Title: Colt New DA Army Model 1901 .38 L.C. Double Action Revolver, Antique
Model: New DA Army Model 1901
Serial Number: 106815
Year of Manufacture: 1898 (see assessment for explanation)
Caliber: .38 Long Colt
Action Type: Single and Double Action Revolver with Swing-Out Cylinder
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “COLT D.A. 38”. The top of the barrel is marked “Colt’s PT. F.A. Mfg. Co. Hartford CT. U.S.A. / Patented Aug.5.1884 Nov.6.88 MAR.5.95”. The bottom of the grip frame is marked “U.S. / Army / Model / 1901” and No / 106 / 815”. The cylinder latch is marked “K” and “6815”. The crane cut is marked “E” and “6815”. There are no markings on the crane. The left rear shoulder of the frame is marked “R.A.C.” (Rinaldo A. Carr). The rear face of the cylinder is marked “K.S.M.” (Kelly S. Morse). The right side plate is not marked. The underside of the barrel is marked “R.A.C.” and what appears to be “R”.
Barrel Length: 6”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a half round blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “U” groove in the top strap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut with nickel plated Rampant Colt medallions at the top of each grip (these are not original – they should be smooth walnut without medallions). The grips show small compression marks on the bottoms. The left grip shows light wear in the checkering with a spot of moderate wear along the bottom edge. The right grip shows moderate wear with heavy wear at the bottom edge. The grips are shy of the grip frame at the front strap and the back strap. The grips rate in about Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the barrel.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 40% of its finish. The barrel shows surface loss on its sides with handling marks and numerous compression marks along its length. The front sight also shows surface loss with tiny compression marks on its top edge. The frame shows a large divot out of top left front, with deep compression marks in front of the cylinder on the left side and on the left side of the top strap. The top and bottom edges of the frame show compression marks on both sides, and the sides show scratches, compression marks and thinning. The front strap and backstrap show surface loss and multiple compression marks. The cylinder shows surface loss and handling marks with finish still left in the flutes. The cylinder has a drag line that appears only as a slightly bright line on the polished surface of the cylinder. The screw heads are disfigured, and there is a screw in front of the side plate that extends out from the frame. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions in both single and double action modes. The cylinder lockup is Solid on all six chambers. The hammer is stiff in both single and double action and the crane is a little stiff to swing in and out. We did not fire this handgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: The COLT NEW DA ARMY/NAVY model first began manufacture in 1892 and was made for both services with walnut stocks and sold commercially with black rubber grips. It underwent several changes for improvements and had six different models: 1892, 1894, 1895, 1896 and 1903. However, the largest complaint was not in its mechanics but with its chambering in .38 Long Colt as used by the Army. Reports from the Philippines campaign regarding the poor performance of the M1892's .38-caliber ammunition (users complained that the .38 bullet repeatedly failed to stop charging enemy tribesmen at close ranges, even when hit multiple times) caused the U.S. Army to hurriedly issue stocks of .45 caliber revolvers, and played a central role in its decision to replace the M1892 with the .45 Colt M1909 New Service revolver in 1909. This New DA Army began life in 1898 as an 1896 model in .38 Long Colt and was modified to 1901 condition before being issued to the Army. This pistol has lost most of its finish and has numerous compression marks on all surfaces except the cylinder. The grips have been replaced and one of the frame screws protrudes from the frame. Although it has some cosmetic issues, it does have its original finish and the bore and cylinder lock-up are outstanding for a 100 year old revolver. This is sure to find its way into a Colt collection and would be a great starter for someone just getting into collecting. If the buyer decides to shoot this revolver, they should be advised that although .38 Special cartridges will fit in the cylinder, the revolver was not made for such high pressures and only .38 Colt ammunition should be used.
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This Antique handgun CAN be transferred as a dealer sale in California and CAN be sold as a Private Party Transfer (PPT) at our Simi Valley shop. All cartridge firing handguns (even C&R's and antiques) sold to a California resident must be DROS'd. This does not apply to out of state residents.
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