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Old September 17, 2012, 03:56 PM   #1
rkm812
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Colt DA 32 New Pocket

I have a Colt DA 32 6 inch New Pocket. This particular gun doesn't have a serial number on the butt. I would like to determine its age. Several people have suggested that it was filed off, but in 31 years in law enforcement I have seen a lot of filed off serial numbers, this isn't one of them. There are matching numbers on the crane and frame they are 18. Any ideas?
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Old September 17, 2012, 06:36 PM   #2
Dfariswheel
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have seen a lot of filed off serial numbers, this isn't one of them

Guess again.
I've seen any number of older Colt and S&W revolvers with butt stamped serial numbers that have been removed without leaving any trace whatsoever.

The idea that someone with moderate skills can't remove a stamped number from a flat butt without leaving signs of removal doesn't hold water.
Since I was mostly a Colt gunsmith most of the obliterated numbers I saw were on the old Colt New Army & Navy military issue revolvers.
These had not only serial numbers but also US Army or Navy stamps stamped in fairly deep.
I've seen a number on which there was no sign at all the number was removed.

Further, I've seen US issue 1911 and 1911-A1 automatics from which the "US Property" stamp on the frame was removed so well it was undetectable.

Never underestimate the skills of people who want a serial number to disappear.
True, most removal jobs are crude and noticeable as having been removed, but not all.
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Old September 17, 2012, 06:49 PM   #3
PetahW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkm812
I have a Colt DA 32 6 inch New Pocket. This particular gun doesn't have a serial number on the butt.
There are matching numbers on the crane and frame they are 18.
Any ideas?
The matching numbers are assembly numbers.
EVERY Colt revolver ever made should carry a SN, ergo, the SN on that one was removed (aka under Federal Law:defaced) - making it illegal for ANYONE to possess.

IIRC, The only way to positively determine if a SN was once in place where one is suspected of having been removed is via X-ray/magnafluxing, which will reveal the deep stress marks made by the original stamping, and from which the SN can usually be determined.

AFAIK, the only way that the above detection won't work is if enough material is removed when removing the SN, to also remove the stressed metal beneath. (I always check for a thinner than usual frame in the usual SN area).

.

Last edited by PetahW; September 17, 2012 at 06:54 PM.
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Old September 17, 2012, 07:31 PM   #4
James K
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Sorry, folks, but that Colt belongs to an era where the numbers on the frame and the crane WERE the serial number, not an assembly number or (to be more exact, the serial number was used as the assembly number).

If it is the Colt .32 New Pocket, serial numbers started with 1 in 1893, and number 18 would have been made the same year. That gun should be marked "COLT D.A. .32" on the barrel and "COLT'S NEW POCKET" in a circle on the left side of the frame under the latch. It should have the old style frame with a straight part above the trigger guard rather than the curved cuts used later.

Jim
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Old September 18, 2012, 10:13 AM   #5
rkm812
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Thanks for your help guys, I have to agree with Jim though. I have done much research on this Colt and feel %100 confindent that the serial number was never removed since there never was one. As Jim described, the Barrel does have "COLT D.A. .32" on it and on the left side of the frame under the latch, it does have "COLT'S NEW POCKET" in a circle. It also has the old style frame with a straight part above the trigger guard. I just wanted to feel comfortable in selling it as what it is and not an altered weapon. As one of you said it is illegal for ANYONE to one a weapon with an altered or filled off SN. To back up what Jim said I have read and talked to gunsmiths that have told me, there are some of these older Colts that were made without SN's.
Roger
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Old September 18, 2012, 10:44 AM   #6
James K
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Watch out!! That is not what I said. I didn't say there was never a serial number, I said that the number on and under the crane IS the serial number. The serial number is 18. Sure that is low, and only two digits, but so what? If they started at 1 (and they did), then there is a 1, a 2, an 18, a 19 and any other number up to where they stopped.

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Old September 18, 2012, 12:05 PM   #7
Mike Irwin
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What I know about Colt revolvers can be fit into a very small thimble, but I was under the impression that ALL New Pocket revolvers had the serial number stamped on the butt, and not in the crane cut.


And damn it, now I want a New Pocket revolver...
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Old September 18, 2012, 01:07 PM   #8
rkm812
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Yes, that is what I meant to say. The number on the frame and the crane IS the serial number. Sorry, didn't mean to misquote you.
FYI - The numbers on these Colts started at 1 and went to 449 in 1893. This Colt was the 18th made that year. I guess that is my "So what".
Cheers - Roger
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Old October 2, 2012, 10:17 AM   #9
jcashing
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Basic Info on Colt New Pocket

I am a serious collector of Colt New Pockets and Pocket Positives. I have 2 New Pockets with 2 digit serial number and 2 more that are below the 200 SN. I own nearly 100 New Pockets and Pocket Positives and have observed thousands more.

None of my early guns nor any legitimate guns I have observed do not have a serial number on the butt. In short all New Pockets that are factory original have the serial number on the butt.

Some Colt factory re-finished New Pockets have had the serial number removed from the butt. I have personally observed two that were factory re-finished that way. They look great, but aren't original. These guns can be recognized by the fact that they have a backwards ampersand or a 6 pointed star stamped on the web of the trigger guard bow, Colt's marking for factory re-work on a gun depending on the era of the re-work.

Also Little John's auction sold a Colt New Pocket at auction about 6-8 years ago that fits your description: a 6 inch blue New Pocket that did not have a serial number on the butt. I have a distinct feeling that if I check my auction records, I will find that your gun matches that one.

I hope this puts an appropriate perspective on the issue.

Also, the gun is not illegal to own as it stands. Before someone makes a statement like that, they should conduct due diligence and contact the ATFE and speak to a true agent and not an clerical analyst.
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Old October 2, 2012, 11:26 AM   #10
carguychris
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Quote:
Some Colt factory re-finished New Pockets have had the serial number removed from the butt. I have personally observed two that were factory re-finished that way. They look great, but aren't original. These guns can be recognized by the fact that they have a backwards ampersand or a 6 pointed star stamped on the web of the trigger guard bow...
So where did Colt place the serial number on these guns?
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