

 

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I agree the ratchet teeth look like 2nd gen up until close to the end of 2nd gen production.


The front cyl bevel and lack of corner chamfer looks 2nd gen. but also late 1st gun.

But those are the largest flutes and with roundest back ends I've ever seen after the 1st gens or on a 2nd gen cyl, and I've never seen a 2nd gen w/o the pony. But I haven't seen everything. Even the late one above on the right has a pony at 2 o'clock, albeit it looks refinished over.

Also, we see nice large flutes like that on many clones but usually with BP chamfers, so not likely a clone.

A late 1st gen left over maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A late 1st gen left over maybe?
This is what I am thinking. The barrel is one of the replacement barrels with the address on the right side so that put us in the 1950's timeframe for the conversion. This would lend itself to a left over 1st gen cylinder. That would also explain the lack of markings anywhere. These weren't cannibalized parts, they were always meant as replacements.

That's my logic anyway. I need to read more about pre-war/post war guns and parts to see if these fit in with that story somehow.
 

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That barrel would indicate someone changed the caliber of the gun by buying a post 1st gen Bbl. and cylinder. Odds are very high it is a 'parts' cylinder from Colt made between 1947-1955.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That sounds right. I like the term 'post 1st gen' or even 'pre-2nd gen' because these really don't fit into any category. Thanks Saintclair
 

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That sounds right. I like the term 'post 1st gen' or even 'pre-2nd gen' because these really don't fit into any category. Thanks Saintclair
They were referred to as "pre-war post war" guns,not a lot of them were sold but many of them were presented to special people such as politicians,celebrities etc. I re-built one of them about 15 or 16 yrs ago that belonged to the former vice president of Colt between 1948 & 1955.All the dimensional measurements in the Kuhnhaussen manual were taken from this gun because they were so well made from old colt parts.
 
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