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Old June 28, 2008, 11:23 AM   #1
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Colt New Service Target v. Shooting Master

I have a 1916 Colt double action 45 with a 6½ inch barrel stamped "New Service 45 Colt." It is either a New Service Target or a Shooting Master. Is there any simple way to distinguish the Target from the Shooting Master? Also, is there any market source to try to establish the difference in values, if any?
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Old June 28, 2008, 12:14 PM   #2
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In good condition it could be worth over a thousand dollars easy.

Gunsamerica is a website that sells used guns at fair market prices up.

And if you eneter your guns name in your internet search engine you'll get alot of choices to get information from.
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Old June 28, 2008, 12:25 PM   #3
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Been There

I spent hours trolling the Internet and found only one 45 Cal. Shooting Master which was in absolutely new condition, original box, etc., etc., and sold at auction for $11,500. I found four or five 45 Cal. New Service Target pieces that have sold in the range of $3,000 to $5,000. With that big a difference, I am looking for some help in distinguishing the two revolvers. Also, a single observation of an extraordinary pistol can be misleading when trying to get a grip on the actual market value.
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Old June 28, 2008, 06:26 PM   #4
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Here's some help on the models:

The New Service Target was introduced in 1900 and discontinued in 1940.
It had:
A top frame that was lightly stippled, a checkered trigger, checkered grip straps, and adjustable front and rear sights.
Before 1913 it had black, hard (Gutta Percha) rubber grips with molded checkering and Colt logos, after 1913, checkered walnut with silver medallions.
It came in 6" or 7 1/2" barrel, and in .44 Special, .45 Colt, and .45ACP.

The Shooting Master was made from 1932 to 1940, in serial numbers from 333,000 to 350,000.

It had:
Front and rear adjustable sights.
Top strap, and frame back were all stippled.
Trigger and both straps were checkered.
The butt is slightly rounded, where that was only a rare option on the New Service Target but the square butt was an option on the Shooting Master.
It was first made in .38 Special-only, but .45 Colt, .45ACP, .357, .44 Special later.
It was only available in a 6" barrel.

Problem is, they look almost exactly alike.

Problem with placing a value on these is, first, Colt prices have blown the roof off and gone into low-earth orbit.
Second, these Colt pre-war Target revolvers were never really common, and are much less so today.
As usual, condition is everything, and excellent examples will bring high prices, but how high is anyone's guess these days.
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Old June 28, 2008, 11:08 PM   #5
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Thank you.

With your information and what I have been able to glean off the Internet, I can attest that there was at least one New Service Target made with a 6½ inch barrel. Everything else matches exactly, including “a top frame that was lightly stippled, a checkered trigger, checkered grip straps, and adjustable front and rear sights.”. However, my pistol has checkered walnut grips with a diamond relief and the silver Rampant Stallion medallions. The serial number puts its manufacture in 1916. Thank you for the help.
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Old June 29, 2008, 08:23 PM   #6
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I would love to see a picture! Please!
"We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem." Douglas Adams
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Old July 1, 2008, 04:39 PM   #7
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Pictures are definitely in the works, but may take a few days.
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Old December 9, 2012, 05:26 PM   #8
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Okay I've waited 4.5 years for photos. I'm out of patience. Where are the photos?
Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who didn't. Ben Franklin
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