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Old January 16, 2013, 12:34 PM   #1
Join Date: January 14, 2013
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19teens 38 colt rebuild

I was recently willed a .38 colt revolver circa. 1910-1920 from my grandpa a year or so ago. I finally got it and had it inspected and found the barrel was pitted and it was mistimed. The store owner said that it could be reworked into shooting condition but it would cost more than it's worth. It has sentimental value so i'd like to give it a try.

Anyone know about how much something like that would cost?
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Old January 16, 2013, 12:39 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Not a clue on the cost, but unless the barrel is totally sewer piped, you probably don't have to worry about the pitting. I've got a few firearms with barrel pitting that shoot surprisingly well.
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Old January 16, 2013, 12:51 PM   #3
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Here is a thread that mentions a reputable Colt repair man
Winchester 73, the TFL user that won the west
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Old January 16, 2013, 08:32 PM   #4
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Colt will no longer do repairs on the older models.

Finding a qualified Colt pistolsmith these days is tough.
Too may of todays gunsmiths just don't understand the old Colt design and it's common to get a Colt back with more problems then when you took it in.

Grant Cunningham is good, but he's backed up at least several years and he only opens his waiting list every couple of years:

Grant Cunningham

Cylinder & Slide Shop are a top custom shop with a good reputation for Colt repairs.
As a top shop, prices are high and turnaround is slow, but quality of repairs is high:
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Old January 16, 2013, 10:27 PM   #5
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
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The Colt design was very refined and therefore requires more maintenance to keep operating properly.

Putting it another way, the Colt design was so outdated and obsolete that it requires far too much maintenance to keep operating properly.

Colt's lock design is basically a Galand lock, which dates to 1872. Colt's designers perfected the lockwork c 1904, then added the positive hammer block safety c. 1907. No further changes were made until the end of production. On the other hand, though not apparent on the outside, S&W's design has been upgraded and revamped many times, a continual product improvement program with a view to using fewer parts, increasing reliability and reducing costs. A company that can do that while appearing to make no change at all is doing something right.

A company that believes an 1872 design is perfect and "refined", even though it requires extensive maintenance, is going to have to be content with a high product price and a niche market of a few rich customers or go out of business.

Jim K
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Old January 17, 2013, 07:03 PM   #6
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The colt design is just FINE once properly tuned up. Your gun is a common one though and not particularly valuable in terms of dollars. It might indeed cost more to restore than it's value. Whether or not you choose to do so just depends on it's value to YOU. The design does NOT require constant maintenance as you may have been led to believe. I own a colt more than one hundred years old that is still working fine, though out of respect for it's age I don't shoot it too much. The myth of Colts being fragile just won't seem to go away.
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Old January 19, 2013, 12:41 AM   #7
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+1 DFrame - My 1910 Colt Army Special is just as good today as it waythons the day it was made and I shoot it often. In fact, I like it as much as my Colt Python . . . which is also as good today as when it was made.
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63
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Old January 19, 2013, 08:46 PM   #8
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Interesting coincidence. My 100 year old gun is also an Army Special. Locks up like a bank vault every time. As far as I know (I have 60 years of history on this one) it has never been tinkered with. Still shoots great.
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