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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my nickel plated Colt 1908 .25 Automatic that I recently acquired from an estate sale. Was wondering if you guys could help me date it as well as establish a value based on its condition. I'm not sure how to distinguish between a gun in Excellent or Very Good or Good condition. I tried my best to take some photos but I found it near impossible to get a good shot without the glare bouncing off the nickle plating. I know some of the photos with the flash make the gun look like its covered with tiny scratches but that is really not the case. I tried to show the only eye sores which is some pitting located on the shell extractor and some on the grip safety. I certainly would appreciate any help I could get. Let me know if you need more information or if you have any tips on taking better photos without the glare. Thanks.
 

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The gun is aftermarket plated. The grips are real pearl.
It is neither excellent, nor very good condition. It is refinished.
 

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It does look like aftermarket nickel plating. To a dyed-in-the-wool collector, refinishing destroys collector interest and becomes classed as a 'shooter'. That does not destroy desirability of it because it would be of serious interest to the average non-collector person.
As a gun to shoot or for protection it appears in VGE (very good to excellent) condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys...but how can you tell that the nickle plating is aftermarket? And what would be a fair asking price with that being the case.
 

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Per Flayderman's Guide, "Blued finish was standard; fair number in nickel plating." Value is listed at $250 for very good, $500 for excellent. That would be for the standard blued model - nickel value not listed, but undoubtedly higher.

There is no mention of pearl grips - just either hard rubber or checkered walnut, both with COLT markings. I don't think the grips are original. Notice their fit and the teltale markings probably left by slightly larger, original grips. Remove the grips and post photos of the frame. Not sure what non-original grips, even if pearl, would do to the value. For me, it would reduce what the value would be otherwise.

Production ended with serial no. 409061, so this one is very late.
 

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There are several edges and areas that instead of being sharp and clean seem to be smoothed over. There also seems to be slight dishing around the pin holes. I believe the factory also plated the trigger on the 1908. These tell-tell signs are an indication of being buffed outside the factory. The grips are not original but are real MOP and they them self may be worth quite a few pennies.
 

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I see no reason to think the grips are not factory Colt. They certainly offered them.
Your grips should bring $100+ by themselves.
 

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Colt did offer just about every thing you wanted or thought you wanted for the
vest pocket. There was a amazing variation of grips and other options for this popular gun, but all th special factory grips I've seen, including the ones on the Colt collector site, had the Colt coin. Ivory, MOP, Horn, Fancy Wood, The standard black grips Had Colt embossed across them. But, I could be wrong, been wrong before and I know I'll be wrong again.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here are some more photos with the grips off and the slide off. The grips may not be the originals that came on the gun but I don't see where there is any signs of wear from any previous grips that may have been. Also for what it's worth, there is an "X" above a "W" stamped inside the slide.
 

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FWIW, I don't think it is nickel plating, I think it is chrome, which the factory never offered. Further, as noted by others, the gun was rusted, then the rust buffed off and the gun plated.

Look at the second and third pictures under #11, and you can see the pitting on the frame that was plated over. Also look at the grip safety in the third picture; there are rough areas from the rust that was cleaned off. That part, as well as the safety, should be color case hardened.

I can't comment on the pearl grips without seeing them; there are several kinds of synthetic grips that can pass for mother of pearl in a picture.

My valuation is around $200, but if the grips are MOP, then add $100.

Jim
 
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