Rare Nickel Colt Viper Model .38 Special Double Action Revolver & Box

Sold For $4,619

Make: Colt 

Model: Viper 

Serial Number: 73148R 

Year of Manufacture: 1977 

Caliber: .38 Special 

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

Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “=VIPER= / .38 SPECIAL CTG.” The crane cut is marked “73148 R / U” and the crane is marked “73148R”. The left side plate is marked with the Rampant Colt logo. The rear left trigger guard bow is marked “4” and the forward trigger guard bow is marked with the Verified Proof. The left side of the grip frame is marked “9” in a circle and “77 N”. The inside of the right grip is marked “008484”. The inside of the left grip is marked “008484” and with a red hand-written “2” and a “J” written in black ink. 

Barrel Length: 4” 

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short smooth blade. The rear sight is a square notch in the top strap. 

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut factory Colt service grips. There are little to no marks. The grips rate in about Excellent overall condition. 

Type of Finish: Nickel 

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 93% of its metal finish. There is dulled nickel finish in the rear of the flutes on the cylinder. There is one thumb print which is dulled into the finish on the cylinder near the rear of one of the flutes. There is a faint dragline on the cylinder. The finish is dulled in a line at the top of the grips. There are light marks in the mirror finish of the left side plate. The backstrap finish is dulled. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. 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: This pistol comes in its original box with matching end label. The label is marked “Viper” with matching serial number, finish, barrel length, model and caliber. The label is peeling on the edges. The box shows storage wear and fraying of the corners. The foam inserts are structurally sound. Inside the box is a piece of tissue paper within a plastic bag and a “Handling the Handgun” booklet. 

Our Assessment: Introduced in 1977 and only produced during that one year, the Colt Viper is a D Frame Colt. It is basically has the alloy frame of the Cobra with a 4” barrel attached from the factory. The viper did not sell as well as Colt had expected and was discontinued. Original Colt Vipers are extremely rare as the discerning collector will know and this particular Nickeled Viper comes in its original box with matching serial number and end label marked “VIPER”. We GUARANTEE that this pistol WILL factory letter as an original Viper. It appears to have been used little with only a faint dragline on the cylinder and a few dulled spots in the polished nickel finish. This is a true find and maybe one of the rare opportunities for a California collector to obtain one as they are only available to California residents through the Private Party Transfer process.