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hello my father has a gun that reads colt d.a. 41 on the barrel and has 148 and 197 on the bottom of the handle and 785 on the cylinder release. we are not sure if this gun is as a old as it proclaims because it was not bought by a dealer, but it also has inscriptions on the inside of the handle that reads "Bob f." "Killed 4" "w.y" "Sorry mom" "1897" and has 4 notches. We are not really savvy in guns and were wondering if anybody had a clue as to what all that means and whether this gun could really be that old. Thank you
 

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We really need pictures, but the only two guns I can think of that would have those markings would be Colts, the Model 1877 and the Model 1892. Both reached serial number 148197 but not until after 1900. So that gun does not date to 1897 (though the model was introduced earlier).

The marking is interesting, though, and I would wonder if it was just a way to "enhance" an old gun that may have been of little worth. The marking on the cylinder release is an assembly number.

Jim
 
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