Colt Police Positive 2nd Issue price check


October 10, 2007, 04:33 PM
My local GM has a Colt Police Positive in .38 Special on sale. The tag says "Second issue."

The gun has a nice bore and locks up tight. The finish is pretty decent, except for some small pitting on one side and a permanenty etched in fingerprint.

They want $250 for the gun. I'm not up on my old Colt prices. Is this about right for a gun in this condition, or a bit high.

I don't *need* the gun, but I have been wanting to add an old Colt revolver to my "old gun accumulation." (Can't really call it a collection as there's no real theme except "what caught my eye at the time.")


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October 10, 2007, 05:26 PM

(edited to say) SIMILAR TO Barney Fife's Gun! I have been wanting a Colt revolver like that for a while. They used to be rather inexpensive, but I think any Colt revolver is just going to keep going up in price. Do a search on to see what the current prices are. $250 does not seem to bad if it's in good shape.

Andy: What are you doing?
Barney Fife: Gun-drawing practice, ten minutes every day. If I ever have to use this baby, I want to teach it to come to papa in a hurry.
Barney Fife: Well, I guess to sum it up, you could say, there's three reasons why there's so little crime in Mayberry. There's Andy, and there's me, and [patting gun] baby makes three.

October 10, 2007, 05:29 PM
Check the timing. If it's good, BUY BUY BUY

The Second Gen PPS is a fantastic wheelgun. It's the same frame as the Detective Special. I could get quarter size groups at 20 yards with mine, shooting 158 grain lead RN slugs. It's a very fun revolver. Prices are headed north fast on all Colt DA's.

Point of information, though--I believe Barney used the slightly larger and better known Official Police.

October 10, 2007, 05:30 PM
It's a fair price, but you may be better off spending another $75-100 on a shooter in great shape. They're nice guns with the only downside being repair costs.

October 10, 2007, 05:38 PM
Oops! Thanks Cosmoline. I read that it was a Police Positive somewhere on the internet years ago and I always thought that was his gun. (We all know how accurate non-THR websites are :rolleyes:) Sorry for my mis-information! I will edit my answer.

Ala Dan
October 10, 2007, 06:52 PM
Good find, not a bad price; as the prancing poney's will increase in value~! :D

October 10, 2007, 07:04 PM
What are the differences between the Police Positive and the Official Police anyway?

My understanding is the Police Positive was first and the Official Police was a later development. I just don't know what the significant differences are or the reasons behind the development of the OP.

I know I'm probably going to eventually have to get both to go with my "old revolvers" sub-category.

October 10, 2007, 07:21 PM
You're right--both are needed for a complete classic revolver collection. The easiest way to think about the police positive is as a full size detective special. It's a lighter frame than the OP and the wheelguns that emerged from the OP. But it's not a weak revolver by any means. I've shot the usual LSWCHP +p's out of both PPS's and the DS's of second and third gen. I might hesitate to shoot +P's with first gens just because of the age, but the one you're eyeing should be fine

As far as the history, they both came around at about the same time. The OP emerged from the Colt Army IIRC. It's somewhat bulkier and stouter and again IIRC that frame was used as the basis for the first magnums. The PPS went the other way and got smaller. I think its niche really is as a CCW. The 4" is so light it can also be concealed.

October 10, 2007, 07:22 PM
The OP is built on a larger frame. Think of the PP as an oversized J frame and the OP as a K/L frame, roughly.

Elm Creek Smith
October 11, 2007, 09:36 PM
The Colt Police Positive Special actually developed from the Colt Police Positive which was chambered for the .38 Colt New Police (Colt's name for the .38 S&W with a differently shaped bullet, a RNFP). The snub-nosed version of the Police Positive was called the Banker's Special. The improved performance of the .38 S&W Special led Colt to stretch the frame of the Police Positive which was not long enough to hold a cylinder chambered for the .38 Special. This new gun became the Police Positive Special, and the stretched snub-nose was annointed Detective Special.

The Colt Official Police was a direct descendant of the Army Special. It is the more pedestrian version of the more finely finished Python. As a .38 Special it was a pretty stout gun which was what the Army wanted back in the original .38 Long Colt Army and Navy DA revolvers.

The Colt New Service revolvers were true giants of the DA brood, bigger and more massive than N-Frame S&W's.:what: They were chambered for "man-sized" cartridges like the .45 Colt, .44-40 WCF, .38-40 WCF, .44 Special, the big English .44's and .45's, and were the first DA Colts chambered for the .357 Magnum.

This is probably more than anyone needs to know:rolleyes:, so I'll just end with an exhortation to buy, to preserve, and to shoot a good Police Positive Special.


Elm Creek Smith
October 11, 2007, 09:42 PM
Sorry. Double tap.


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