SOLD FOR: $9,050
Model: Super .38 Automatic
Serial Number: 12236
Year of Manufacture: 1931 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .38 Super
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a rounded bladed fixed to the top of the slide. The rear sight is a square notched sight that is dovetailed into the top of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut. The checkering shows light wear, more notable in the left panel than the right. There are a few scattered light marks and each panel has a small ding on the bottom. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. The grips rate in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original, the slide is serial-matched to the frame.
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is infrequent minor erosion and a few spots of minor pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 7 or 8 out of 10.
Many military and C&R-eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 92% of its metal finish. The finish is lightly thinning at most edges, more notable at the front of the slide. There is light handling wear in the grip areas. There are some scattered minor nicks and small scratches. There is some scattered very minor surface oxidation, mostly on the top of the slide and in the grip areas. There is some minor erosion on the frame under the grips, concealed when they are installed. The action shows light operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Fine condition.
Mechanics: The trigger pull is crisp. The slide has barely perceptible play to the frame. The action functions correctly. We have not fired this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with one blued nine round magazine and a reproduction maroon cardboard hinge-lid box.
Our Assessment: The .38 Super cartridge was first introduced by Colt in 1929 as a higher pressure loading of the .38 ACP. It is capable of driving a 115 gr. bullet to nearly 1400 fps., producing almost 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 the caliber. 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 1931, fairly early in production. This pistol is in Fine condition with about 92% of its original metal finish remaining. The bore is in pretty good shape, but does show some erosion consistent with the use of corrosive ammunition. The mechanics are still spot-on. The Super .38 pistols are highly prized by collectors and one in this nice of a condition with its original finish and high condition is going to have the collectors standing in line to bid. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud