SOLD FOR: $3325
Model: Super .38 Automatic
Serial Number: 171145
Year of Manufacture: 1964 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .38 Super
Action Type: Single Action, Semi-Automatic, Detachable Magazine Fed Pistol
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade with a yellow dot over a horizontal yellow line, staked to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a square notch with a white square aiming reference below the notch, dovetailed to the rear of the slide. The sights are not original to the gun.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The installed grips are two-piece checkered wood with gold-colored Colt medallions. The grips have a few scattered light nicks and handling marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine condition as not original to the gun.
Also included is a set of skip-line checkered wood grips. The additional grips have some light tool marks around the screw holes and a few other scattered minor marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the additional grips are in Very Good-Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original to the parts. The sights and trigger are not original to the gun.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. 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 93% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. There is minor handling wear in the grip areas. There are some scattered minor nicks, scuffs and scratches, most notable on the right slide flat. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good-plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger is crisp. The slide has light 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 in a black plastic case with the grips described above and a total of four 9-round magazines. Two of the magazines are blue (one Colt, one unmarked), one bright nickel and one matte nickel (both Colt).
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 of the time. Today, the cartridge is favored by many top pistol match competitors for its ability to make “Major” power factor in IPSC/USPSA, 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 post-war Super .38 pistol was made in 1964 and is in Very Good-plus condition. The sights and trigger have been updated and two sets of after-market grips are included as well as four magazines. The pistol retains a great bore and strong mechanics, showing light wear in the metal consistent with responsible use over the last sixty years. The Super .38 pistols are highly prized by collectors, and this one likely will be no different. If it gets past the collectors, this Super .38 should still make for a fun shooter. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud