Colt Serial Number Lookup: 3 Hidden Steps Discovered

Colt Serial Number Lookup: 3 Hidden Steps Discovered

Many users find it challenging to effectively carry out a Colt Serial Number Lookup, considering the complexity of the procedure. If you want to conduct a serial number search quickly, this write-up will take you through the essential steps and all the resources to utilize for the process. Let’s get it started!

Reading the Colt Serial Number Methods

Discovering your gun’s detail via the serial number might not change or influence its functionality, but it does come in handy when:

  • You want to resell your Colt firearm
  • Looking for key historical data
  • Facing legal issues regarding your Colt gun
Reading the Colt Serial Number Methods

The Fast Serial Number Lookup Method

One of the quickest ways to identify the production dates for your handgun is by visiting the Colt official website. This method is ideal if it’s the first time searching for your gun’s data. The process has only two steps:

  • Go to the customer portal on Colt’s site.
  • Visit the serial number lookup section, followed by keying the code details.

You’ll notice that Colt’s portal won’t normally have conclusive details, but it’s an excellent place to start. This is because of the similarity of Colt serial numbers, especially on vintage guns.  

The Dependable Searching Method

In this method, manufacturers provide the data needed via a detailed gun data resource at a cost. You’ll receive a statement letter containing your handgun’s data, including information such as:

  • Features and gun specs information
  • The shipping details
Colt Serial Number Lookup. The Dependable Searching Method

This historical data dictates the worth of a handgun, which you can use when reselling your firearm. However, the letter doesn’t include some crucial specs information, mainly on the gun parts, including: 

  • The gun’s design and finish
  • Barrel lengths
  • Caliber details
  • Gun’s markings

Pricing of the Colt Serial Numbers Lookup

The price depends on your gun’s value. The charges for an extensive lookup are:

  • $100 for standard gun items
  • $300 for historical versions

However, you might be charged more through additional considerations like customized markings and delivery options.

Rules and Regulations Involved when Reading Colt Serial Numbers

The complexity of how to read Colt serial numbers is made easier through several rules concerning the specific details in use. Here are the said rules you can use for conclusive results:

Using Prefixes and Suffixes for the Search

There are specific codes used to read Colt serial numbers. Despite popular belief, you’ll quickly look up these codes, particularly the acronym for your weapon’s identification.

Consult a reference table to check respective abbreviation details for more conclusive results. Examples of prefix and suffix meanings include: 


Colt Single Action army




Match Target


New Frontier

Meanwhile, the letter C is for identifying commercial gun types. Also, the features signify the item’s year of manufacture. For example:

  • Colt serial numbers with “D” or “E” joined the market afterward.
  • Those Colt varieties’ serial number beginning with “F” or “G” identifies the limited editions.
Using Prefixes and Suffixes for the Search

Utilizing Colts Serial Numbers

Similar to your digital codes, other details are equally important in your search. Nonetheless, the latter is essential, as first utilized in the quick search methodology. 

It can be hard to use these codes, considering that they don’t follow a specific pattern. This is because the digits on various Colt weapons from the past often resemble one another, and codes for altered gun designs can be confusing.

The Evolvement of the Colt Serial Number: Using the Colt M1911

The M1911, or the A1 (1912), was a commercial version with regular Colt serial numbers comprising simple signs and symbols. These gun version serial numbers halted during the 1970s, continuing from the codes of the initial varieties.

Meanwhile, every other gun has a 70 as the first digit. This style of marking and reading Colt serial numbers were up until 1976 before Colt began to use 70 as the last number of the code.  

The Evolvement of the Colt Serial Number: Using the Colt M1911

Identifying Colt Model Serial Codes

Usually, the initial numbers of your gun’s code can signify the following:

  • “1” represents the frame’s details of the actual model
  • “2”, “3” and “4” are for later versions. 
Identifying Colt Model Serial Codes

A simple tip is that a serial number starting with A 2 might have a customized store frame, while A 3 comprises a non-standard frame. Additionally, you can find unique varieties that utilize A 7 $ A 8. The following table shows how these codes are usually utilized.

2nd number for caliber

3rd number for size


4th number for gun’s type

A 4 - 32 to .20

A 3 - 3 or 4"

A 1 - Nickel or blue finish

A 6 - 357

A 4 - 4.75 or 5"

A 2 - Nickel or blue case hardened design

A 7 - 44

A 4 - 4.75 or 5”

A 3 - Plain nickel make

A 8 - 45

A 4 - 4.75 or 5"

A 4 - Royal Blue case with a hardened design

A 9 - 4 to .40

A 4 - 4.75 or 5"

A 6 - Nickel finish


A 4 - 4.75 or 5"



A 5 - 5.5"



A 7 - 7.5"



A 1 - 12"


Hidden Methods on How to Read Colt Serial Numbers

Via the tips and procedures discussed above, we’ve hinted at what you must do to discover your gun’s data. Here is how you can practically read Colt serial numbers.  

Step 1: Serial Number Lookup

Your weapon variety will have various markings on specific sections, which can help you with your search.

  • Colt model manufacturers come to your aid with this method. You can visit their official website for professional help.
  • For the steps, revisit ‘The Fast Colt Serial number lookup method.

Step 2: Applying for a Letter of Authenticity

You can acquire your letter of authenticity that confirms the originality of the Colt firearm model. More on the concept, including Pricing, will be explained below.

Step 3: Through a Manual Search

If unsuccessful with the above methods, you can search personally, where you should check gun parts like the barrel length, for several essential details to help with references. Check the reference table provided for this manual search.

Hidden Methods on How to Read Colt Serial Numbers

How to Read Colt Serial Numbers Comprehensively

With different Colt models, you can get detailed serial number search results in various ways. Here’s how to go about it. 

Finding the Manufacturer’s Number

Colt models make numbers usually stamped on their barrel length, which can be tricky to note. Therefore, it is essential to use a serial number searching tool for easier identification. The marking usually starts with “C,” “D,” or “F.”

Identifying the Serial Number Range

With these weapon versions categorized and common for their excellent specs, you can simply read Colt serial numbers when finding a particular firearm. The serial number in Arabic figures (letters or symbols) is on the barrel length’s left side.

Find the Year of Manufacture

You might want to check if your Colt firearm is in good shape. You have an added advantage if you know its serial number and manufacture dates. Like previous methods, start by looking for a serial code on the firearm and details on the left and trigger guard.

Confirming the Grade and Type of Your Gun

Side-by-side images of old-school and modern Colt handguns

There’s a need to confirm the grade of your gun when you read Colt Serial numbers for the sake of:

  • Involvement of the law where certain qualities are restricted for use or utilization in certain areas.
  • Other gun qualities may suit your purpose better.
  • Some qualities, including barrel lengths, require keen maintenance, which can be costly if unprepared. 
Confirming the Grade and Type of Your Gun

What You Need to Know On the Letter of Authenticity

Like a Certificate of Authority showing the originality of an item, this letter proves your Colt model’s credibility. You can access your letter from the website via your gun’s serial number. As mentioned, you must also pay to acquire the letter.

Firearm Type


Percussion Models

$200 – $300


$75 – $100


$75 – $100


$75 – $100



What You Need to Know On the Letter of Authenticity


When was my Colt 1911 made?

Colt 1911 was introduced in the 1870s, but its official listing was in 1911.

What year did Colt start using serial numbers?

Colt started using serial codes in 1968 after passing the gun control law.

How much are Colt firearms worth?

Colt firearms worth since the 19th is $220 million in cash and stock.

What is the serial number of the Colt Bisley?

Colt Bisley has a serial number ranging from 156300–331916.

What are the serial numbers on a first-generation Colt SAA?

First-generation Colt SAA usually had numerals as serial numbers, like A for Single Action revolver.


There you have it if you’re looking for ways to get data on Colt firearms. You can choose the most convenient. Involving the manufacturing company, a Colt custom shop, or using credible online sources is highly recommended.

So, have you had any problems when you want to read Colt serial numbers? Comment your answer below and tell us your most preferred lookup method.

Avatar photo

Tyler Purol is a professional Bowhunter. He has professional training in hunting. For many years he hunts regularly.