SOLD FOR: $3500
Model: Custom Super .38 Automatic
Serial Number: 43129
Year of Manufacture: 1947 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .38 Super
Action Type: Single Action, Semi-Automatic, Detachable Magazine Fed Pistol
Markings: The right of the slide is marked “COLT”, “SUPER .38 / AUTOMATIC” and with a rampant Colt logo. The left of the slide is marked “COLTS PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.”. The right of the frame is marked with the serial number. The left of the trigger guard has “5” and a “VP” in triangle, the right has “49”. The top of the frame is marked “R” next to the hammer slot
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade staked to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a Micro square-notch target sight adjustable for windage and elevation, dovetailed and screw-set to the rear of the slide. The sights are not original to the pistol and the rear sight dovetail was altered to accommodate the Micro sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece smooth wood panels. The panels have attractive grain and each has a slight palm-swell. The grips have only a few scattered minor marks with no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine-Excellent condition as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 92% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There is light handling wear in the grip areas and a few scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is some discoloration at the rear of the slide where it appears that heat was applied to adjust the slide-to-frame fit, the bearing surfaces of the slide, barrel and frame have been polished bright. The action shows operational wear. The trigger has wear from the mounting screws of the installed wide, serrated trigger shoe. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good-plus condition as customized.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger is crisp. The slide has barely perceptible play to the frame. 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 pistol comes with a single 9-round magazine. The magazine is marked “COLT”, “SUPER / 38 AUTO.” on the floorplate.
Our Assessment: The .38 Super cartridge was first introduced by Colt in 1928 as a higher pressure loading of the .38 ACP. It is capable of driving a 115 gr. bullet past 1400 fps., producing more than 500 ft-lbs of energy. This is not quite up to the .357 Magnum, but was still capable of penetrating body armor and automobile bodies. Today, the cartridge is favored by many top pistol match competitors for its ability to make “Major” category with a lighter bullet offering less felt recoil than that produced from a .45 ACP round. Colt first introduced the round in its 1911A1 frame, making it basically the same as the Government Model except for its cartridge. The 1911 pistol had already gained a reputation as a highly reliable pistol during WWI, Colt saw no reason not to capitalize on that reputation with a new caliber offering.
This Super .38 pistol was made in 1947 and has been customized with target sights and an attractive set of wood grips. The pistol has been worked on, with the slide-to-frame fit tightened, bearing surfaces polished and a wide, serrated trigger shoe installed. The gun is in Very Good-plus condition, showing light wear and retaining a great bore and strong mechanics. The Super .38 pistols are highly prized by collectors, and this one certainly will be no different, but it should also prove to be a great shooter. Please see our photos and good luck!