Original U.S. Colt Model 1895 "New Navy" D.A. 38 Revolver Serial No. 68602 - Made In 1896

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Colt Model 1895 "New Navy" revolver is an important piece of history in the evolution of the modern handgun. This revolver is sometimes called the D.A. 38 for a good reason: they are marked COLT. D.A. 38 on the side of the barrel, as they are a double action revolver chambered for the .38 Long Colt cartridge. There are many similar models of this handgun made by Colt: the Model 1892, 1894, 1895, 1896 and later the Model 1901 and 1903, which represent incremental improvements in the design. The U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army primarily used these models, though there were civilian models as well.

This type of double action revolver represents a significant step in the evolution of the revolver, as it was Colt's first swing out cylinder revolver. It was both double and single action, it utilized the spring-loaded ejector rod, and the later models could fire the new (at the time) smokeless powder cartridges. All of these features appealed to the armed forces. The earlier D.A. 38 guns, such as the 1895, were designed to fire black powder cartridges only.

The New Army & Navy model is unique to Colt in that the cylinder rotates counter-clockwise, and the frame's side plate is on the right side. This unfortunately ;tended to force the cylinder out of alignment with the frame over time, and this was exacerbated by relatively weak lockwork used to "time", or match individual chambers to the barrel. In later Colt revolvers the cylinder rotation is clockwise and the side plate is on the left side of the frame. Also these Colt's have extremely complex actions that get out of order or break easily.

This is a nice "New Navy" example, which looks to be a Civilian or Private Purchase example, with lovely set of hard rubber grips. These bear the Colt "Prancing Pony" logo surrounded by COLT / 1892. The serial number marked on the bottom of the grip is 68602, indicating production in 1896. The frame under the cylinder crane, the cylinder crane itself, the cylinder release, and the bottom of the barrel are all marked with assembly number 590. Only early production D.A. 38 revolvers had assembly numbers only on these parts, and later produced examples of this had the serial number, as it was found that the butt frame serial number wore off easily.

The top of the barrel is still marked with the original manufacture and patent information:


This revolver was made just before the 1895 patent was granted, so it still only has the patent dates up to 1888.

Condition of the revolver is very good, with a lot of the original finish present, and no signs of major rust or other damage. There are areas of wear as well as some scratches and dings, but nothing out of the ordinary for a 100 year old revolver. The bore is clean, and has lands and grooves, though there is wear and oxidation. The cylinder swings out to the left correctly, with a functional cartridge extractor. The revolver cycles correctly, but there is definitely wear and slop in the action. The cylinder lock is worn, so the cylinder can turn when the hammer is fully forward.

A very nice U.S. revolver that could have seen service in the Spanish American War. Ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1896
Caliber:  .38 Long Colt
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 6 inches
Overall Length: 11 1/2 inches
Action: Double / Single
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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    New Jersey

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