Rare Colt Viper Model 4″ .38 Special Lightweight Revolver & Letter, 1977

SOLD FOR: $10075

LSB#: 221130RH001

Make: Colt

Model: Viper

Serial Number: 96149M

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 “96149M” and the crane is marked “96149M”. The side plate is marked with the Rampant Colt logo. The rear left trigger guard bow has an “E” inspection mark and the forward trigger guard bow is marked with the Verified Proof.

Barrel Length: 4”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short smooth blade integral to the barrel’s solid rib. The rear sight is a square notch integral to the top strap. The edges of the topstrap groove are serrated for glare reduction.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut which swell slightly toward the tops. The grips have no notable wear or damage, only light handling marks. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Excellent condition.

Type of Finish: Blue & Black Alloy Frame

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 10 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 98% of its metal finish. The cylinder has a very thin, faint turn-line, mostly not through the finish. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in Excellent condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with no play on each chamber when the trigger is depressed. 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 with a Colt Archives letter indicating that it shipped in its current configuration on July 12, 1977 to Pacific Int’l. Merchandising Corporation (Old Sacramento Armory) in Sacramento, California as one of 8 guns of the same type in the shipment.

Our Assessment: Introduced in 1977 and only produced during that one year, the 1st Series Colt Viper is a D Frame Colt. It basically has the alloy frame of the Cobra with a 4” barrel from the factory. The Viper did not sell as well as Colt had expected and was discontinued. As a result, the Vipers are quite scarce and one of the most desirable of the “Serpent” series of Colt revolvers. This example is in Excellent condition and comes with a Colt Archives letter confirming its original shipping date and address. This is a great snake to add to the pit. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Rare Colt Viper Model 4" .38 Special Lightweight Revolver & Letter, 1977
Rare Colt Viper Model 4″ .38 Special Lightweight Revolver & Letter, 1977