View Full Version : Found old colt d.a. .41

November 25, 2018, 09:56 PM
Our home just burnt down in the carr fire in redding California. While sifting through some of the very few remains, I found an older colt d.a. 41 caliber revolver. It went through the fire of course but I never seen the gun before and beleive it must have been hidden in the attic. Either way the cylinder has one chamber that's bowed out because it q in s loaded and then the fire. Not sure if it's worth restoring or not it functions fine with the cylinder out. Any info or input.

November 25, 2018, 11:40 PM
Best to contact Colt. Temper in the steel is probably ruined, so the gun may not be safe.

November 26, 2018, 02:09 AM
Very true. Maybe I'll just make a nice trip for it and put it in a case and sell it. Thank you.

November 26, 2018, 12:53 PM
If it's been through a fire that burned a house down, it is NOT safe to fire.

Put it in a display case and have an interesting conversation piece.

T. O'Heir
November 26, 2018, 02:57 PM
My condolences on your loss.
Any firearm that went through a fire hot enough to burn off or char the grips is not safe to shoot. Highly unlikely to be worth anything either. As mentioned, any heat treatment is gone. The parts will be soft too.

November 26, 2018, 06:47 PM
First and foremost my condolences on loosing your home.

My wife and I had a house fire earlier this year. While it's been a major PITA getting the place rebuilt due to not much available labor, I am not bothered at all about the delays.
My wife had the presence of mind to close doors as she got out of dodge after discovering the fire, I was travelling on business. Her closing the doors and the supersonic response by our local firefighters saved our home.

We have it very good compared to the Norcal folks like you. Hang in there. Congrats on finding the old Colt, it will make a nice display. I would be sure to put a note in the display case indicating the fire damage, just in case.

Perhaps disabling the Colt would be a good idea too. Not hard to plug the barrel or otherwise prevent it being loaded and fired.

November 26, 2018, 07:24 PM
Do you have pics?

Mike Irwin
November 27, 2018, 09:00 AM
Very sorry to hear about your home.

Regarding the revolver, Colt chambered quite a few models in .41, so there's really no telling what kind it was without some pictures.

November 28, 2018, 10:49 PM
Guns that have actually been in the fire are not safe. The heat changes the characteristics
of the steel and makes it brittle. I have seen guns that stocks and grips were ok meaning
they weren't actually in the fire. But due to fire hoses and acidic content of ash they get
force rusted very quickly. They can look terrible but be functionally ok. If in doubt take to
a gunsmith. I don't think there is a process to retemper once guns have been ruined by
fire. I have inspected and wrote up house fire guns for insurance claims and in either of
the cases above they were wrote off as total loss.

November 30, 2018, 11:10 AM
My friend has a 686 in stainless that went through a fire, and he shoots it. He made new grips for it. I keep telling him he is playing with fire.

The same guy also chose to salvage the frame of the trailer that it burned in. I again told him the steel was nothing more than scrap, and that he was building a dangerous trailer.
Did not take long for him to figure it out. The trailer folded when he put a car on it. Thank goodness it folded then and not on the road.

I had a very good day yesterday. I picked up a Colt 1889 civilian new model army and navy. The seller thought it was out of time since the cylinder could be rotated with the hammer down.
Nice condition, no rust but the base of the hard rubber Colt grips have chips in them. The end of the ejector rod is missing which is common. It's a little loose, I won't be shooting it anyhow. It does lockup and function fine.
It's been fun researching it. Made in 1895. Kinda fun to find the first commercial swing out cylinder revolver for chump change.
I'd say the blue is at least 60%, screws have been turned but not buggered.

Had I not bought it at a large gun store I would feel guilty paying so little for it.

December 2, 2018, 09:19 AM
Just one remark, stainless steels are a lot less sensitive to heat treatments than regular steel. If the springs haven't softened I'd be a lot less worried than with a regular gun.

December 2, 2018, 12:32 PM
I had a very good day yesterday. I picked up a Colt 1889 civilian new model army and navy. The seller thought it was out of time since the cylinder could be rotated with the hammer down.

If it was made before 1903 it's supposed to. As long as it's locked up at full cock it's fine.

December 3, 2018, 10:41 AM
Yup, made in 1895. I filled out the form on the Colt website last night for it. Am I nuts to spend 75 bucks to letter it?
Perhaps, but the condition is very nice, and the 1889 is a historically significant revolver. First revolver with a swing out cylinder. Kind of interesting a Colt with a counterclockwise cylinder rotation, and a latch that pulls back to release the cylinder. The side plate is on the right too.

I think that's why the store sold it so cheaply. The mechanism is very much like a modern gun that is out of time or screwed up.