Colt Banker’s Special Railway Mail Service RMS .38 S&W Revolver, 1931 C&R

SOLD FOR: $2652

LSB#: 210608MW11


Make: Colt


Model: Bankers Special – Post Office Railway Mail Service

Serial Number: 355218

Year of Manufacture: 1931 (

Caliber: .38 Colt Police Positive (.38 S&W, NOT .38 Special)

Action Type: Single and Double Action Revolver With Swing Out Cylinder

Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “38″, “BANKERS / SPECIAL”. The right side of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A. / PAT’D AUG.5.1884 JULY 4.1905 OCT.5.1926”. The crane cut and the crane are marked with the serial number. The side plate is marked with a “Rampant Colt” logo. The back strap is marked “R.M.S. P.O. DEPT.” and “25”. There is filing on the bottom of the back strap over the “25”. The butt strap is marked with the P.O. assigned number “No. 14391”. The bottom of the barrel, the bottom of the ejector star, the rear face of the cylinder under the ejector star, and the left side of the grip frame under the panel are marked “115”. The left trigger guard bow is marked “GWA”.

Barrel Length: 2”


Sights / Optics: The front sight is a round blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a square notch at the rear of the top strap. The edges of the topstrap groove are serrated for glare reduction.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two piece checkered walnut with silver-colored Colt medallions at their tops. The grips have considerable handling wear, particularly on the right panel. There is a small crack in the right panel just below the rampant colt medallion. There are scattered nicks, scratches, and dings. The checkering on the right panel is completely worn, on the left panel it is worn but visible. Overall, the grips are in about Fair condition.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original


Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright and the rifling is well defined. There are just a couple of small spots of erosion in the bore.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 83% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at most leading edges, most notable at the muzzle on each side and on the cylinder. There is some light pitting on the top strap. There are a few scattered minor nicks and scuffs with some scattered spots of faint surface oxidation. The action has minor operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are mostly clear, the “GWA” marking is difficult to make out. Overall, this revolver is in about Very Good condition.


Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The lockup on this revolver is SOLID, with no play when the trigger is depressed. The double action trigger is smooth, the single action is crisp. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This revolver comes in a one-piece hinged-lid black cardboard Colt box with paperwork and a cleaning rod. The box has scattered storage wear with fraying at edges and corners, in about Good-Very Good condition.

Our Assessment: This is a Colt Bankers Special Post Office Railway Mail Service issue and is a particularly rare piece. As stated on Old Colt, “The Railway Mail Service was a subunit of the United States Post Office. At the time the RMS was the biggest transporter of domestic mail by volume. They operated out of rail cars, sorting the mail en-route and exchanging mail at stations without coming to a complete stop. RMS clerks often transported large sums of money, including acting as escort to federal gold shipments. This made robbery a real and present danger, requiring the armament of the clerks. While a large number of armed clerks rode the rails, most of the issued revolvers were reportedly destroyed at the end of their service lives. This pistol does bear the inspector mark “GWA” on the left side trigger guard.  It is believed that this is the inspection mark of Col. George A. Woody who was believed to be stationed at Springfield Armory during this time period.” This example is in about Very Good condition with 83% original finish remaining. This is a rare piece that any collector would be lucky to win. Please see our photos and good luck!

Colt Banker's Special Railway Mail Service RMS .38 S&W Revolver, 1931 C&R
Colt Banker’s Special Railway Mail Service RMS .38 S&W Revolver, 1931 C&R