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sspen003
04-18-2010, 10:40 AM
The pride and joy of my gun collection isnt actually my gun. My great-great Grandfather served in the Spanish American war and kept his service revolver. It is still in the family in my grandfather possesion. He recently aquired it from his brother. Anyways I have never seen this pistol in person by my father has and he assured me that the picture below is an exact representation of the pistol.

I thought at first before finding the picture it was an old Colt SAA, but it turns out to be a Colt DA in 38. We have the Original bullets for the weapon, and it still has the original wood grips. The problem is that all the serial numbers have been removed from the weapon, possibly to get it out of the Army.

Any ideas what this thing might be worth or how rare it is? I have been drooling about this gun since I have been a kid. I will see it in person in a few months


http://i639.photobucket.com/albums/uu118/sspen003/411clt92wl.jpg

littlejake
04-18-2010, 11:04 AM
I recommend that it never be brought into CA. Federal Law may also have something to say about an obliterated serial number... you can look into that.

CA Penal Code:

ARTICLE 5. OBLITERATION OF IDENTIFICATION MARKS

* 12090. Any person who changes, alters, removes or obliterates the name of the maker, model, manufacturer's number, or other mark of identification, including any distinguishing number or mark assigned by the Department of Justice on any pistol, revolver, or any other firearm, without first having secured written permission from the department to make such change, alteration or removal shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison.
* 12091. Possession of any pistol or revolver upon which the name of the maker, model, manufacturer's number or other mark of identification has been changed, altered, removed, or obliterated, shall be presumptive evidence that the possessor has changed, altered, removed, or obliterated the same.

Tallship
04-18-2010, 11:12 AM
It looks to be an 1892 or 1896 Army. Good = $800, VG = $2000. Not that rare, Colt made 291,000 of them.

Argonaut
04-18-2010, 12:11 PM
I recommend that it never be brought into CA. Federal Law may also have something to say about an obliterated serial number... you can look into that.

CA Penal Code:

ARTICLE 5. OBLITERATION OF IDENTIFICATION MARKS

* 12090. Any person who changes, alters, removes or obliterates the name of the maker, model, manufacturer's number, or other mark of identification, including any distinguishing number or mark assigned by the Department of Justice on any pistol, revolver, or any other firearm, without first having secured written permission from the department to make such change, alteration or removal shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison.
* 12091. Possession of any pistol or revolver upon which the name of the maker, model, manufacturer's number or other mark of identification has been changed, altered, removed, or obliterated, shall be presumptive evidence that the possessor has changed, altered, removed, or obliterated the same.


That is not correct.......This is a Pre-1898 pistol (Spanish American war was over in 1898) so it is not even considered a firearm. Many guns in it's vintage never had serial numbers. I have owned several, Yours has more value because of the provenance. It is not very difficult to recover serial numbers these days. The metal under the stamp retains a memory of what was taken off. Colt will have records on it. A lot of soldiers in those years carried there own non issue handguns, the Colt M1892-96 was an issue gun, but many were sold commercially. The mechanism on these guns proved to be fragile and they are usually in need of timing and spring work. Wonderful old girl. These were the guns that the Marines replaced in the Philippines with Colt 45's because they were ineffective against the Moro warriors.

littlejake
04-18-2010, 12:23 PM
That is not correct.......This is a Pre-1898 pistol (Spanish American war was over in 1898) so it is not even considered a firearm. Many guns in it's vintage never had serial numbers. I have owned several, Yours has more value because of the provenance. It is not very difficult to recover serial numbers these days. The metal under the stamp retains a memory of what was taken off. Colt will have records on it. A lot of soldiers in those years carried there own non issue handguns, the Colt M1892-96 was an issue gun, but many were sold commercially. The mechanism on these guns proved to be fragile and they are usually in need of timing and spring work. Wonderful old girl. These were the guns that the Marines replaced in the Philippines with Colt 45's because they were ineffective against the Mowry warriors.

I think the OP might want to get a legal opinion on that. CA follows federal law for pre 1899 guns as antiques for the purpose of transfer. However, CA treats a pre 1899 handgun the same as a modern arm for the purpose of enforcing loaded and concealed carry.

Granted, many pre 1899 guns did not have serial numbers... the pivotal point is that if it did, it may be unlawful to alter or remove it from even a pre 1899 handgun.

Tallship
04-18-2010, 2:41 PM
I think the OP might want to get a legal opinion on that. CA follows federal law for pre 1899 guns as antiques for the purpose of transfer. However, CA treats a pre 1899 handgun the same as a modern arm for the purpose of enforcing loaded and concealed carry.

Granted, many pre 1899 guns did not have serial numbers... the pivotal point is that if it did, it may be unlawful to alter or remove it from even a pre 1899 handgun.

You basically answered your own question. For transferring and numbering or altering serial numbers, the rules of the 1968 GCA control, and it says your gun is an antique and not subject to the Act. However, for the purposes of carring and firing, California says that anything that expels a projectile by means of an explosion is a firearm, so CA stautes control those aspects of the gun, i.e. it is a firearm.