Colt 1895 Revolver Serial Number Lookup

03-01-2013, 09:19 AM #2
Junior Member

Location: Macho Grande, Kansas
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
Last edited by BulletBait; 03-01-2013 at 09:32 AM.

From 1895 - 1915 Colt had to use Winchester as an Export Agent! All serial numbers are matching, the patent dates are clear as is the barrel address.

The gun is a Colt New Navy revolver, made in 1896. The caliber is what we call the.38 Long Colt (not to be confused with the.38 S&W or the.38 Special). The serial number is on the grip (73086); the others are assembly numbers to keep hand fitted parts together in the manufacturing and assembly process. The nickel plating appears to be original, though flaking a bit. The same basic revolver was made for the military under several model year designations (Model 1892, Model 1894, etc.) and for the Navy on several contracts. Military contract guns are marked on the butt with military identification and have plain wood grips; civilian guns were unmarked except for serial number and have hard rubber grips. That gun is the civilian model, which was made in two versions, the 'Army model' and the 'Navy model'; the models were identical except for the grips.

The guns have a reputation for being fragile, with frequent parts breakage (especially in small springs) and parts are scarce to non-existent at this time. In addition, few gunsmiths today understand the action or are willing to work on the guns. Value for one in near new condition will run about $800 or so; yours would probably bring $150-200 tops. Yeah, I will. It is a Colt, I'm sure. The markings on the barrel are consistent with the descriptions I've seen, and the pictures match also.


38, for example although the '38' is very faint along the top half of the numbers and hard to make out. On top of the barrel is 'Colt's PT F AMFG CO HARTFORD CT U S A.' I can see only the period after the final 'A' on the USA, although the way they are spaced I assume there should be periods after each letter.

The second line reads 'PATENTED AUG. 6, 88 MAR 6, 05' as well as I can make out. Again, on the butt I can see absolutely no markings nor evidence of any. I suppose it's possible they wore off, but I can't see anything even with a magnifying glass. That last patent date should be MAR 5, 95. Sounds like you have a version of the New Army or New Navy double-action revolver.

Either way, there should be markings on the bottom of the grip frame. From the way you describe the markings it sounds like the revolver has been refinished and possibly heavily polished. Yep, that is what it is.

It has been reblued. There used to be markings on the butt of the gun.

The screws in the sideplate do not look correct and obviously the grip is broken. Specifically it appears to be the Model 1895 New Navy due to the Navy trident marking on the cylinder. The Firearms Forum is on online community for all gun enthusiasts.

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