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Zulu6: RE: Your PM Question

545 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  zulu6
Hi, Richard,

Looks like private email is down and this is the first time I've checked in since your email to me.

Your question:

"Today I was waxing a number of my collection of M-1889 and M1892/5s when I had a closer look at a rather nice blue gun. This one is s/n 137xxx with assembly number 890 in all the right places. It also has a star stamped on the rear web of the triggerguard on the right hand side. The barrel address is the correct 2 line addres for the 6" barrel with the March 5, 1895 patent date being the final one.

The puzzle is this ~ a small square stamped at all locations of the assembly number. It appears above the 890 to the right on the cylinder release catch, above the 9 of 890 on the crane, and above the zero of 890 on the frame cut-out for the crane. In addition there is the numeral 9 below the 9 of 890 in this latter location.

Now, if the star represents some rework, I'm guessing that the little square would give some clue as the work done. The gun does not appear to have been refinished. Does any of this make sense to you, and do you have any knowledge or theories that might explain the mark?

I have read your book on these guns, but mostly as a reference work, and cannot recollect seeing any mention of this odd marking. It does not appear on any of the other thirty-odd guns in my collcetion."

To the best of my knowledge, the square you refer to was used by Colt to signify some engineering change that was made... Ken Moore, (C. Kenneth Moore - SAA Book author) and I have discussed this marking at length ... Ken believed that the square marking was a mark Colt used that signified some engineering department change, like maybe a different type of steel was used or something like that. He wrote an article that appeared in Gun Report magazine on a Model 1895 in the 68xxx serial number range that also had these markings. I have seen them on a few other guns as well...

The real answer here is we don't really know what the marking means... We just THINK it MAY MEAN the above... The star is a factory rework marking and the "9" you mentioned is the assemblers' stamp.

Hope that helps!
Take care,
Bob Best
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Thanks for the information, Bob, and the interesting hypothesis.

As I have a phobia about single actions (actually, a phobia about the amount of cash one has to pay for 'em /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif) I have not studied these at any length.

It seems then that there is not necessarily a connection between the rework star and the square, but I guess my money would have to be be on there being such a connection.

Again, many thanks for the time taken in responding ~ it is very much appreciated.
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Hi Richard,
It's possible that they are related, but your revolver is the first one that I have heard of that has both the "square" mark and the star rework mark...

I had a chance to look up the article that Ken Moore wrote for the Gun Report Magazine. If you are interested, it is in the October 1998 issue on page 16. There are several photos of the marking and a couple of the Colt DA New Navy model revolver serial number 68529. The title of the article is "An Old Colt .38 DA".

Bob Best
Thanks, Bob ~ I'll chase it down.


Richard Overall
Houston, Texas
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