A lucky find!

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by wonderwhippet, Apr 14, 2003.

  1. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    At a recent gun show I happened to be looking for one of the small Colt .380 pistols, as I thought it might be a good carry weapon. I was really not familiar with the various models which were made before they were discontinued, but I did know I would probably have to spend around $400. Anyway, I eventually spotted a pretty little Colt .380 in mint condition for $300, a very reasonable price. It was marked "Colt's Pony" and I had heard the name before, so I bought the pistol. At home I looked it up in the Blue Book, but could only find the "Colt Pony," not the "Colt's Pony." The listed model was DA only, while mine was a conventional SA automatic. I searched and searched, but could not find any reference to my pistol, so I contacted an official of the Colt Collector's Club. He told me that I had bought a very rare pre-production model which was never sold commercially. Less than 100 were made, and the last price he heard of was $2500! That sure was my lucky day!

  2. Boomatic

    Boomatic New Member

    Aug 21, 2002
    Tulsa, OK
    I always hear about stuff like this but it never...NEVER...happens to me.

    Nice goin', WW.

  3. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Is there any writing on the pistol as to where it was made?

    I believe that these were made by Echeverra, Star-Bonifacio SA in Spain.

    It looks exactly like a scaled-down Star PD.
  4. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    Colt's Pony

    The only markings are Colt's Patent Firearms, Hartford, Conn. However, it was made by FIE and here is some information sent to me by a Colt collector:

    “Actually, it's far rarer than you know...there were less than 100 of these guns made with full Colt markings and all were hand-assembled with many different types of internal experimental components; most affected either the recoil spring assembly and/or various forms of magazine safety designs. You should remove the grips and take photos of the sides of the frame and also check to see which recoil spring and recoil spring guide assembly were used. How do I know all this....I worked for the dealer who purchased some 40 of these very first guns direct from FIE, who had the original contract with Colt to design and import these guns. FIE ultimately sold several hundred of these guns, it's true...but not until all had the Colt markings removed and re-stamped with the FIE markings alone. Incidentally, the serial numbers began at 1000, so you have one of the earliest. Me...I had 1003 and 1005, but pissed them away in trades long ago. Good Luck..JM “
  5. A little clarification is in order here.

    FIE (Firearms Import & Export, out of Miami FL) had nothing to do with this pistol. The gun originated as the Star Model D (or DK) 'Starfire', and was made in Spain. A company named Firearms International (FI) out of Washington DC began importing the pistol for US sales and then tooled up to manufacture the pistol stateside around the time of GCA '68.

    Colt contracted for Firearms International to produce the gun under the Colt name, and it is true that less than 100 were actually marketed with the full Colt markings. The gun was sold commercially as the "FI Model D" until Iver Johnson bought the tooling and starting making them in Arkansas as the Iver Johnson Pony.

    An advanced Colt collector would pay dearly for a mint condition piece. I suppose $2500 would be possible, some of us have been known to lead with our wallets.
  6. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig New Member

    Apr 14, 2003
    I didn't know Iver Johnson was based in Arkansas.
  7. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

    Jan 10, 2003
  8. The NIB rating means a whole lot, value-wise. The box (and presumably all the accompanying paperwork) can add up to 50% or more to a rare gun. Huge difference between true NIB and 98%.

    I figure the 98% gun to be a realistic $1750 pistol, maybe $2000, possibly up to $2500 if all the planets are in alignment. A truly NIB gun to an advanced Colt collector would be a solid $2500 and if it were at a nationally advertised auction it would sell for maybe $1000 higher.

    I'd bet he'd take $2700 for it; if so you should buy it. That'd put you in the pair at $3K which would not be bad at all.
  9. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    Well, I could sell my house and buy a few of them. Better yet, I will try to pick up a couple more at $300 each at the next gun show.
  10. packet

    packet New Member

    Dec 14, 2002
    Way to go Wonderwhippet!!! A beautiful little piece. I feel your joy. Since the 70 series Colt I purchased recently for a bargain price, I just picked up a DWM , 1921 Luger, all matching, with unit markings, in 95% condition for $500.00 at a pawn shop. This has been my year for bargains, finally. Congrats to you.
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