My grandfather was a doctor in WWI. Before and after that, he practiced in the coalfields of southern WV. My dad told me he carried this revolver during the time the mines were unionizing, as he frequently had to cross lines to see patients. There were some rough characters on both sides. So this may or may not have been his service revolver.
It's a Colt Police Positive Special, 32-20 W.C.F. with a serial number of 47680 and the letter K is underneath the serial number. I showed it to a police officer friend who said it seemed in remarkably good condition. Anyone able to give me a rough idea of the age and value of this?
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July 10, 2009, 07:48 PM
Does it look like this one?
Your serial number would put date of manufacture as 1907-1908
The 'k' I think is a Colt witness-mark or stamp for showing the Pistol having been in for repair by Colt...
I always liked the 'Police Positive'...
July 10, 2009, 11:44 PM
Yes, it is very similar, except the handle is black, metal. The police officer that looked at it ventured an opinion that it was probably accurate to about ten yards, or someone trained could go to fifteen yards.
July 11, 2009, 12:12 AM
The grips are probably not metal but a material known as hard rubber or gutta percha, commonly used on guns in that period. It was an early kind of natural plastic and was reasonably flexible when new. Unfortunately, it grows brittle over time, so be careful of those grips.
I don't know what your police officer friend considers accurate, but NRA-sanctioned target shooting routinely takes place at 25 and 50 yards, and that gun, even with fixed sights, should give a good account of itself at the longer range.
That gun was certainly not a government-issue service revolver; it might have been carried by a member of the armed forces as a personal weapon, but the military, then and now, discourages such carry.