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Bucktweet 06-15-2010 05:56 PM

Colt D A 41??
I found this old pistol in my Father's stuff when we were settling his estate. I know absolutely nothing about pistols and I was curious to know how old it was. Does anyone know what model this is? I tried to look the s/n up on proofhouse to see how old it was but I'm not sure what category to look under. The only thing it says on the barrel is Colt D A .41 and the serial# is 137XXX.

I appreciate any input because I'm clueless.


robocop10mm 06-15-2010 06:52 PM

2 Attachment(s)
does it look like one of these?

Bucktweet 06-15-2010 07:02 PM

It's that first one, except the insignia on the handle kind of "crams" the word colt into the circle

superc 06-18-2010 02:18 AM

The top one is a Colt New Service. (The one pictured is an early vintage). With a low six digit serial # yours could be about 1913 or so. Every few years, having nothing better to do with their time, Colt changed grip designs on all of their guns (they still do). Before the Internet you could make a good guess as to period of manufacture just by looking at the grips. The original bakelite or black rubber grips are as fragile as glass. Authentic ivory grips tend to shrink, and if still attached to the gun, fine cracks will begin to appear near the attachment points and elsewhere. Since the coming of the Internet, as grips get worn or chipped or cracked, the sale of replacement 'looks like' grips have really boomed, so we now sometimes see grip designs from 1950 or 1991 sitting on guns made in 1920, or the other way around. Telling genuine original old grips from modern repros can itself be almost an art form (although sometimes the repro is pretty crude and it can sometimes therefore be easy) as some are very well done. Authentic grips in good shape are a plus with Colt Collectors, but old Colt shooters are often satisfied with 'looks right.' Some (like me) carefully remove and safely store the fragile original grips and use modern replicas for shooting/carry purposes.

For your gun, take and show us a digital photo. Use enough lighting so the gun's details are viewable. If you are new to digital photography may I suggest getting Irfanview v27 (a free download from the Irfanview website) and the associated plugin module. View the picture, then click Image, then resize, set it for 640, save it, and post a copy (add image).

Assuming good condition, probably around $800+ on Poor condition is worth less. Condition and finish can be everything. A little rust can (but not always) be bad. Bluing is a form of rust, so good bluing is okay. Lots of actual peeling rust always is bad. Don't mistake patina for rust. Pitting is bad, but fairly common on older weapons, especially if someone actually carried and used it. Pitting and rust to the extent that the gun looks like it was stored at the bottom of the river or dipped in acid really negates price. Never wire brush or sand paper anything. Avoid Naval Jelly and other things that strip the bluing off. Worn bluing at appropriate wear points is normal. A badly done re-bluing job can really destroy value, so think carefully and choose 'who will bell the cat' very carefully if heading down that path.

Needs mechanical adjustment often lowers auction price and inoperable condition is very bad, but 'like new' adds value. Any replaced springs should be saved and stored as some Colt Collectors care about springs and go so far as to count coils and mike wire dimensions, but new replacement springs are always a smart add on for a current owner. Alternatively, to most of us, fair wear and tear pitting, like that shown on the pictured Colt Thunderers cylinder, has no effect on price. If it was your grandfather's gun, then it is a passed down heirloom and serious thinking should occur before selling it, vs. letting your own kids someday give it to theirs. A clunker Dad picked up at a card game, but attached no significance to? Go ahead and sell it. Your Estate Administrator's choice.

Colt will happily sell you shipping info on the gun. Several hundred bucks for the info on a pretty letter you then keep or sell with the gun. Often not worth the price, i.e., 'shipped to Smiling Jack's hardware store in Mississippi on Aug 8, 1914." ..Unless Smiling Jack was also your Grandfather, or perhaps was a known alias of Huey Long or John Dillinger, etc. Sometimes however, we see Colt letters that say something like 'shipped on July 2, 1914 to Honorable Theodore Roosevelt, Sagamore Hill House, Cove Neck, NY' Obviously that kind of letter sometimes helps pistol values. The decision on whether or not to order a Colt history letter is often an internally debated one by owners of old Colts.

We await your photos, and eagerly await a report of how much fun shooting the old geezer is (assuming you find appropriate ammo for it).

Bucktweet 06-18-2010 12:51 PM

Superc, that was awesome!! I can't thank you enough for the info.

One of my Dad's drinking buddies gave it to him about 10 years ago so it's not a family heirloom or anything. I'm really not into handguns that much so if I can sell it and put the cash towards an old Browning Gran Lightning or BSS I would probably do that.

I will keep your instructions and try to get a pic on the site soon.

Again, I appreciate your knowledge.

Northman 10-01-2011 06:40 PM

Colt DA 41
I am new to this site. I have a DA 41 and it is mint and never fired. Based on the serial number it was made prior to 1898 and in Canada classed as an antique. Any idea of the value ? Where cold I find some ammo ?

robocop10mm 10-01-2011 09:15 PM

Ultramax Cowboy Action Ammunition 41 Long Colt 200 Grain Lead Flat Nose Box of 50 - MidwayUSA

$75 a box! I am not sure about shipping to Canada. Check with Midwayusa for details.

If you truly have a minty pre-1900 .41 Colt it is worth WAY MORE unfired.

c3shooter 10-01-2011 09:22 PM

Northman= welcome to the forum- when you get a minute, drop by the intro thread, and say howdy.

Now, for the good news/ bad news- Here in the US, if a specific gun was made in 1898 or earlier, it is an antique, and not a firearm- much like your laws. HOWEVER- the cartridge- properly called the .41 Long Colt Double Action, in it's current form began life in 1895, and is pretty much in the realm of an obsolete, collectible cartridge. It had a 195-200 grain bullet with a VERY rounded nose, and was loaded with 21-22 grains of black powder.

I am very much afraid you will not walk into your local sporting goods store and find boxes of it on the shelf. Buffalo Arms has it- at $75 (US) per 50 rounds. Buffalo Arms - Product Detail - 41 Long Colt Loaded Black Powder Ammo Box of 50 - $75.00

kmoody 10-13-2011 01:59 AM

Colt d.a.41
I have a colt d.a. 41 ,patient dates are Aug 5 84, Nov 6 88, Mar 5 95 all numbers match which are 927 gun is in fair shape with some light pitting, I have yet to find a serial number, does anyone know how old it is?

chewchew 10-14-2011 12:58 AM

I have model 1889 Civilian model.. serial # 129546. They produced 31,000 of them between 1889 and 1894. The patent dates 1884 and 1888 are on the barrel, the serial # is on the butt.
Mine is in good condition and worth about 1K according to the 2011 reference guide.....getting that is another story.
This may or may not be correct.
I would post a picture but I'm have trouble doing so but I'll get it right soon.LOL

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