View Full Version : Name this Colt

Trigger Jerk
January 19, 2000, 01:02 PM
What model could this be?
It's a Colt double action revolver with swing out cylinder. It has 3 patent dates stamped on it ...1884, 1900, 1905. It also has Cal 45 stamped on it and the serial number is 278###. Any ideas? Value?

James K
January 19, 2000, 06:56 PM
It is a Colt New Service in .45 Colt. The civilian models were marked "New Service", the military model, called the Model 1909, were marked "CAL 45 DA"

The Model 1909 was the basis for the Colt version of the Model 1917, although the latter was made only in .45ACP, using "half moon" clips to support and allow ejection of the rimless cartridges.


Trigger Jerk
January 20, 2000, 05:37 PM
thank you Jim, I very much appreciate the info. Now I can at least go to Colt and have them research it.

James K
January 20, 2000, 05:58 PM
Hi, guys,

I erred a little in saying that the Model 1909 was chambered for the .45 ["Long"] Colt. That was the intended round for the civilian gun, but the army (Frankford Arsenal) actually made a cartridge just for the 1909, called the "Caliber .45 Revolver Ball Cartridge Model of 1909 for Colt's Double Action Revolver, Model of 1909", quoting from the box label. An earlier Model 1909 cartridge had been made to fit either the single action or double action, but the new one was more powerful so it had a rim big enough that six rounds could not be inserted into the smaller (and weaker) SAA cylinder, which was intended to tip off the soldier that he was using the wrong ammo.

The whole area of .45 revolver cartridges in U.S. service is confusing (not the least from having two Model 1909 cartridges) and the best book is History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition, Vol 1, by Hackley, Woodin and Scranton. If you can find either or both volumes, buy it.

FWIW, it was the Model of 1909, not the SAA, which was used as a control in the trials that led to the adoption of the Model 1911 automatic pistol. The 1909's functioned flawlessly, while various and assorted auto pistols gave up the ghost in one way or another.