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Old November 21st, 2013, 12:51 AM   #1
somd_mustangs
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Colt Super 38 Ugly Duckling

Warning: Colt purists may want to avert their eyes...

Because of the target grips and compensator, I was able to grab this one for way less than they typically go for - bought it to shoot, not to collect for a change. This one was mfg in 1952 and is near mint with its original box. Although the grips look hideous (to me anyway) they are very high quality hardwood with custom hand engraving, made by Beckelhymer out of Laredo, Texas. They were a big-time custom supplier in the 1950's and 60's, and the compensator also is marked Beckelhymer. The grips just don't work for me either in looks or feel, so I put some Hogue cocobolo's on there and grabbed a barrel bushing out of the parts bin - big difference (it's a Type III so has the "fat" barrel with standard OD). The combination of polished blue sides and matte top/bottom/grip straps is awesome. Other than the "idiot scratch" it's in near perfect shape and probably had one mag run through it and then it got put away. It's been in storage since at least the early 60's, so still need to do a detail pin-out cleaning before taking it out for a spin - the 50 year old gun oil has turned into a sticky varnished mess and everything is sluggish.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 02:50 AM   #2
Machodoc
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HOLY FUGLY GUN, BatMustang!!! (But there's something about it that cries out for love.)

Late one night I saw a Sistema pop up on GB with a pretty low "buy it now" price, so I snapped it up without looking at it carefully. When it showed up at the door, I saw that someone had put modern sights on it (good ones, but not original). Worst of all, they milled down the front of the slide to get the front sight to the right height. It was a big disappointment, but the sting was soothed a good bit when I shot it. Whoever did the work also polished the trigger to a butter-like pull and light break. It's a great shooter.

Some would also say that this one is a fugly monstrosity, but the matching numbers, including the mag number, and pristine bore and overall condition, convince me that it started life as a factory-built presentation piece for someone with some serious clout in Argentina.
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"If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege." - Arkansas Supreme Court, 1878.
The only thing that I would change about this is to note that it is a constitutional right, and not a privilege.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 02:54 AM   #3
MudPuppy
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Those modifications were horrifying. (The Colt .38 Super)
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Old November 21st, 2013, 05:20 AM   #4
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Ugly duckling to beautiful swan...nice job OP!
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Old November 21st, 2013, 05:37 AM   #5
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My grandfather had a colt super 38 and after he died my grandmother sold it for $25.


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Old November 21st, 2013, 06:39 AM   #6
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So which one of your other Colts is getting those "custom" target grips?
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Old November 21st, 2013, 12:32 PM   #7
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Good save! 1911s in .38 Super have really jumped in value. Lord knows what one built in the early 30s would sell for these days.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 02:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsideout View Post
So which one of your other Colts is getting those "custom" target grips?
I think they'd look great on the Remington UMC. Nice contrast to the finish. Maybe could even adapt to a 1902 or 1905 with zip ties, duct tape, JB Weld, etc.

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Good save! 1911s in .38 Super have really jumped in value. Lord knows what one built in the early 30s would sell for these days.
$5000 or more in this condition (hard to find though). No fooling. Post-war are running pretty high too, at least half that. This one was well below market value fortunately. There's apparently an almost cult-like following for these things that's driven the price up, kind of like the pre-war Ace - another one on the hit list someday.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 02:33 PM   #9
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Some would also say that this one is a fugly monstrosity...
Normally not a big fan of chrome/nickel but this is actually well-done, crisp markings and edges and the gold appointments are nice. Too bad they don't have records and/or factory letters like Colt. Definitely one to be proud of IMHO. I like off-the-wall stuff like this
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Old November 21st, 2013, 02:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by somd_mustangs View Post
Normally not a big fan of chrome/nickel but this is actually well-done, crisp markings and edges and the gold appointments are nice. Too bad they don't have records and/or factory letters like Colt. Definitely one to be proud of IMHO. I like off-the-wall stuff like this
Yep ... I think this one was factory new when plated. I can't find anything about it to indicate to the contrary. No import mark. All matching, and everything crisp without any pits or scars under the plating ... even looking at it through close-up pics.

Best of all, it basically cost me $75 (in early 1980s money). I traded a non-GI M1 carbine for it in like-new condition. I bought three of them for $75 each when I was in grad school. A girl's uncle died, and she was his sole heir. He didn't have much, but the rifles were in the rafters of his garage. She needed tuition bucks, and I'd just gotten a check for some work I'd done.

I guess that it was a good trade on both sides. I've grown less shy of blinged-up guns. They have their own sort of gaudy charm. Sort of like fat girls and minibikes ... fun to ride, so long as none of your friends sees you on one.


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"If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege." - Arkansas Supreme Court, 1878.
The only thing that I would change about this is to note that it is a constitutional right, and not a privilege.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 04:11 PM   #11
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Wow, I don't know what you mean by ugly duckling. Without those dumb add-on parts that thing is gorgeous. Are you going to replace the super tall rear sight?


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Old November 21st, 2013, 04:16 PM   #12
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Seems like it should have sold for a premium since it was clearly owned by Liberace


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Old November 21st, 2013, 04:24 PM   #13
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Wow, I don't know what you mean by ugly duckling. Without those dumb add-on parts that thing is gorgeous. Are you going to replace the super tall rear sight?
It started out as an ugly duckling and turned into a swan so to speak...

The original sight was fixed; I think the Elliason-style adjustable sights that Colt used required a slightly taller front sight (ala Gold Cup). Need to do some investigation, I do want to retain adjustable sights if at all possible. Otherwise, I'll just use the compensator for shooting and the standard bushing for show/storage. Not sure if the rear dovetail was opened up for the aftermarket sight - if it was I'm probably SOL.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 05:45 PM   #14
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I just found another "project" .38 super for you!

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=380125008
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Old December 5th, 2013, 05:58 PM   #15
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I just found another "project" .38 super for you!

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=380125008
i like it.


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Old December 5th, 2013, 06:15 PM   #16
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Gets better!
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Old December 5th, 2013, 09:34 PM   #17
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That is one bad-ass gun. where do I send the check?
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Old December 5th, 2013, 09:36 PM   #18
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oh dear god... did you see what they did to the pre-war "Super Match"!?!?
the horror...

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=380125129
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Old December 5th, 2013, 09:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by rsideout View Post
I just found another "project" .38 super for you!

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=380125008
3 ounces of gold in that per description, lol


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Old December 5th, 2013, 10:08 PM   #20
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so are we gonna mess with this guy?
see your $100, raise you $400

last time non-reserve opening was $9k, it's gotten up as high as $2k over past several months.
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