The Colt New Service revolver was manufactured from 1898 through 1943 in a number of commercial and military models, with standard and Target versions offered in the civilian models. Over 356,000 were made, in a total of eleven standard chamberings. Experimental models were also made up in .22 rimfire, .22 Hornet, and .41 Special. Examples of all these models and chamberings are depicted and discussed.
In addition to the standard versions of each model, which were available in blue or nickel finish with 4-1/2", 5-1/2" or 7-1/2" barrels (7-1/2" standard on the Target Models), a variety of special-order features were available. These included special finishes (gold and/or silver plating); various grades of factory engraving; and grips of ivory, mother-of-pearl or stag, either plain, checkered, or carved, usually with steer head or eagle motifs.
The 165 distinct model/versions depicted include some really rare and interesting New Services, beginning with serial nos. 0 and 1, plus the very first Target Old Model and numerous other factory special orders with custom features, including specially-marked versions as used by the U.S. Border Patrol and various police agencies.
In addition to a brief historical introduction and individual chapters on each of the models, including the top-of-the-line Shooting Master and the radically bobbed "Fitz Specials", plus chapters on Famous Users and Aftermarket Modifications, the author presents expert commentaries and reasoned analyses throughout on the value and usefulness of the New Service in the field and as a personal defense weapon, plus frank critiques and comparisons with contemporary Smith & Wesson products.
The Colt New Service is one of today's hottest collectibles, with auction sales consistently realizing the high catalog estimates or better. Here is a well-reasoned, entertaining and profusely-illustrated guide to these popular revolvers - the most complete study of the New Service ever published.