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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have inherited a Colt 38 caliber revolver from my father and it is in good condition

I believe the model number is - US Army 1901 .

The serial number is - 152548

On the left side of the barrel it’s engraved :
Colt DA 38

Behind the cylinder and under the barrel it’s engraved :
E 4

On the latch it’s engraved :

On the back of the cylinder it’s engraved :
R.A.C. 4459 P C

If possible I'd like to know when it was manufactured, any history about the gun, possibly what it might be worth and any other information that might be pertinent.

6 Posts
Serial Number Data
Select Colt Dbl Action from left column, then ... 1901 .... New Army and Navy Models.
Notice there's a difference between 38 S&W and 38 Special
Here's a quote from another member
"Like all Colt military revolvers of that time, the grips were smooth walnut, not hard black rubber as I stated.
The hard black rubber grips with molded in checkering and Colt logos were used on the commercial models.

If your 1901 New Army & Navy is a military revolver, the actual serial number is on the butt, in two lines
You'll find other numbers on various parts. These are factory assembly numbers.
During manufacture some parts are fitted as assemblies before a serial number was assigned and stamped.
In order to keep these fitted parts together during manufacture, an assembly number was stamped on them.
Once the gun had the official serial number stamped, the factory assembly numbers ceased to have any meaning.

If original, the barrel length will be 6", the grips will be smooth walnut, the finish will be blued, and the caliber will be in .38 Long Colt.
NOTE: Even though these guns will usually chamber the .38 Special, they were not made to handle the higher pressures of the .38 Special, and the gun should NOT be fired with modern .38 Special ammo.
If you want to shoot it and it's in good enough condition to allow it, you need to buy .38 Long Colt ammo from the cowboy ammunition makers, or make up special very light loads with .38 Special cases.
Note too that the .38 Long Colt bullet is a larger diameter than .38 Special with a "heeled bullet" similar to the .22LR.

These Colt New Army & Navy revolvers have complicated, fragile actions and they break and get out of order easily. Virtually no gunsmith will even attempt repairs, and no new parts are available. Due to the complicated, hand fitted action, used parts will usually not be able to be used for repairs.

Bottom line, due to the fragile action and cost of suitable ammo, these old Colt's are better as historical display guns, not shooters."
.38 S&W - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
.38 Special - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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