Colt Revolver
Anyone heard of a US Marshals issue Bisley that was modified from 38/40(for the light weight and size for cracking heads) to 45 for knockdown power. Family story(???) goes that it was retrived from Marshal shot in the back(has hole and blood? stain in rear center of belt) Is marked 38 WCF on barrel and all serial #'s match. Barrel bore and cylinder is sized for 45 cal. I suppose one could bore out the barrel to 45, but there seems to be plenty of thickness to the barrel and the cylinder. A larger bore in the cylinder might leave the walls a little on the thin side. Colt says it was shipped 3/26/03 to Simmons Hdwr in St Louis and my GGdad lived in the Missouri/OK/IT area. Have used resources on this site and links to narrow down Marshals and Deputies killed after '03. A lot of 'em shot but none I can find in the back, might've come in the other way(you know how family stories are sometimes)
Have read all discussions and don't see much mention of weapons issued if any actually were.
Great site!!!
Thanx in advance,
Posts: 1 | Registered: Sat March 22 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I can't say that I've heard of sidearms being issued to deputy U.S. marshals. Not saying they couldn't have been...I've just never seen documentation of such during this time period. As for the Bisley...that's a fairly rare sidearm to find in any context especially one with a family story.

Regarding the 38/40 to 45 Long Colt - not saying it couldn't be done, but it would seem more likely that they would have bored it out from .38/40 to .44/40 as I believe the diameter of the cartridge case is the same in both.

Any idea what the name of the deputy reputed to have owned it was?

Good luck! Great story!

On the Trail
Diron Ahlquist
Secretary, Oklahombres Inc.
Posts: 376 | Location: Oklahoma City, OK | Registered: Wed December 10 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have seen a Colt Peacemaker recently that was manufactured in 1888 and the owner has provenance that it was owned by a known outlaw, one of three brothers, who was killed. He turned down 5K for the gun. I wanted it badly. My point is that if it can be proved who had it and it is an authentic Colt, it is very valuable.
Posts: 5 | Registered: Mon December 13 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There would be no weight advantage to a 38-40 over a 45. Actually in identical guns the 38-40 would be slightly (very slightly) heavier. The cylinder hole and bore in the barrel is bigger in a 45 therefore there is less metal and weight. A Bisley in any caliber offered would be identical in size and only slightly different in weight.

Most conversions of SAA's was not accomplished by boring anything. They simply swapped the barrel and cylinder. I have a 1910 Bisley in 44 special. Colt never offered the Bisley in 44 special. Someone just fitted the cylinder and barrel.
Posts: 18 | Location: Oklahoma | Registered: Fri June 06 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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could very well be a gunsmith special with a barrel swap and a cylinder change. as someone stated in another thread. these guns were well used and sometimes they ended up as Frankenpistols.

i have never heard of "issues" weapons for USM or other lawmen of the day. i imagine some lawmen early in their careers carried cap and ball revolvers and relied on a scattergun for most of the problems.
Posts: 6 | Location: Mcalester-Tulsa | Registered: Sat January 08 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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