First Colt Revolver - 1920 Army Special! 38 SPC


Well-Known Member
First Colt Revolver! Lucked up and got a good one. Had been (STILL!) looking for one in 32-20. Told myself I was not going after a 38 until I got the 32-20. Specifically looking for Colt Army Special (preferred)/Colt Police Positive Special models. But this one in 38 SPC came along. Needed cpl of parts, knew I could get them. Got even luckier and LGS gunsmith had them and installed them. $205 in the gun. Expected wear, but the grips are original/both panels serial numbered to the gun AND no chips (I have ordered an aftermarket set to shoot with!)! And shoots great! Now to get that 32-20! Load is 4.5 gr Unique behind a 20:1 164 grn RN - what I had on-hand.

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Well-Known Member
A 164 gr bullet in a 32-20?

Nice looking revolver and it looks like she shoots well too
lol! NO - no 164 grn in a 32-20! THIS one is an Army Special in 38 SPC! And yes, 164 grn RN (as cast) in it! Prob ~160 grn Keith SWCs too.

Really want a 32-20 tho. And will get fed 98-115 grn cast!


Well-Known Member
that gun has probably seen more 162gr rn bullets than most people would believe.

the last one of these I seen was in 32-20 and I just about bought it, but the hand and advance pawl were both wore out on it.
if I'd have just bought it on the outer looks alone I'd have snapped it up.


High Steppes of Eastern Washington
These are very nice revolvers! I have one in 32/20 but looked for many years to find the one I have, not for sale. Have had several 38 Colt Specials and they are like yours, great shooters. The faster twist of the Colts let you shoot the heavy bullets at a moderate speed and get very good accuracy. BTW, the grips crack from the panels shrinking from age, not from shooting. But I too put later model grips on mine and keep the originals in the safe to keep them from drying out here in the desert. Roy Chapman Andrews took his to Mongolia in the 1920's on the great dinosaurs hunts and wrote about defending the party against Chinese bandits with his. Best wishes, Ric


St Lawrence river valley, NY
I too have an Army Special, mines in 32-20 and no where near as pretty as the one pictured. I've said for years I'm going to get the guts to mill out that hog wallow on top and stick a J frame Smith adjustable sight in there, but I fear it's wasted effort at this point with my eyes. I also have a later Officers Model Target in 38 Spec. This one wears the original Colt adjustable sights with a bead front sight and what I believe is a 7 or 7 1/2" barrel. Catalogs of the days don't list that length as a standard choice, but it's longer than my 6" Army Special. The bead front sight is terribly hard for me to shoot with , especially since the rear sight is tiny. But it hangs very nicely and shoots good when I do my part.


Well-Known Member
If your tired of that old colt already, I'll buy ya out. ;)
I won't be holding my breath.
LOL! Hardly! Just getting warmed up. Not even worked up a load for it. But, doesn't look like it will be picky!

And, like the cheap bastige I tend to be... Missed out on a 1920 Police Positive Special 32-20 - also 1920! on GB this morning. Because looked like it would turn into a bidding war, and I hate going down that path... Ended up going for $305 - so kicking myself in the 5th point of contact! dammit...


Well-Known Member
Good shooter.
Colts are very nice, but they have their issues. Unfortunately there are good reasons
that they are nearly extinct. I have several, I like them, but understand them, too.
A lot are superb shooters, like yours.



High Steppes of Eastern Washington
Number one is COST!! They were all hand fitted. Cylinder, throat and barrel specifications were great only for WC ammo. Timing is an issue if you really shoot them very often.


High Steppes of Eastern Washington
No, but remember that was an era when you could and were expected to send your handgun back to the factory for a "tune-up" every few thousand rounds. And they were happy to do that for you.