A common first question for a Colt owner is "When was my Colt made". The second question is often "What Colt do I have"? First, identifying "Colt pistol dating" Colt revolver can be frustrating because beginning in Colt always started each new model at serial number "1", and progressed upward until the model was discontinued, OR until the mid's when the serial number system changed to meet Federal law.
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In the Gun Control of was passed. This law mandated that from then on all new firearms had to have a serial number and that number had to be unique. To comply with the law, Colt began adding letters to the serial numbers as prefixes and suffixes to make each firearm have a unique number.
An added issue is Colt's often confusing serial number system. Colt often mixed several models in the same serial number ranges or split models out by caliber. During the
Colt pistol dating the serial number data is so mixed as to be almost incomprehensible. As example you may have a model of revolver made in.
Even after Colt began using unique serial numbers in the 's, Colt often combined a number of models into one
Colt pistol dating number range.
As example in the late 's Colt started combining all small "D" frame models like the Detective Special, Cobra, Agent, Diamondback, Viper, Police Positive Special, etc in
Colt pistol dating same serial number ranges.
Because of Colt's serial number systems it may not be possible to identify what model a Colt is based on just the number. Since many of these guns used the exact same barrel except for the model name stamped on it, we have situations where an owner is convinced he has a rare, unknown model of aluminum frame Detective Special.
If multiple models appear for...
In fact, he doesn't. What he has is an aluminum frame Cobra someone installed a Detective Special barrel on. When he attempts to determine when his Colt was
Colt pistol dating, it comes back as a totally different model than what is stamped on the barrel. Since these guns shared the same serial number ranges, it can be quite confusing as to just what you have.
The problem with identifying a Colt is that Colt only stamped the model name on the barrel. Most Colt revolvers had the same thread size and it was often possible to install a barrel from a totally different model on a frame.
Since the frame had no identifying name and often shared serial numbers with a totally different model, identifying what Colt model you have can be almost impossible in some cases. Years ago gun parts were terribly expensive and often almost impossible to obtain.
A gun owner or even gunsmith couldn't just log on or call up a big parts house and order the parts he needed. Since parts were so difficult to get,
Colt pistol dating was common for barrels from other models to be used as replacements. Most people were happy to get their gun repaired and since the barrel was entirely usable, most people didn't care that the gun was one model but the barrel was marked as something else.
In most cases they can help you identify exactly what model of Colt you have. Then you can proceed to determine when it was made. Colt now has a serial number look-up data base on their web site. You plug in the serial number and it will give you a list of guns it
Colt pistol dating be. Since the data base seems to be a work in progress, many newer models may not be listed.
Here is where problems may first appear when the data base doesn't list what you think your Colt is, or returns no information.
If that doesn't return valid data, you can call Colt during normal business hours and they will give you a production date over the phone. Note that they won't give you any more information. For that you have to buy a Colt Archive Letter.
As example you may have...
"Colt pistol dating" note that the people working the phones are rushed, may not be totally familiar with Colt models and have been known to give out incorrect information. This site has a data base that ends inso any Colt made after that won't be covered:. Wilson is the last outsider to have access to the Colt Archive, and he has Colt serial number listings in several books and booklets.
An American Legend" has all Colt serial numbers for all models from into along with
Colt pistol dating color photos of every Colt firearm model made since Last, you can ask for help on the Colt Forum where a good deal of data is available from the members. And therein lies a real can of worms. This can be a most difficult question to answer. This leads us to HOW to determine when your Colt was made. There are several ways. The first source is the Colt Firearms Company.
Another source of information online is Proofhouse.
Colt's Manufacturing Company - firearms,...
This site has a data base that ends inso any Colt made after that won't be covered: The Model Vest Pocket is a compact, hammerless,
Colt pistol dating, semi- automatic the patent date for the disconnector, also known as the “Tansley Device”. "The FN Browning and the Colt: The First 'Vest Pocket' Colt pistol dating. If multiple models appear for your serial number simply match the date with the appropriate model, as certain vintage firearms can share serial numbers between.
A Colt ACP Production Statistics and Serial Numbers. (S/N to were first U.S.M.C. pistols made by Colt delivered June 6, ).
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