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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the weekend, I picked up this M1892 Colt .38 DA. I've been wanting one for a long time and the price was right so I went for it. Overall the condition is decent, I've certainly seen better but this one is not bad. I was hoping someone here could point me towards finding about when it was produced and whether or not it might have been issued to the Army. Any help would be appreciated.

Also, I know its probably a long shot, but if anyone knows where I could get a Lanyard Loop I would be very grateful. Thanks in advance.
 

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Markings on the butt, indicate army issue. I have lanyard loops for the Model 1917 S&W. The stud is shorter than the ones made for the 1917 Colt, but, they do work, with a half round pin. I assume the 1892 uses a similar loop?
 

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The 1892 Colt (with a number of similar variants every few years that received their own model numbers) was adopted in 1892, but I bet you figured that out already.

The .38 round was just not a very good 'man stopper' and the gun and the round got a bad reputation because during the 1899 Philipine Insurrection for its inability to reliably 'anchor' the rebels shot with it. This problem led the army to re-issue the .45 1873 revolver.

Mechanically, the counerclockwise cylinder rotation of the 1892's is open to criticism because of the stress that it puts on the cylinder crane which will eventually lead to looseness and cylinder misalignment as it ages.

The 1892 (and its similar 'successors') was considered standard until at least 1909 when the Army went back to a .45 Colt revolver (the 1909 Colt New Service) for the interim period until the 1911 was fully developed.
 

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You can check the production years here:

http://proofhouse.com/colt/

Note that these guns are NOT made to fire modern .38 Special ammo. You have to either buy Cowboy loads of the original .38 Long Colt, or load very light loads using .38 Special brass and the larger caliber .38 bullets used in the Long Colt.

Also, treat it very gently. These are complicated, fragile actions that break or get out of order easily. Break it and it's pretty much toast.... no parts, and almost no gunsmith will touch it.
 

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You can check the production years here:

http://proofhouse.com/colt/

Note that these guns are NOT made to fire modern .38 Special ammo. You have to either buy Cowboy loads of the original .38 Long Colt, or load very light loads using .38 Special brass and the larger caliber .38 bullets used in the Long Colt.

Also, treat it very gently. These are complicated, fragile actions that break or get out of order easily. Break it and it's pretty much toast.... no parts, and almost no gunsmith will touch it.
Yours is a Model 1894 as indicated on the butt but not in the first set of contracts which were in the 60,000 serial range. It has been rebuilt later, probably by Springfield Armory since it has lanyard ring (which would make it a Model 1901). As I understand it, Colt would upgrade the model number on a contract rebuild but Springfield Armory would not when such work was undertaken. During WWI, Remington contracted to rebuilt a bunch of these but adding lanyard rings were not necessarily part of rebuild. There's usually another inspector mark on left side of the frame on the WWI rebuilds. (Service troops and Navy personnel were still issued these revolvers at that time.)
I believe fragility of this action is a bit overstated although I also believe the later action of the Army Special/Official Police (in this frame size) is more durable. It is certainly more robust than the 1878 Lightning type action. Also note that Colt considered the action adequate for the .38 Special. The last variation (next to rare USMC version) was the Model 1903 which had .38 Special size bore for better accuracy with no other changes to the gun. The original .38 Long Colt used a heel type bullet so the bore diameter was slightly larger. The real concern is firing .357 Magnums in it, which I believe will chamber.

Having stuck up for the gun a bit, it is true that military rebuilt a lot of them (reinforcing the delicate action issue) and I imagine parts are about unobtainable. Colt hasn't made a double action revolver of this type since Python dropped out of production so most gunsmiths today probably aren't very familiar with it.

Neat piece!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the comments and help everyone, that ProofHouse website is exactly what I was looking for. I think I will play it safe and look for some Cowboy Action loads, I'm not is any huge hurry to shoot if, though I definitely will sometime.
 
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