View Full Version : Colt U.S Army Md 1901 AND Winch 38-40 1873????THANKS!
August 19, 2007, 07:48 AM
Am SO glad to find this forum! Husband and I now retired, he's from the 'real' wild west (grew up on enormous Co ranch) so had guns, good ones, all his life..(He's 70 now) so want to find out about some of his guns...We both have always loved a good one!
1. His dad bought this Colt .38 from an old rancher in the 50's.. Model 1901, with inspector R.A.C stamped on the butt (and two other spots incl the wood grips), U.S. Army..serial 199xxx, also another initial high on left grip (wood grips in exc shape, old patina) but in a more primitive engravement style..
the condition would be about very good to exc... blueing is excellent, prob 75-90% (not an expert so can't be sure!) some light rust but NO pitting at all..no cracks, dings, etc..the ring on the bottom of the butt was removed by husband..been fired over the years, but kept wrapped in a drawer...any history to this we would find interesting? year made? value? what ammo can we use safely? (been using .38 special and now hear thats wrong!)
2. Winchester 38-40 rifle 1873 (or 1863? fam. history is contradictory here)serial number 265xxxB exc. shape family piece
3. Winchester md 270 won in a 1954 raffle by husband.. near perfect condition, kept in case all these years, fired about once a year....
any help you guys can give on these would be MOST INTERESTING!
August 19, 2007, 08:56 AM
A 1901 New Army with RAC Army inspector mark was a real US Army issue sidearm. Made between then and 1907. Might even have been to the Philippines and back. Interesting but not a valuable "collector's item." Yet.
Caliber is .38 Government = .38 Long Colt. .38 Special is an overload for it, although it might be ok with target wadcutters only. Proper ammo is available from places catering to Cowboy shooting like Ten-X
A Winchester .38-40 is likely a model of 1873, your serial number dates to 1887. If in truly excellent condition, collector interest is great and value is good to high.
A .270 Winchester from 1954 would be a "pre '64" Model 70 and is very desirable.
August 19, 2007, 11:21 AM
wow! how fun to know these things...always respected these firearms, but it makes it so much more meaningful (especailly since they are long time family members!) to get this info..thank you so very very much...
On the Winchester 38-40, we had a guy try and buy it from us (obviously we said no) and 'kindly offered' us $900.....if it had not been a family piece I may have been tempted, that seemed like a lot of money for an 'old gun'....
Are there any things on it we should know? ammo avail? should we just keep it wrapped and not display or use it? are there things on it (pardon my ignorance) that it should have to be in 'excellent' condition? things to look for to keep up/repair or things that would hurt it's value if replaced?....Would like to just pass it on down, am going to try and research the family history on it, know nearly nothing about it...
Husband says the Colt is one of the finest firing pistols he has ever handled, accurate balanced and sweet..said to mention that, in each chamber, towards the front, is a an area that is a bit 'gritty' all around very evenly and extends all the way to the end of each chamber, and starts about 2/3 of the way into the chamber from the loading end...each chamber has an identical area like this, all starting at the exact place..you can 'feel it' by rubbing a piece of wire back and forth, feel the smoothnessof the chamber then it changes to the front to a bit of a rougher 'feel'....is this a defect?
Also gave to our son many years ago, a .250-300 Savage bought in the early 60's...husband said it was a great 'varmit' gun he carried while in the saddle checking cattle....were these collectable?
again, thank you for responding! any more info is deeply appreciated...
August 22, 2007, 10:24 AM
There's still ammo made for the '73 Winchester but I wouldn't shoot until it's been checked out by a competent gunsmith. That guy trying to buy your '73 wasn't doing you any favors. A good condition '73 can fetch a couple thousand dollars and if there is some documented history to it, it can climb quickly from there depending upon the historic significance. If you do shoot it, make sure to get blackpowder 38-40 rounds for it. Places that sell the 38 Colt would most likely also have 38-40.
The roughness in the cylinders of the 1901 Colt is due to using the wrong ammo, most likely. If you measure an empty .38 Special case then measure the depth to the roughness, I should imagine you'll find the measurements almost identical. The Special loadings were most likely a standard 158 grain loading, which are more powerful than the .38 Long Colt (.38LC). In simplified terms, you're slowly burning (or flashing)the steel out of the barrel.
To give you an idea of pricing, you can pick up a copy of The Shotgun News or Gun List. Or you can check out some of the online gun sale sights such as www.auctionarms.com or www.gunbroker.com, among others.
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