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    Really Senior Member Snowman1510's Avatar
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    US M1892 New Army revolver rebuilds and S/N info

    Good morning,

    I have recently acquired a Colt M1892 New Army revolver that is a 1901 model revision. I have tried looking up serial number information to get a year of manufacture for the revolver.

    I have discovered a forum posting that states S/N for the 1901 models start at S/N: 148000. As stated by this posting ( https://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/302244-colt-1901-da-expert/ ).

    I have discovered that my S/N is a lower number than the posted number. My S/N is 63262. A gentleman in that same forum posting also has run into the same occurrence. I would like to see if the information given to that man (Colt rebuilds of M1892 revolvers and scrubbing the butts to place a new model number and relocating the S/N) is true. Thank you for your time!

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    Advisory Panel Lee Enfield's Avatar
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    Colt's Manufacturing LLC

    According to Colt your revolver was manufactured in 1895.

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    Being totally uninformed about Colt numbering, I see no problem. The likely answer is:

    Older examples upgraded to new configuration: keep the serial numbers, such as 63262, to avoid problems with tracking, armory records etc.

    Newly made examples: new serial numbers, starting clearly above the highest number for the old series, e.g 148,000.

    Surely that‘s how you would do it, whether Colts, cars or cranes?
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 12-23-2021 at 07:36 AM.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Sounds VERY dubious to me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman1510 View Post
    … I would like to see if the information given to that man (Colt rebuilds of M1892 revolvers and scrubbing the butts to place a new model number and relocating the S/N) is true…
    Scrubbing serial numbers on an old weapon and placing a number for a new series would be a falsification. General practice is that IF numbered parts are re-used, then the old number is lined out and the new number applied separately.

    HOWEVER, since frame or receiver numbers are the given identity of the weapon, they are surely never officially scrubbed. I have seen lined out numbers on barrels, bolts etc. but never on a receiver or pistol/revolver frame. OK, so my experience is limited. But my strong feeling is scrubbed number = identity hidden = fakery.

    So unless there exists written confirmation of such a practice from the Colt company, I rather suspect that this is the kind of story that is dreamt up to “legitimize” fakes and bitsas.

    I apologize if this treads on someone’s toes, but this seems to be a case of “buy the gun … DON’T buy the story”

    Just my non-expert opinion, of course!

    Patrick

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    Patrick, I didn't spend big money on the revolver. No story came with it. Just a plane old milsurp I was interested in. That was all that was bought, the revolver.
    “There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation.
    The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” - Will Rogers

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    The USGI Colt Double Action .38 series of revolvers is an interesting subject but one that is difficult to decipher on one's own. There were several models introduced over a decade plus span with many rebuilds in between and later rebuilds in WW1. The most informative and authoritative source for sorting all of this out has always been Bob Best's book on these revolvers. It is now out of print but copies can be located. It is invaluable for anyone looking to get a better understanding of these martial revolvers.



    You might also try posting your inquiry over on the Colt Forum where there are a number of well informed collectors. The link is: Colt Revolvers | Colt Forum

    HTH.

    Regards,
    Charlie

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