Colt .22 Bankers Special .22 LR 2 Inch Double Action Revolver & Letter, MFD 1933 C&R

Sold For: $3,886

Make: Colt 

Model: Bankers’ Special .22 

Serial Number: 368140 

Year of Manufacture: 1933 – First Year of .22 Production 

Caliber: .22 Short, Long and Long Rifle 

Action Type: Single and Double Action Revolver with Swing-Out Cylinder 

Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “’22” followed by “BANKERS / SPECIAL” while 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 is clearly marked “368140” while the crane cut is marked “T” / 368140 / A1M”, but the “A1M” is open to interpretation. The left front side of the trigger bow has the Verified Proof and the left rear side of the trigger bow is marked “3”. The left sideplate has the Rampant Colt while the left side of the grip frame is marked “2” and “F”. 

Barrel Length: 2” 

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a fixed half round blade that appears to have had gold mounted to the top. This can be perhaps best appreciated in the photos showing the front sight in profile. The rear sight is a square notch milled into the top strap. The top strap has been serrated to reduce glare. 

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are smooth Mother of Pearl. There are light scratches on both grip panels as well as tiny irregularities where the panels meet the back strap. Please see our photos, these are really well preserved mother of pearl grips and they look great. The grips rate in about Fine overall condition. 

Type of Finish: Blue 

Finish Originality: All Original 

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore. 

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 96% of its metal finish. This revolver retains finish even on some of the hard and leading edges. There is a dragline on the cylinder that does not even break the finish. There are a number of small dings or compression marks. The three most notable are located on the sharp edge of one of the cylinder flutes, the left side of the frame about ¾” ahead of the forward sideplate screw and on the right side of the frame even with the rear of the hammer. There is a spot of rust on the inside of the trigger guard about where the trigger rests when the hammer is cocked. The screw heads are sharp with the exception of the forward sideplate screw which is distressed. The hammer, trigger, ejector rod and cylinder release latch checkering are sharp and unblemished. The markings are clear except as discussed. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fine condition. 

Mechanics: The single and double actions function correctly. We did not fire this handgun. 

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None 

Our Assessment: From James E. Serven’s “Colt Cartridge Pistols” (1952): “In 1933, Colt advertised that they would furnish in addition to the .38 “Bankers’ Special” with flat butt, a .22 L.R. model with a rounded grip. This new .22 was produced with the embedded cylinder; it weighed 23 ounces.” This .22 “Bankers’ Special” comes with a Colt Factory Letter dated July 9, 2014 which states that this revolver was shipped from the Colt Factory on May 24, 1933, making this a first year of production revolver for this model and caliber. It also states it was one of two shipped to the Honeyman Hardware Company of Portland, Oregon. This building still stands, is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places (although now converted to lofts.) This highly collectable revolver remains in Fine condition cosmetically and even better condition mechanically. 

Colt .22 Bankers Special .22 LR 2 Inch Double Action Revolver & Letter, MFD 1933 C&R
Colt .22 Bankers Special .22 LR 2 Inch Double Action Revolver & Letter, MFD 1933 C&R