View Full Version : Questions from new owner of COLT
22nd June 2004, 18:20
I inherited a Colt 1911 in .38 Super from my grandfather. It's nickle finished and the finish is in real good shape. The only place on the whole gun where there seems to be any noticalble wear, to me at least, is the muzzle, and just a little there. I'd guess it comes from the late 20s, early 30s. But, how do I find out for sure when it was made? The local sheriff, a friend, said I should keep it in a safe deposit box because it is worth a good deal of money. Don't know about that, it's from family and isn't going to be sold. One of these days, it will be my son's. Somebody help me out. Where are the resources I can go to to find out when it was made and any other information about it I ought to know? All I know right now is that my grandfather got it during the Depression, and I don't even know that for an absolute fact, just from a family member's recollection. The gun no doubt shoots a lot better than I do. You sure know you have discharged a firearm when you pull the trigger. I have made a modest hobby of collecting and shooting some nice but inexpensive old Mausers and Mosins. Shooting a rifle just seems to come natural to me, but clearly actually trying to hit something with a pistol is a whole 'nuther story. I am moving to Birmingham, Alabama very soon and if anyone can recommend a good pistol instructor/training program, and also a good gunsmith, in the greater Birmingham area, I'd appreciate it.
22nd June 2004, 20:26
Post the serial number and someone with a Colt history book will come along and be able to tell you when it was made.
22nd June 2004, 20:52
OK, the serial number is 6755, and all the numbers match, including the magazine. The left side of the slide is what I think they call roll marked, roll stamped, whatever that term is, and it says: COLT'S PT.F.A.MFG.CO.HARTFORD, CT.U.S.A.. In a line below that it says: PAT'D APR 20, 1897, SEPT. 9, 1902, DEC. 19, 1905, FEB. 14, 1911, AUG 19, 1913. On the right hand side of the slide, it says: COLT, then, two lines which together are the height of the COLT follow it to the right: SUPER .38 and below that: AUTOMATIC. To the right of all that, there is the rampant COLT trademark.
It would be great to know about when it was made. Also, it will not be for sale, but this has got me thinking. It would probably be a good idea to list it separately on my homeowners' insurance coverage of my personal belongings. What would be a reasonable ballpark figure? I don't think saying it is in excellent condition is any stretch, at least from my limited experience with the condition of surplus military rifles. From looking at 1911 Super 38s for sale online and in Shotgun News, it seems that it would be worth $1,500 or more. Thanks for the help.
22nd June 2004, 20:55
it seems that it would be worth $1,500 or more
From what you say, I'd say that's low. We'll see when the gurus chime in here.
The site admin. "John" or moderator "DSK" will see this post and help you. They are the resource you need for this pistol.
If you can post a pic, that would help a great deal.
Unfortunately I'm not that into Super .38's, although I've considered getting one for quite some time. Perhaps Sam Lisker's www.coltautos.com might be of some assistance. If the nickel finish is original I'd say that figure is on the low side as well. I have no idea how many were made in nickel. All the ones I ever saw were blued.
27th June 2004, 19:59
According to COLT'S, dates of manufacture by RL WILSON, your Super 38 was made in 1931.
29th June 2004, 11:42
You can call Colt and give them your serial # and they can tell you for sure when it was made. I am telling you from experience that the gun is worth getting appraised and then a letter of authenticity form colt.
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