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Thread: Help with British ? Colt New Service revolver markings

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  1. #1
    Advisory Panel breakeyp's Avatar
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    Help with British ? Colt New Service revolver markings

    This 1918 built New Service is a puzzle I have yet to solve. It appears to be maintained by an ordnance facility following Britishicon Military ordnance procedures.

    It has no US import markings or British Commercial proofs.
    It has no British military broad arrow or Enfield inspection markings.



    The barrel has professionally been shortened to 4 1/8 inch and front sight reattached, barrel muzzle crowned. British rust mark on left side of receiver chamber area. The entire arm has been refinished in dull military brush blue with no polish marks. Cylinder chambers have been lengthened to .45 Long Colt. Grips are replacement Sile.

    The back strap has typical British style markings: * / R P / 9 '59

    The butt flat has a star and double H marking. The double H mark also appears on the trigger. The frame (under the grip), trigger and hammer are numbered 25 which I take to mean an assembly number added during the rework/refinish. One source says they could be Colt rework markings??

    The date, September 1959 throws me. I am leaning towards this being a Rhodesian Police arm. Comments??


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    I would go along with Rhodesia Police too. THey were schooled exactly along UKicon Military lines

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    Really Senior Member RobD's Avatar
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    As far as I know, Rhodesia Police didn't exist... though I may be wrong... I often am.
    Prior to UDI in 1965, the country was known as Southern Rhodesia, not Rhodesia; Rhodesia came into being on 11/11/1965. But before and after the birth of Rhodesia, AFAIK, the police force were known as the Britishicon South Africa Police [BSAP] and were replaced by Zimbabwe Republic Police in 1980.

    A nice chronology of the BSAP can be found here BSAP History: Chronology
    Last edited by RobD; 07-17-2017 at 04:49 PM.

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    They certainly did exist, in fact the one and only Reg Seekings one of the SAS originals, was in charge of the Special Branch Anti Terrorist unit which he formed there within the Marlborough Police Service of Rhodesia before coming back to the UKicon in 1982 to become a landlord at Ely of the Rifleman Arms.

    I was honoured to do research into his life history for Lt Jock Lewes family some years ago, who have always professed, as did David Stirling, in a letter to Jock's father when he was killed on 31/12/4 in Libya, that he could call himself more the founding father of the SAS, then he!!

    So in short Rhodesia certainly had a Police Force.
    Last edited by Gil Boyd; 07-17-2017 at 06:43 PM.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    Advisory Panel Lee Enfield's Avatar
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    Your barrel is post Ww1. The earliest commercial barrels done that way that I'm aware of are the 1919 RNWMP contract revolvers. Remember that M1917 production continued post the Nov 1918 cease fire Un abated into 1919. The barrel is also pre-1928 judging by the single thickness of the front sight blade.

    Colt standard barrel lengths for the cartridge and time frame would be 4-1/2", 5-1/2" or 7-1/2".

    Could the barrel have originally been a 4-1/2" which was shortened to the current length? Does the front sight look factory?



    The only wartime barrels with the re-inforce against the frame are 45acp m1917 barrels.

    This was one of the improvements put forward for m1917 production supposedly influenced by S&W.

    The grips are either very late 1920s or thru the end of production assembly in 1944... Or post ww2 replacements
    Last edited by Lee Enfield; 07-17-2017 at 11:43 PM.

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    Really Senior Member RobD's Avatar
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    So in short Rhodesia certainly had a Police Force.
    Indeed, when I lived there it certainly did have a police force... But it was designated the Britishicon South Africa Police [not Rhodesia Police].

    Reg Seekings helped set up the Police Anti-Terrorist Unit of the BSAP.
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    Rob,
    Agree with that, albeit stuff he showed me had Marlborough Police Service on it, which could have, been in those days of Britishicon backed Imperialism!!! and been part of a bigger picture of the BSAP one assumes.

    Very underrated man was Reg, who, because of his "fiery can do" attitude and boxing prowess, sorted many officers out, which often went against the grain, and in my opinion, and also his peers, who have always stated he should have won the VC on a number of occasions, which were, as per records, held back from him, by those very same officers back home!!

    Another story for another day, however, back to the thread, for simplicities sake one has to assume the pride of those that lived in Rhodesia at the time, wanted their own Force which is what evolved IMHO, and it was Humberstone that got him out of farming and made him an Inspector. His "can do" skills would have been wasted on a farm!!
    Last edited by Gil Boyd; 07-18-2017 at 08:07 AM.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    Front sight appears to be factory re-positioned on 4 1/2 inch barrel that was shortened about 3/16 inch. Barrel was 4.5 inch based on comparison of patent information length and positioning markings compared to a factory 4.5 inch revolver.

  14. #9
    Advisory Panel Lee Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by breakeyp View Post
    Front sight appears to be factory re-positioned on 4 1/2 inch barrel that was shortened about 3/16 inch. Barrel was 4.5 inch based on comparison of patent information length and positioning markings compared to a factory 4.5 inch revolver.
    Judging by the position on the barrel I think your front sight is no repositioned, it is too close to the muzzle due to the barrel being shortened.

    Unless there are signs of silver solder or a locating slot cut into the barrel behind the existing sight location.

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    Advisory Panel breakeyp's Avatar
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    LE, you might reconsider your comments. Thanks for the effort.

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