A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The "Pre-Python" Colt

One area of gun collecting that may be particularly lucrative to speculate on is the early double action Colt revolver. Before Smith & Wesson gained market share with the development of the cartridge round, Colt was the company to turn to for a handgun. While the Smith & Wesson M&P dominated the law enforcement market in the early 20th century, Colt soldiered on, manufacturing their own unique revolver. Colt's cylinder rotated clockwise, the same as the rifling in the barrel. The lockwork of the Colt was all handfitted. Click to enlargeTrigger feel was different between the Colt product and the Smith & Wesson. While shooting competitions advocated single action shooting of a double action revolver, Colt was the preference of many competitors. After competitions switched to more double action shooting, Smith & Wesson rose to prominence among competition shooters and those who follow such trends. The polish and fittment of the Colt product was second to none. And then, of course there was the Colt name.

Surprisingly, Colt revolvers from the first half of the 20th century can still be found in excellent condition for far less than what one might expect. Pictured here is a Colt Army Special in .38 Special purchased for $275 from Kay Clark-Miculek's place. It was produced in 1917. Next is a .38 S&W caliber Colt Police Positive, dating from 1923, with a cut down barrel for concealed carry. At $199, I probably paid more for it than I should have, but I found the revolver intriguing. Finally, from this era is a Colt Official Police in .22 LR. Made in 1937, I purchased this revolver, complete with Roper grips for a paltry $350.

Colt quit making double action revolvers in 2003. Speculation on Pythons and Diamondbacks have resulted in outrageous prices in the marketplace. Meanwhile, the earlier double action revolvers have flown under the radar. I do not expect that to last forever. The time to buy is now.

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Blogger skywriter said...

I'm still kicking myself for selling my Colt Python (recently re-blued). But I was in college and needed the $$. Great firearm.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They can have them...

I bought a Colt Police Positive in .32 S&W long for $100 at a pawn shop and swapped it even at a gun show for a nearly perfect S&W model 64 HB. Best trade I’ve ever made on a firearm.

I just don’t see the attraction for Colt Revolvers…

Just my opinion…..

11:04 AM  
Blogger MauserMedic said...

I traded an el-cheapo Hi Point 9x19 for a beater Colt in .38 S&W a number of years ago, as I thought it should have a good home. Unfortunately the cylinder needs a lot more work than I can afford to give it currently. Someday.....

8:59 PM  
Blogger Jay G said...

"The time to buy is now."

Could you do me a favor and put that in writing?

Not for me, mind you.

For my wife...


10:19 AM  

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