1911Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A relative on my wife's side of the family has a friend who unfortunately just passed away, and left a few guns behind.

I didn't see the gun yet, and my (uncle-in-law??:D ) does not have much knowledge about firearms. I tried to get the best description I could over the phone for now.....

He says it's a 5 shot snub nose .38 special Airweight. It does have a hammer, and he said it's black........model 37??

I asked if "Airweight" was written on the right side, and he said "no", it was PRINTED. I never payed much attention to the older Airweights. Because of the print, I'm assuming that this could be an older model?!?

Were the older Airweight models made with aluminum frames?


There is also another gun that interested me. He said it's a Colt .38....."and it has a clip". I was going to say "No, it's actually called a..........oh, nevermind, it really doesn't matter anyway :D". I asked if it was a .38 Super....he didn't have that gun with him at the time....he just wrote down "38". I told him to get the gun and write down everything that's written on the slide, and also the serial number.
After I recieve the info, I will come back here to post it for all you Colt gurus to lend some much needed knowledge on what exactly this thing is, and maybe what it's worth.

I appreciate any feedback. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,836 Posts
The revolver sounds like a Model 37, the Chiefs Special Airweight; they did have the word "AIRWEIGHT" stamped into the barrel. The frame is aluminum alloy. The Model 37 weighed 14 oz., about 5 oz. less than the equivalent steel Model 36.

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,029 Posts
the colt is more than likely in 38 super, however I believe they did make a few gold cups in 38 special in the 50's or 60's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,310 Posts
Sgt Gravy:

Don't forget to come back and tell us all about those guns, now, especially that .38 "with a clip"!:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Wasn't the precurser to the 38 Super, the .38 ACP? I think so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
You're right, the .38 ACP preceded the .38 Super, but in 1929. If you are a betting man, bet on the Colt being .38 Super. The ACP would be an oddball, as would the wadcutter guns.
Have fun.
Moon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
628 Posts
Oddball? Colt put plenty of .38acp pistols on the market before the super came out. Almost 30 years worth or production.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Colt introduced the .38 Auto (also known as the .38 ACP) in 1900, along with the Colt .38 Automatic Pistol, which was designed by Browning. Colt hoped that this combination would be accepted by the US military as the replacement for the .38 Long Colt service revolver then in use. However, the military decided that they wanted a .45 caliber service pistol, so Colt and Browning had to go back to the drawing board. The result of course, was the 1911 pistol and the .45 ACP cartridge, but that is another story.

The .38 Auto is probably most often associated with the Colt Model 1902 pistol, which sold fairly well in the civilian market. The .38 Auto was factory loaded with a 130 grain FMJ bullet at a muzzle velocity (MV) of 1040 fps and muzzle energy (ME) of 310 ft. lbs. Factory loaded ammunition was available almost to the end of the 20th Century. The .38 Auto is listed in the ammo section of my 1995 Gun Digest with a footnote that it had been discontinued.

So, my bet is that it is either a Colt Auto Pistol (1900 or 1902) in 38 ACP or a 1911 38 Super.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I will get to see both of these guns over the New Year holiday.

I've actually been thinking about getting an Airweight (shot my Dad's a few times), so if this one is decent, I'm going to buy it.
I used to have 2 model 60's a few years back....one 2 in. and a 3 in. with the adj sights....I miss that one!

Oh....the Colt!

After getting some info from SamColtFan on the Colt forum;) , and after doing some searching, I came accross a website called Coltautos.com (pretty cool site). Between the two, it sounds like it is a......

Model 1903 Pocket Hammer Pistol, 1 of 900 made in 1918, blued, 4 1/2 inch barrel. Chambered in 38acp?? I never heard of 38acp. That's why I thought it was a 38super.

My next step is to find out how much it's worth. Like I said, I have yet to hold it and see it in front of me. I'm told it is in very nice shape. They seem to range between $1000.00 and $1800.00 from what I've seen so far.

I don't think I would be interested in buying this one (I would rather get another Wilson:D ), but I'm doing this research as a favor, and I think it's cool that I get to learn in the process about an older gun you don't get to see too often.

Have a good holiday! Sgt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
628 Posts
.38acp models:
There were model 1900s and they bring good money as they were only made from 1900 to 1903.
Model 1902s which also bring good money , but not as much as the 1900. They were built from 1902 to 1908.
The most popular was the model 1903. The one you are refering to is a special version of it, but mainly you see Model 1903 Pockets. The .38acp model (there was also a .32acp model) was built from 1903 to 1929. The prices for these pistols are much more reasonable ranging in the $500 to $800 unless in exceptional condition and then they can get over $1000. Alot of specimens have very worn bluing as they were pocket pistols and were very popular in it's day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
Majic-
Just playing the odds; assumed that the Super was the more likely to show up.
Anyway, are we talking a .380 Auto (9mm Kurz) or the .38 ACP, which was dimensionally identical to the .38 Super?
Presume, since it sounds like an '03, it is the less common .380 version. Sort me out.
Moon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
628 Posts
Well the odds depended on if it was a recent or old Colt (keeping in mind that the Colt GM is an old design, but the newest sucessfull model). Newer Colts and I agree it's probably a super, but if it was an older model then most likely it was a .38acp.
The .38acp was boosted in 1929 to create the .38 Super. The same cartridge just loaded hotter.
The Pocket model line died out (except in .32 chambering) in 1929 because the Super was developed and the older pistols couldn't handle the higher pressure of the Super. The GM then was chambered in that cartridge as it was a stronger design.
Colt has made special limited runs of models all thru their history and these models do carry premium prices, so the price given by Sgt. Gravy is valid. Research is neded to reveal exactly what was unique for it to be a 1 in 900 model. It could be caliber, but also could be other differences.

And we are talking about the .38acp and not the .380acp with the shorter case.

a Safe and Happy Holidays to all
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
On the one side of the slide it says,

Calibre 38 rimless & smokeless

aka .38 automatic Colt (38acp), not 38 super, or 380acp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
All- okay, got it now; Gummint Model chambered for the predecessor of the .38 Super. Yes?
Majic, you must hang out at better gun shows than I do; can't remember the last .38 Auto I've even SEEN, and I have been on the hunt for an older GM. Don't dispute they are out there; I just haven't SEEN 'em.
Thanks, and Merry Christmas to all.
Moon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
628 Posts
I actually had a pretty good head start on old Colts Halfmoonclip. My grandfather and his buddies had 1903s and loved them. I got to shoot a few of them. Now this was when I was just a little runt back in the early 60's. I have always seen them around from time to time, but most look like they have been thru hell and back and are over looked at shows (hint: look closely at the tables full of what looks like junk and old worn out, beat up handguns). One in excellent condition would be a rare find. Your best bet at one today would probably to keep your eyes open for estate sales. Many 1903s have went from pocket pistols to dresser drawer pistols that grandparents have put away only to surface again after they are gone. Which is exactly how Sgt. Gravy ran into this one.

http://www.auctionarms.com/search/displayitem.cfm?itemnum=5232092

http://www.gunbroker.com/auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=14560369
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
Actually have a pretty presentable '03 in 7.65; probably 95% finish, 'tho the bore is a little rough from corrosive ammo. Darn thing shoots straight with ball, but throw Silvertips clean off the paper.
An old Gummint Model is something else again. And I'd like to find a good '08 .25 Auto, but the prices on '03s and '08s have gone nuts, telling you something I think you know! I won't even talk about clean old Gummints; even WWII GI ones are crowding a grand for a good one.
Scrounging for stuff is the fun, of course.
Moon
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top