Colt & Charter Arms Value?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by ambermiddleton, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. ambermiddleton

    ambermiddleton New Member

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    I have inherited some guns from dad and can not seem to find much info on 2...
    1st one is a Colt .38 special police issue 3 or 4 inch barrel 6 shot revolver. Serial 743***pictures attached.

    2nd is a Charter Arms undercover .38 special 3 or 4 inch barrell 5 shot revolver. pictures attached
    serial# 840***
    Any info on these weapons would be appreciated thanks :)

    Attached Files:

  2. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum someone will be along to help u
  3. ambermiddleton

    ambermiddleton New Member

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  4. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    Your Colt is an "Official Police" model - that was just Colt's name for it, and does not mean they were all police guns. The Official Police was the medium sized Colt revolver, bigger than the Police Positive and smaller than the New Service. It was a bit bigger than the comparable Smith & Wesson, and its frame and mechanism were the basis for the later Colt Python in 357 Magnum.

    Your general version of the Official Police was made from the 1920's to the 1960's. Based on the front sight and the "Coltwood" plastic grips, I would say yours was made in the first few years after 1945. Colt did not use the plastic grips on guns for the civilian market for very long - they came to be seen as "cheap" rather than "modern". I think they may add value to your gun because they are somewhat scarce.

    I'm afraid I can't suggest a value for it. The finish is somewhat beat up, which makes it less appealing to Colt collectors.

    There is a Colt Collectors Forum:

    http://www.coltforum.com/forums/forum.php

    but I have never posted there.

    Your Charter Arms revolver looks quite minty, and judging from posts in this forum, collector interest in Charter guns - especially the early production guns - is increasing. Charter Arms ran into financial problems and quality dropped as time went on, but the early guns are well thought of.

    I realize the above does not answer your question, but I hope it helps. It is easy to find gun auction websites (the firearm equivalents of Ebay) with a quick Google search, and you may be able to find sale prices for similar guns that way.

    PS - Thanks for putting up photos! Other people here should be able to give you a more direct answer because of that.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  5. ambermiddleton

    ambermiddleton New Member

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    Thanks I really apppreciate the info. There is a gun show this weekend in my town and I will be taken them there to try and sale them. I just didnt know what a starting point on price should be. Thanks again
  6. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

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    The Colt was likely made in 1947; but is in rough shape with apparent rust on the barrel. Try taking a stainless steel scouring pad and some WD-40 (or similar material) and removing moving most of the crusty rust. Rub gently, using plenty of oil, and you should improve the appearance greatly.

    As to values selling at a gun show (which usually means to a dealer at one) you will likely see offers of $100 to $150 for the Charter and about $150 to $200 for the Colt. If you can find a show attendee who is looking for what you have; you might see as much a $250 for the Charter and $300 for the Colt.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  7. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    Hammerslagger, you know more about values than I do, but at the last few gun shows I went to, people were asking close to $300 for any lump of rust that used to be a Colt. Of course, I don't know what they were *getting*.

    For the Charter, sale by internet might be the way to go. People who like Colts are everywhere, but Charter Arms is still a specialized taste.
  8. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

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    Lanrezac is correct about asking prices at gun shops and especially gun shows.

    Asking prices for not in high demand, mundane condition or quality goods, are often wishful thinking as compared to what they can be had for when you show the dealer cash (not a credit card) in your hand.

    Just checked the "Big Two" internet auctions, and find the same thing just mentioned for Colt OP's. {That is $300 to $800, depending on rarity and condition; but, alas, no actual bids.}

    Depending on the state that you live in, selling at a gun show may be possible, individual to individual, but most sales are to dealers with a table(s) at the show. Dealers buy for resale and often expect (like) to double their money on used goods. Therefore, unless it is a really high demand or super valuable gun, you can expect to be offered about half of what the buyer hopes to resell it for and be able to pay his/her table rent and motel expenses.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
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