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Old March 14, 2013, 04:44 PM   #1
Bob Wright
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New Service variations.....

For those of you who are Collectors, how do you, in normal conversation, distinguish between the variations of the old Colt New Service?

In the Smith line its "five screw", "pre-Model xx" etc.

The New Service was made with both the flat latch and rounded latch, straight barel and belled barrel. With or without the hammer block.

I'm not talkin New Service vs Shooting Master, but New Service series only.

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Old March 14, 2013, 05:17 PM   #2
Winchester_73
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Thats a good question. The earlier New Services, aka the first 21k or so, are known as old models. They have a different trigger guard among a few other differences. Then there were some transitional models that had improvements here and there. The later ones, after 1917, are referred to as "Improved" which is the New Service many of us recognize. Alas, I have only owned one new service, a .455 British contract gun that I sold because it was a little rough. I also had a total custom Colt 1917 that I traded. I'm not big on customized older guns, unless its a King gun or something.

There were also target versions which different from Shooting masters - something I did not know at one time. I had assumed that the NST was replaced by the SM, but not so. They were made concurrently, but the NST was first. The SM was fancier, I think it had better sights, different checkering to the hammer, checkered front and rear strap, checkered trigger, and had different grips. However, you could have probably special ordered a NST with at least the SM hammer and grips, for extra, if you wanted. I would love to find a SM but I might go look for bigfoot instead.

Here is a beautiful "old model" (the gun is also a target model):

http://www.coltautos.com/DA/NewServi...getci_5845.htm



Here is a new or "improved" model which most were. 1917 until the end of production, approx 1940.

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Old March 16, 2013, 03:13 PM   #3
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Wow Bob, a lot to chew on. I accumulate and have several CNS models. I knew of the hammer block and the two latch types but never was aware of the differences of bbls. I have several .45 Colts/.455 conversions, a .45 converted to .357, 1917s, and this refinished .38 Special. I will have to go safe diving and look at those bbls.

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Old March 17, 2013, 01:25 PM   #4
Bob Wright
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Well, here are my observations, in no particular order of appearance:

1. Straight barrel (maybe slight taper) vs. a barrel with a slight "bell" where it joins the frame.

2. Flat cylinder latch vs. rounded latch.

3. Bottom of frame nearly a straight line over the trigger guard vs a "faired" joint of the trigger guard. (Compare photos in Winchester_73's post)

4. Colt Positive Safety vs. no Safety

5. Hawk bill front sight vs a sloped "quick draw"

Hard rubber vs. checkered wood. (I thing only the M1909, M917, and British M1914 had smooth wood.)

6. Finish, bright blue vs. brushed blue.

These are variations I've noticed, have no idea as to dates.

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Old March 17, 2013, 03:06 PM   #5
James K
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In the 1905-1909 period, Colt made several changes, not all at the same time and not to all models at once. One was the change to the basic frame, using a faired in trigger guard rather than the sharp angle previously used. The second was the addition of the "positive" hammer block safety, which necessitated moving the sideplate to the left side. A third was the change of the cylinder thumb latch from the square type originally used with the Model 1889 to the rounded type used until the end of production. Internally, the changes were drastic. In addition to adding the safety, Colt revamped the whole lockwork, scrapping the rather unreliable and trouble-prone system used in the New Army and Navy series for a variation of the Galand lock. Old even then, and requiring skilled assemblers, it served until the end of production.

In some models, those changes appear to have been done simultaneously, but the early .32 and .38 Police Positives have the old style frame, while some New Service revolvers with the new frame have the old cylinder latch.

There are unexpected variations. I have a New Model Army, serial 2791xx (c. 1907),with the new style trigger guard, but with the sideplate still on the right and the old mechanism. Apparently Colt changed their frame forging before they were ready to drop the A & N line, so they kept the old tooling running.

One thing that is certain is that the positive safety had to be fitted into the solid side of the frame, so guns with it will ALWAYS have the sideplate on the left.

So there would seem to be no solid single defining points at which one can use the term "new model" or "variation" or "change". We can definitely say that an early New Service with the straight bottom frame, no safety and a square latch is the "old model." And one with a faired frame line, safety and round latch is the "new model." But in between, there is confusion.

Jim
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Old March 17, 2013, 06:50 PM   #6
Chesster
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With Jim's insights, It looks like Old/Transition/New models. I'm sure for economic reasons the plant would prefer to deplete old stock before embarking on producing a model with changes. I have an old Colt Offical Police 4" RB made right in the middle of the Colt Marshall production leading me to believe it was a frame meant for the Marshall line.
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Old March 17, 2013, 07:38 PM   #7
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Just to add another variation to the discussion, what about the parts cleanup guns? I have a NS that was made in 1933 from obsolete 1909 barrels and cylinders in .45 Colt that were still on the shelves at the Colt factory and the 1917 frames that Colt bought back from the US government after WWI. These were sold to Shapleigh Hardware and sold to the public from there.


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Old March 17, 2013, 09:27 PM   #8
Bob Wright
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Here I am trying to get my collection into a "single action only" assemblege and ya'll keep posting photos of those lucious old New Service revovlers!

Ya'll ought to be ashamed!

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Old March 18, 2013, 03:44 PM   #9
Mike Irwin
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I'm just trying to find a decent condition, decent price shooter New Service to join my PPS and my OP.
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Old March 22, 2013, 08:43 AM   #10
guy sajer
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I've watched ads and writings on this model since the 1980's . Mostly descriptions will list guns as Civilian , one of the several Military variations , Target and Shooting Master .

Most of mine are gone but I did hang on to this .

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Old March 22, 2013, 07:04 PM   #11
Winchester_73
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Wow, fabulous Colt there Mitch. That right there is probably my personal favorite Colt 357 although I am not lucky enough to own one. A rare bird there, for sure.
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Old March 22, 2013, 09:58 PM   #12
guy sajer
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Sorry Bob , not trying to hijack .

Thank you 73 . Yep , 1936 was a fine vinatage

It had Franzite "stag" grips when my uncle took it on trade about 30 years ago . He tried for 4-5 years to find an original pair but never did . The guy that did our pad jobs back then was/is also a very talented stock maker . He copied a NS Target grip half that we had in "the scrap box" and made the new set you see . That was about 20 yrs ago . Just after , I talked him out of it . The rest of the gun is original .

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