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This is my father's revolver, he got it awhile ago when my grandfather passed away and we essentially know nothing about it. It is a Colt police positive special in 38 special. the serial number is in the 674 thousand range and we can't find any other information like a date on it. There is a horse (with two spears?) beneath the hammer on the left sideplate, and a small triangular stamp in front of the trigger guard. The grips, although they could have been changed are smooth and a dark brown wood.
The insides of the grips are scratched with the roman numerals V and VII.
There was stamping on the bottom of the butt which I wish I could make out, but someone did a very good job of obliterating it with a bunch of V shaped stamps over the top
Overall it's in pretty good condition with a beautiful glossy blue, worn away some on the end of the barrel and the heelstrap
 

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Here's a site that has year produced by serial number for Colt's:

http://proofhouse.com/colt/

The tiny triangle is "VP" in a triangle, which is Colt's "Verified Proof" that the gun passed proof testing.
The Pony is knocking away spears to protect it's fallen rider. This is Colt's famous brand stamp from the Colt family coat of arms.

From 1907 to about 1923 Colt used hard black "Gutta Percha" rubber grips with molded in checkering and Colt logos. After that they used checkered American walnut grips with Silver Colt medallions.

Butt stamps are typically police department, guard company, or factory security identification stamps applied after the gun left the factory.

If you want to spend the money, you can buy a historical letter from Colt. This will show how the gun was set up when it was shipped. It will show the model, barrel length, caliber, when it was shipped, how many guns were in the shipment, and who it was shipped to. It will also list any custom or non-standard features.
http://www.coltsmfg.com/archive.aspx
 

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More knowledgeable collectors say that a factory letter for a post 1950s gun usually states to what wholesaler the gun was shipped, nothing more.
More often than not - that is what you have with a gun in the latter part of the 19th century on into the 20th as well..
 

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i can tell you the Colt PP has about the nicest trigger on any old gun you'll find, at least mine does.
 
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