Value of 1897 Colt Automatic 38

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by wfbusmc, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. wfbusmc

    wfbusmc New Member

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    I have a Colt pistol that has been in the family for some time. I'm considering selling it and would like to know the approximate value.
    It says on the pistol: Automatic Colt Calibre 38 Rimless Smokeless
    Browning Patent PATD April 20, 1897 Colt's Patent Firearms Mfg Co. Hartford Conn. The serial number is 538. Overall condition is good.

    Thanks.

    Bill
    USMC Retired

    Attached Files:

  2. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    Bill, you have a standard civilian production Colt Model 1900. According to the Standard Catalog of Firearms, in excellent condition these are valued at about $7500, but due to its condition yours is worth around $1250.

    WW
    USN Retired
  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    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.

    Jim
  4. wfbusmc

    wfbusmc New Member

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    WW and Jim, thanks for your fast responses.

    wfbusmc USMC Retired
  5. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    I would think that 538 is very low serial number and the right collector might pay a premium for it, I know I would like to have it.
  6. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    nice, i'd like to have one like that in my collection
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    There were only 4274 made, so they all are low serial number.

    FWIW, if you decide to field strip that gun, be aware that the slide lock (wedge) is removed by pressing in on the concave takedown bushing under the muzzle. Push it in and the wedge comes right out to the left. Do not try driving the wedge out!

    Jim
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