I have tried several times to post the picture of my old Colt to no avail. If it does not work this time I give up. I tried, I failed, I give up. Have a very good evening to all.
Please don't give up on posting a photo of your old Colt. It'd be nice to see some of these revolvers and have a discussion about them. I like the old Colt Army .38 despite its woeful shortcomings. It has mostly been ignored by collectors who lust over it's predecessor, the Colt Model 1873 and who revere its successor, the Model 1911. This relatively obscure Colt revolver was widely issued during a lively and interesting time in our American history and is available for collecting in a wide number of interesting revisions and variations.
Colt lock work of the 20th century is somewhat complicated but the lock work of the late 19th century Colt swing out cylinder models is absolutely fiendish! The design continued until 1907 when it was mercifully ended in favor of the much improved design of the Army Special. Despite the obviously fine workmanship and fitting, the design is absolutely the worst to have ever been fielded. I can't imagine that the U.S. Military of the late 1880s actually selected this turkey of a design as its issue handgun. Flimsy in the extreme, many parts perform multiple roles. One would think that this feature would cut down on the number of internal parts but nope, there's lots of stuff inside and some of it is strange looking indeed. It is powered by flat springs which perform multiple functions as well. And, these can't be simply adequate springs. They have to be able to double as leave springs for the rear suspension of a '54 GMC flat bed truck. The action is terribly stiff, unnecessarily so in my view and timing is frequently iffy. The first generation Smith & Wesson Model of 1899 is also powered by flat springs including the trigger return spring, but gives an action feel so light, smooth, and so positive that the later Smith & Wessons pale by comparison. The Colt gun is a clunker by comparison.
Still, nearly 300,000 of these revolvers were manufactured including both commercial and military contract guns. That's a pretty big chunk of handguns placed into use around the turn of the 20th century and many gave good service to soldiers, lawmen, and private individuals. Commercial models of this revolver design, in addition to being chambered for the .38 Long Colt, were available in .41 Long Colt and .32-20 and came in various barrel lengths.
The revolvers give a very graceful and elegant appearance. When aimed one-handed they balance well and feel "right" in the hand. Most of the production of the .38s apparently have a bore diameter of well over .360 so perform inaccurately when standard .358 diameter lead bullets are handloaded in the .38 Long Colt cartridge. My Model 1901 has a .362 diameter bore. Some of the later .38 Long Colt chambered revolvers have bore diameters revised to .358. I just load hollow based 148 grain wadcutters and my Model 1901 shoots decently accurate groups. It still has an awful, wretched feel about its action. It is a fun gun to take out on occasion for careful "exercise" at the range while considering the budding empirical ambitions of our nation at the beginning of the 20th century.
In its issue holster
The 89 through 1903 series New Army and Navy revolvers are beginning to have more attention paid to them than before. Many dealers seem to ask pretty pennies for them although buyers sometimes seem in short supply. Many of these guns (like mine) seem to have at least been carried a lot as there is little finish left. It does seem to me, with limited experience that this swingout Colt IS far loosser than later generation Colts including the New Service. (I personally have never seen a New Service that still doesn't lock up bank vault tight.)
Army did seem to have a love affair with Colt in the early 20th Century although the Navy and Army did buy about 3000 of the competing K frame Smith and Wessons to supplement the Colts. Otherwise the military stayed away from the swingout Smiths until World War I. Of course, military was bound and determined to buy automatics than any more revolvers, so that isn't really surprising.
Not that there is anything new in this post, but it IS nice to talk about these handguns.
noeleka, My Colt looks exactly like yours, color and all, with the exception of the grips, mine has a cartouche and the initials R.A.C. on both. My computer expert, my 13 year old grandson, says that I have a computer program problem that is the reason I am not able to attach pictures. He will correct it next time he comes over. I will be looking at another old Colt and a S&W revolver that was purchased in the early 50's after Christmas. The widow that owns both said the Colt was carried by her late husbands older brother during WWI. Until then, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
One interesting difference between our revolvers is that yours has cartouches. Mine only has the R.A.C. (Rinaldo A. Carr - Army officer and inspector) on the butt end of the walnut grips on either side of the lanyard swivel.
My computer expert grew up but has always acted as my consultant for all things computer related since he was not much older than 13 so I understand.