Colt D A 41??

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by Bucktweet, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. Bucktweet

    Bucktweet New Member

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    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.

    Thanks
     
  2. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    does it look like one of these?
     

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  3. Bucktweet

    Bucktweet New Member

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

    superc Member

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    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 gunbroker.com. 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).
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  5. Bucktweet

    Bucktweet New Member

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    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.
     
  6. Northman

    Northman New Member

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    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 ?
     
  7. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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  8. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    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
     
  9. kmoody

    kmoody New Member

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    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?
     
  10. chewchew

    chewchew New Member

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    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
     
  11. Northman

    Northman New Member

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    Colt DA 41

    Nice to know that some revolvers are worth some money. There is a big gun show in Calgary Alberta in April and I might take it there to see if I can sell or trade it.
     

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  12. Latethinker

    Latethinker New Member

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    Value

    Good Morning,
    I am doing an inventory on my late father's gun collection and I came across a Colt DA 41 EXACTLY like the one pictured in your post. I believe mine has a 4" barrel, although if measured from front or barrel to frame, it is 3 5/8" long.
    Grips are same, but very worn and one corner of each grip is broken off. Checkering in worn smooth.

    Trying to put a value on the pistol for insurance purposes.

    Thanks,
    Steve R
    Durham, NC
     
  13. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Steve! Welcome to the forum. When you get a minute, stop over by the intro thread and say howdy.

    In re: your revolver- the value of any gun is based on EXACT make, model, and condition. There are two very close (but different) versions of that Colt revolver- the Model 1889 and the 1892- and there is a first, second, thrid issue, etc. Difference between a 70% and a 90% is substantial.

    Just as a really wild, stab in the dark, mildly educated guess, your Colt may be worth $1000 to $2000. You REALLY need a hands on assessment from an old Colt expert.

    Re: barrel length- open cylinder. Place a flat obect like a ruler across the opening at the rear of the barrel (the forcing cone) Slide a rod or dowel near to bore size into bore until it stops at the ruler. Mark it at the muzzle, withdraw, measure.
     
  14. calaverasslim

    calaverasslim New Member

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    One of the local dealers has/had a Colt DA 41 in their showcase. $600 and includes 3 boxes of ammo.

    Good looking gun, on cosignment, but when I asked about ammo and reloading, I heard the bad news.

    I passed.
     
  15. Perrotoro

    Perrotoro New Member

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    I have the lower one except blue metal and black handle. D A 41. This means double acting - correct? Serial number 130219. Estimated values?
     
  16. pattona

    pattona New Member

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