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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a NIB Colt Diamondback .38 in a 2 1/2 with a very and I mean very light turn line. What a beauty. Serial number comes back to a 67 production. Price 750. No here's the kicker. On the left side of the barrel where it reads COLT DIAMONDBACK .38 Special somebody had .357 & added before the .38. It looks so close to factory I had to take many additional looks. Can't believe it. WHY!!!
 

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I believe this one has been seen on auction before and maybe discussed. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

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Didja drop a .357 mag in the cylinder ?

Boneheads have been doing stupid things for years.
This is a product of one of those times.

Jeff (GUNKWAZY)
 

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I was the one in the other post that made to connection that the 2 guys (Colt38 and Coltdaguy) had seen the same gun. It is apparently traveling around in PRK. Neither one of the 2 individuals would say where exactly they saw this gun. And I suspect neither will mention the specific gun store or city for giving away a secret shop.

But this gun was 1st noticed on this forum somewhere in the greater San Francisco Bay Area by Colt38. Then sometime later the gun turned up someplace else in California where Coltdaguy saw it. It was confirmed to be the same S/N.

So if you can get either one of them to share where they encountered this gun, you will have at least a bit of its travels. Since you are also somewhere in California, you likely saw the very same gun. Possibly in the very same shop as Coltdaguy. Or it may have even traveled to another shop where you found it.

But this old girl clearly gets around......
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll tell you what, it was in the East Bay of SF. The gun seems solid. The cylinder locks up perfectly and timing is dead on. It does not appear that the gun has been fired. It is beautiful. It's just the stamping of "357 &". I am really debating on picking it up as for the novelty. They want 750.
 

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FCinCA:

Well, I was the first person to see the Diamondback that you are looking at(Unless there is another duplicate, converted .38 special Diamondback out there?)and, I really liked the mint condition of this 2.5" Diamondback! But, I was suspicious because it certainly wasn't something that Colt's would ever stamp on any Diamondback's barrel, what with just adding the .357 & to the front of the original barrel caliber stamping! I also tried to chamber a .357 cartridge in this Diamondback and yes, it went in fine(But, the cylinder had to have been reamed out to accomplish this!)!

Like you, I had really fallen for this mint new looking Diamondback! I didn't want to believe what my eyes were telling me! I didn't want to accept that this gun had been converted and was in fact a very dangerous gun to own! This is why I eventually had posted about this Diamondback on this Colt Forum! Mr Dfariswheel and others had clearly straightened this situation out for me(In effect bursting my bubble!)but, this was so very necessary to knock some common sense back into me! To realize that this Diamondback was nothing but an accident, waiting for something to happen! And surely, some unsuspecting person might have pulled that trigger once with a .357 round chambered and suffered a serious injury(Maybe even death!)! So, I passed on buying this Diamondback, for the asking price of $1200! So, if this is in fact, the same gun(Which I think that it must surely be?)the price has suddenly taken a dive(I wonder why?)! Somebody else, has already realized the danger of this Diamondback and wishes to dump this revolver(Or, to hopefully recover most of his money back?)! I hope that you will make the right decision regarding this Diamondback? I know that I did(Despite the fact that it was a beautiful gun-that someone had stupidly converted to .357 magnum!)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey Colt38,

Do you think the gun has been fired? Hypothetically if someone decided to shoot a 38 round (the one originally designed for it) how would it be?

What a novelty.
 

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The problem with these cases is, You just never know,

"Probably" all they did was ream the chambers to take .357 and stamped the barrel, BUT it's possible they did something else.

The real danger is, maybe someone DID fire it, in which case a single .38 Special might cause a weakened cylinder to let go.

In Jerry Kuhnhausen's book on the Colt revolvers are several pictures of "D" framed Colt's that exploded after a single round of +P+ ammo.

+P+ is hot and was intended for law enforcement use in .357 Magnum revolvers.
However, the +P+ is still well below a .357 Magnum round.

I'm just afraid this thing is a live hand grenade with the pin pulled.

There's a chance that you could buy a new cylinder and safely convert it back to .38 Special, but the barrel is still going to be defaced, and there's still going to be that doubt about how safe it is.

This is one of those times where the smart move might be to spend the money on a known good Diamondback.
 

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FCinCA:

This is just my opinion but, since the Diamondback in question was originally designed to chamber the .38 special cartridge, there possibly wouldn't be any problem with shooting these! But, how could you be certain nothing would go wrong? You can't be! However, since this gun is mismarked, there's always a chance that sombody is going to take the (.357 &) caliber marking stamped on the barrel literally and fire the .357 round and very probably will suffer serious consequences!

Another thing to consider, is that since this Diamondback had been converted, nobody would want to buy this revolver-unless they were duped into believing that this gun had actually been chambered by Colt's for the .357 cartridge! Technically, this gun has been ruined from doing this conversion! I wanted to kid myself into thinking that this Diamondback would have been a nice novelty to have? But, just because someone had stamped an incorrect .357 marking on this gun, doesn't make this a good novelty gun to have! Only a damn fool would have modified a revolver like this that Colt's themselves had never chosen to chamber their Diamondback in the .357 magnum round! Why? Because this frame and the metallurgy, just would not stand the power of this .357 magnum round! Don't you think that Colt's would have chambered these Diamondback in the .357 magnum caliber long ago-if this were possible(And, if it would have been safe to do this?)? Years later, Colt finally had introduced the updated stainless Magnum Carry revolver that was based upon the "D" frame-but, these were beefed up wherever it was necessary, to make them plenty strong enough to chamber the .357 magnum cartridge!

I know exactly what you are thinking-because I was thinking exactly the same thing! I first thought, well, I'll just keep this Diamondback in question, and fire only .38 special's? But, I knew that I'd be buying an unsafe gun that I could never sell to anyone-because if they had ever fired this gun and were seriously injured(Or worse, killed?)then I'd definately be held liable for selling an unsafe gun! There was also the matter of the steep $1,200 price tag(For a gun that was worth around $700, if it was original and unmodified!)and I had presented this question to the gun dealer that was selling this gun! He wanted to believe the hand written note inside the gun box that had stated that this was a rare Diamondback(Simply not true!)! But I do know that this gun had been up for sale for up to a year before it somehow got sold or traded to another person or gun dealer! Everyone fell for the mintness of this Diamondback-and they wanted it! However, nobody for a long time wanted to take a chance in believing the phony(Added on)barrel markings for the .357 round! I sweated out the idea of buying this Diamondback for a long time! I wanted it! But, I finally came to my senses and passed on this beautiful Diamondback that some jerk had ruined! And to wonder why? These .38 special Diamondback's are neat revolvers-and, are hard to find here in CA(Especially in pristine new condition)! I would have given my right arm to own that Diamondback! But, it was only right for me to back away from buying this revolver! This was a very painful experience for me! I think that the only reason that this Diamondback had been converted to .357, was just for the purpose of conning somebody into paying big $$$ for this phony rare gun! Otherwise, it would have been shot!
 

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A good smith should be able to tell if the cylinder is safe for .38s, and the false barrel stamping could always be welded up and the barrel refinished. I don't know how the cost of doing this would compare with the value of a regular Diamondback, but this gun could be salvaged. If the cylinder's safe someone could always spend the money to have the gun engraved, obliterating the bogus .357 stamping at the same time. They'd end up with a really nice piece.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
FCinCA:

I would have given my right arm to own that Diamondback!



[/ QUOTE ]

... And if someone buys it and fires full .357 in it, they just might give their right arm for it, literally. /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif
 

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Bottom line about this story is exactly the same as with the infamous .41 Python: a good gun butchered to oblivion.

Even as it appears to be unfired, know one can tell if the gun hasn't been abused with a couple of .357 loads. Therefor this gun must be regarded as unsafe, destroying it's value as a shooter. The bogus barrelstamp and confuguration into .357 Mag leaves the collector value at the same height as scrapmetal.

In my opinion the only collector value that remains is for the Frankenstein-fact. Undoubtedly there will be somebody who collects major F$%*-ups from weirdo's who call themselves gunsmith's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well,

Thanks for all the comments. I passed on the weapon and feel good about doing it. It was a beauty though. I went back to the gun store and it was no longer out for display and was not sold.
 
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