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Lets I.D. this Colt 38 special wadcutter magazine

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Jon Eulette
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Lets I.D. this Colt 38 special wadcutter magazine Empty Lets I.D. this Colt 38 special wadcutter magazine

Post by wizzer Wed Jan 25, 2023 5:18 pm

The magazine shown below came from my fathers estate. He purchased a Colt mid-range target pistol somewhere around 1963 and had numerous original Colt 1st and 2nd series mags for it.  He did not possess anything shooting related that was bargain priced or that did not function so I assume this unmarked unit worked.  I did have a local shooter with a vintage Colt mid-range fire a few rounds through the mag to test fit/function and he reported no issues.  

First some similarities with factory Colt:
metal gage/thickness of the body and follower same 
follower spring has same diameter wire and number of coils
follower guide rod is same heavy steel and contour although somewhat shorter in length
overall quality is much closer to factory than aftermarket brands(excluding the sanding marks on the body)

Next several details that I have not seen in any other mag and will point them out in the pics.
Slidestop actuator is rectangular in shape(more pronounced when held in hand)
Lets I.D. this Colt 38 special wadcutter magazine 5pNrBZ5l

top front of mag where cartridge passes has unusual swooping cut with point on right
Lets I.D. this Colt 38 special wadcutter magazine QXa2vBQl

sidewall indentation level, not parallel to bottom like factory, leaving large flat area on bottom corner
Lets I.D. this Colt 38 special wadcutter magazine FImgzpcl

have not seen another thumb button like this
Lets I.D. this Colt 38 special wadcutter magazine T3tj3lol

similar follower spring and guide as factory
Lets I.D. this Colt 38 special wadcutter magazine 52reDrSl

The pics also show scratches on the mag body that I am sure came from a sanding operation to assure fit either at the factory or later, but they appear to be somewhat covered by bluing?  
Baseplate is smooth and not marked.
So far I have ruled out TripleK and Interarms.  I have never seen or heard of one by USA and seems way above their quality. Checkmate or Metalform?(don't think they would sand the body sides). Something Gil Hebard had made and sold back in the day?
I would like to try and identify before selling so please post a guess or comment!

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Post by fc60 Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:13 pm

Greetings,

Add an image showing the floor plate.

It should have COLT stamped on it.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by wizzer Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:30 pm

The floorplate is not marked.

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Post by PhotoEscape Wed Jan 25, 2023 8:11 pm

This mag appears to be one of the Tripple-K variants.  Check rear of the mag if it has visible vertical welding row, - that would be another hint.

AP
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Post by Jon Eulette Wed Jan 25, 2023 8:13 pm

There are other older non Triple K magazines out there. Actually much nicer than the Triple K’s. Triple K’s require lotta work to work. Clark sells Triple K’s and claims to tune them. Big fat lie!
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Post by Wobbley Wed Jan 25, 2023 8:31 pm

Most likely a Triple-K aftermarket.  They either work fine or not.  They can be fixed if they don’t.
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Post by Jon Eulette Wed Jan 25, 2023 8:39 pm

Triple K
Lets I.D. this Colt 38 special wadcutter magazine 5844c710
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Post by Rodger Barthlow Wed Jan 25, 2023 8:44 pm

Here is all 3 styles of Colt 38spl. magazines, you will notice the difference in the feed lips and the back top of the magazine where it releases the case rim are the changes that were made for better feeding.  These are old new stock never been in a gun.Lets I.D. this Colt 38 special wadcutter magazine Kimg1025Lets I.D. this Colt 38 special wadcutter magazine Kimg1025
Lets I.D. this Colt 38 special wadcutter magazine Kimg1125
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Post by wizzer Wed Jan 25, 2023 10:17 pm

PhotoEscape wrote:This mag appears to be one of the Tripple-K variants.  Check rear of the mag if it has visible vertical welding row, - that would be another hint.

AP

No weld seam down the back.

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Post by wizzer Wed Jan 25, 2023 10:27 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:There are other older non Triple K magazines out there. Actually much nicer than the Triple K’s. Triple K’s require lotta work to work. Clark sells Triple K’s and claims to tune them. Big fat lie!
Jon

In complete agreement--"older non Triple K".
This appears much higher quality than any Triple K, works smoother, feels heavier.
Edit for rear photo showing no weld seam.
Lets I.D. this Colt 38 special wadcutter magazine FquD9zGm


Last edited by wizzer on Wed Jan 25, 2023 10:54 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Spelling)

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Post by Rodger Barthlow Wed Jan 25, 2023 11:02 pm

Then it could also be a military contract magazine for the AMU when they used the mid-range .38spl for the team in the 60's.
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Post by PhotoEscape Thu Jan 26, 2023 9:30 am

wizzer wrote:
PhotoEscape wrote:This mag appears to be one of the Tripple-K variants.  Check rear of the mag if it has visible vertical welding row, - that would be another hint.

AP

No weld seam down the back.
No weld is indication that my assumption is not correct.  TMBK, all Tripple-K mags had / have it.

AP
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Post by xringdave Thu Jan 26, 2023 1:47 pm

Have two marked Kart.
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Post by wizzer Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:57 pm

^^^^^^^This up here appears identical to the item I posted.
Interesting to see the Kart floorplate markings.  I wonder who made them for Fred and how many?

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Post by randy86314 Fri Jan 27, 2023 2:23 pm

I have two with unmarked floor plates which I bought from Hi Standard about ten years ago. One of the managers was selling them.

How many of your mags work? Many mags might be a sign of feeding problems.

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Post by wizzer Fri Jan 27, 2023 3:29 pm

randy86314 wrote:I have two with unmarked floor plates which I bought from Hi Standard about ten years ago. One of the managers was selling them.

How many of your mags work? Many mags might be a sign of feeding problems.

I personally have just the one unmarked version. As stated above I had a fellow club member with a Colt 38 fire a few rds through it to check fit/function with no issues reported. IMO it appears to be an item of decent quality.
I do not recall H.S. having anything to do with a 38 mid-range pistol, but that prooves nothing other than that I should probably get out in the sun more often.  What is your opinion of the mags you have?


Last edited by wizzer on Fri Jan 27, 2023 3:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Content)

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Post by randy86314 Mon Feb 13, 2023 2:49 am

Thanks for asking. I apologize for my slow response, but I have recently been testing my Giles with different bullets, powder charges, and various mags to improve functioning. It's a good project for a winter without rifle primers. I installed a barrel that was originally fitted to another pistol, and I wanted to be sure it works with my mags and reloads.
        I have four mags for this pistol: One 38 Super modified by Giles, two Colt (#3 and #5), and one Houston (#4) (to identify source but not HiS). #2 Houston mag is dedicated to another similar pistol that works flawlessly with RN and TCFP bullets, but that's a story for another day.
       Short answer is that the Giles, #3 Colt, and #4 Houston work well.  Getting a full wadcutter cartridge to feed in a 1911 pistol is almost an unnatural act, but I am persistent.
       I should elaborate on the mags from the HiS manager. I bought them directly from an employee of HiS, not from the company. I don't know who made them.    
       In the past two weeks I have realized that some loads are too "hot" (3.6 gr and 3.9 gr of W231) to cycle well in this pistol: following cartridges have popped out of the magazine several times. With 3.3 gr of W231, cycling is much improved.
       Friday, the Giles and #3 Colt worked well, and #4 Houston worked well, except that the slide locked back twice after four shots, a problem I attribute to a shallow detent in the slide stop pin.
       Different bullets? I have improved feeding by turning MoBul DEWCs to make a cone nose: chamfered at 30 degrees X .05". I also bought a sample bag of button-nose bullets from GT Bullets. Both well work well. These bullets don't jam against the feed ramp of the frame or the breech end of the barrel.
       IMHO, the problem with the 38 Special is the bullet, not the rim. I would have no qualms about shooting a mid-range 9mm or 38_Super.

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