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Could anyone tell me more about this 1921 .38-40 Colt New Service (I believe)

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Found it along with a 1911A1 locked up by my grandpa for about 70 years or so in a box I just cut open with an angle grinder. Serial number 315xxx i believe it’s 1921. Chambered in .38-40, Maybe 5-1/2” Barrel. Original blued (don’t believe refinished). I can’t find any information about it’s specific year and what the price might be for one in this condition and barrel length. Any help would be appreciated. Can gladly supply more information if necessary.

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Found it along with a 1911A1 locked up by my grandpa for about 70 years or so in a box I just cut open with an angle grinder. Serial number 315xxx i believe it’s 1921. Chambered in .38-40, Maybe 5-1/2” Barrel. Original blued (don’t believe refinished). I can’t find any information about it’s specific year and what the price might be for one in this condition and barrel length. Any help would be appreciated. Can gladly supply more information if necessary.
A little on the rough side, shooter grade for sure. A lot depends on what kind of shape the internals are in. If the timing is still good, and the internals are clean? It could make a nice shooter. Not exactly collector grade with those cosmetics. Cool pistol nonetheless. I have two of them. Value is hard to say. Probably not much due to the cosmetic issues regardless of other conditional factors. There are only so many people interested in these guns. And there are only so many people that will pay out good money for them. And this crowd generally looks for clean ones. It does not appear to me that it has ever been refinished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A little on the rough side, shooter grade for sure. A lot depends on what kind of shape the internals are in. If the timing is still good, and the internals are clean? It could make a nice shooter. Not exactly collector grade with those cosmetics. Cool pistol nonetheless. I have two of them. Value is hard to say. Probably not much due to the cosmetic issues regardless of other conditional factors. There are only so many people interested in these guns. And there are only so many people that will pay out good money for them. And this crowd generally looks for clean ones. It does not appear to me that it has ever been refinished.
Is the rust on the one side the condition issue?
 

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Wow, nice find hope the timing & bore are in good shape it'll be a fun gun. The .38-40 is a fine ctg. originally named the 38WCF Winchester. It was very popular in the 73 Winchester, the Colt SAA, & the 92 Winchester. It's ballisticlly almost identicle to the
.40 S&W & the bullet diameter is the same. It's a fine old ctg. It was originally loaded with a 180gr soft lead bullet & 40grs of black powder hence the 40 after 38, it was highly reguarded in the 1800s as a defence & hunting ctg.
congratulations, enjoy.
 

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I agree that to estimate the cost, you need to know the condition of the internal parts of the revolver. They are the ones that are most important. External traces of rust are a trifle, but the general suitability of the revolver for use is a completely different matter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree that to estimate the cost, you need to know the condition of the internal parts of the revolver. They are the ones that are most important. External traces of rust are a trifle, but the general suitability of the revolver for use is a completely different matter.
Oh great news, i really think the internals will be in excellent condition. What should i take out to take pictures of to show you from the internals? Just cylinder and barrel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree that to estimate the cost, you need to know the condition of the internal parts of the revolver. They are the ones that are most important. External traces of rust are a trifle, but the general suitability of the revolver for use is a completely different matter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow, nice find hope the timing & bore are in good shape it'll be a fun gun. The .38-40 is a fine ctg. originally named the 38WCF Winchester. It was very popular in the 73 Winchester, the Colt SAA, & the 92 Winchester. It's ballisticlly almost identicle to the
.40 S&W & the bullet diameter is the same. It's a fine old ctg. It was originally loaded with a 180gr soft lead bullet & 40grs of black powder hence the 40 after 38, it was highly reguarded in the 1800s as a defence & hunting ctg.
congratulations, enjoy.
The timing seems perfect. I’m no expert in revolvers but with slow hammer pull the cylinder locks in place right as the hammer is pulled completely back. It’s definitely not fast, it’s either on time or a little slow.
 

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Kind a' looks like a 4 1/2-inch which was a standard length Colt offered in the New Service.

That revolver is way cool in my estimation. Sure condition is used and with a bit of surface neglect, but it's still attractive. I'd love to have it, in that chambering and in that barrel length. I'd shoot the hooey out of it. I love the .38-40 cartridge and the New Service revolver is my very favorite model of Colt revolver of all, over Single Action Armies, over Pythons, over Detective Specials. Used to have a 4 1/2-inch .38-40 that was a near twin to that one. It shot a treat and I handloaded for it and enjoyed it at the range and in the field. I rue the day I traded it away for what I cannot now recall. I'd love to be wealthy and go down a collecting tangent of New Service revolver variants. Only have two now, both U. S. military contract variants, one in .45 Colt and one in .45 ACP.

Did I ever mention that I really like Colt New Service revolvers? A most elegant and stately revolver from another age.
 

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Kind a' looks like a 4 1/2-inch which was a standard length Colt offered in the New Service.

That revolver is way cool in my estimation. Sure condition is used and with a bit of surface neglect, but it's still attractive. I'd love to have it, in that chambering and in that barrel length. I'd shoot the hooey out of it. I love the .38-40 cartridge and the New Service revolver is my very favorite model of Colt revolver of all, over Single Action Armies, over Pythons, over Detective Specials. Used to have a 4 1/2-inch .38-40 that was a near twin to that one. It shot a treat and I handloaded for it and enjoyed it at the range and in the field. I rue the day I traded it away for what I cannot now recall. I'd love to be wealthy and go down a collecting tangent of New Service revolver variants. Only have two now, both U. S. military contract variants, one in .45 Colt and one in .45 ACP.

Did I ever mention that I really like Colt New Service revolvers? A most elegant and stately revolver from another age.
I am a pretty big fan of them myself. I managed to pick up a pair of them that had actually gone over there, likely for the first World war. They date to 1913 and 1915 respectively. Aside from being nickeled at some point they are in pretty good shape. They are chambered in .455 Eley which I have not only been able to procure factory ammo for from Fiochi. But I now have the means to load ammo for it myself. It appears from the paperwork that I also acquired with them that some chap was able to procure them from an Iron monger for the princely sum of 4 lb. Sterling long about 1951. I am really glad that they did not get turned into Rebar. Interestingly enough the chap that acquired them about 1951 never apparently obtained the also required permit to posses ammunition for them.
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Am so grateful that those two weren't turned into rebar. Neato paperwork too. They'd be great in .455.

I load for .455 too. Have used the Fiocchi stuff, but am not impressed with case life for handloading purposes.






Here are the two New Service revolvers here.

Top one is a Model 1909. Acquired years ago from an old gun club friend who had it since 1920 when his dad mustered it out of the San Antonio Arsenal and gave it to him.

Bottom one is a Mode 1917 I've had since I was young. I've likely fired more rounds through it than any other Colt revolver I've ever had.
 

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That is the prettiest 1909 I have ever seen. Most were used hard in the Philippines.
It is one of the nicest New service guns period that I have seen. A couple of real gems there bmc. Mine are actually somewhat cleaner than they look in the pictures. Nickel is tough to photograph well. More importantly the hard rubber grips are in really good shape. The .455 Webley Mk II round is pretty cool also. At a smoking 630 FPS you can almost shoot it without ear protection. I was able to get some brass from Starline that holds up pretty well. And I found a source for the 262 grain bullets as well. Another forum member sent me some load data a few years ago.
 
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