SOLD FOR: $4000
Model: Super .38 Automatic
Serial Number: 176547
Year of Manufacture: 1965 (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 ramped blade with a serrated rear face staked to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a square notch dovetailed to the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered brown “Coltwood” plastic panels with reinforcement rings around the screws and rampant colt in circle in the middle. The grips have shrunken slightly, less than most we have seen of this vintage, just starting to show some stretching at the screw holes. There is a scratch on the right panel below the colt. Otherwise, the grips show only light handling marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
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 96% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. There is faint handling wear in the grip areas. There are some scattered minor nicks, small scratches, and faint scuffing. The action shows minor operational wear. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger is crisp. The slide has very little 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 and a two-piece faux-wood cardboard Colt box with manual, model-matching label and the serial number hand-written on the bottom of the tray portion.
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 1965 and is in Fine condition. Retaining about 96% of its finish, the pistol has wear more consistent with 58 years spent in the included box than any significant use. The grips show just the start of the shrinkage common to the “Coltwood” plastic panels, the bore is in great shape and the mechanics are strong. The Super .38 pistols are highly prized by collectors, and this one 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