Re: Value of 1897 Colt Automatic 38
The value would be greater if the gun had the original sight safety, but most were altered by the factory to the configuration shown. The rear sight sits at the rear of the slide and is pivoted downward to lock the firing pin.
The rear sight safety seems to have been Colt's idea; JMB didn't much believe in manual safeties on hammer guns, apparently feeling that the half cock was sufficient. In any event, it didn't last long.
FWIW, the gun was made in 1900.