Information on Colt Police Positive Special in .32-20 WCF


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LiENUS
November 9, 2010, 12:46 AM
I have my cousin's revolver right now while he's in the military. He got it from his grandfather when he died and I'd love to find out some information about it to tell him when he gets back.
It is as I said in the title a Colt Police Positive Special chambered in .32-20 WCF. That is written on the left side of the barrel, the top has a few patent numbers and where it was manufactured. The grips are wooden and have a silver colt medallion embedded in them on both sides. The only number I could find anywhere on the gun appears to have been stamped by hand each number individually as it is not all on one line. When the cylinder is popped out the number becomes visible on the frame and on the part the cylinder attaches at. that Number is 889778. I have no idea if it is a batch number or serial number. I'd love if anyone here could help me figure out when this gun was made or if there are any oddities/things special about it.

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Jim K
November 9, 2010, 01:53 AM
In Colts of that vintage, the serial number was stamped on the frame under the crane.

But I question that serial number. My sources date that to 1965, which would be the so-called Third Issue of the PPS, and by that time they were not making them in .32-20, at least not as a standard catalog item. Could the first number be a "3" instead of an "8"?

Jim

Old Fuff
November 9, 2010, 09:13 AM
Certain features seen in the photograph indicate that the revolver was made before World War Two, between the middle/late 1920's to 1941, and Jim is correct - after the war the .32-20 chambering was discontinued. Look at that serial number again.

LiENUS
November 9, 2010, 11:44 AM
Good call on the serial number. It was late last night when I read it so I wrote it down wrong. You are correct on the number it is 389778. Attached is the picture I took this morning.

Dr.Rob
November 9, 2010, 02:02 PM
Late 1930 and it's in great shape.

LiENUS
November 9, 2010, 03:34 PM
Thank you Doctor rob. We were thinking mid 40s. It looks in better shape in the pictures than it is. It's not in bad shape but it does have some minor surface rust on the barrel. My cousin's grandfather (who he got it from posthumously) was born in 1923 so I'm thinking it was his first gun that he bought (and only afaik) as soon as he was able to save up enough to buy it. Unfortunately no one knew of it's existence till after he died (found it under his mattress along with a bunch of cash after his death no one not even his wife knew about it.) Still functions great though and shoots like a dream.

JellyJar
November 9, 2010, 06:31 PM
I have heard that there is 32-20 ammo meant only for rifles and if you shoot that in an old revolver like this one it could cause a bulge in the barrel.

W.E.G.
November 9, 2010, 06:58 PM
I have heard that there is 32-20 ammo meant only for rifles and if you shoot that in an old revolver like this one it could cause a bulge in the barrel.

If you can find any of that old ammo, it is a collector's item, and will be outrageously expensive.
Very rare.

Avoid other people's handloads, and you'll be 100% safe with any commercial ammo you can buy in the present market. None of the commercial manufacturers are hot-loading for the 32-20 nowadays.

jhom05
January 30, 2011, 02:32 PM
i have a question just found a gun in my Grandmother's house it is a Police Positive Special .32-30 but my serial number reads 40724 anyone with some insight i want to clean a restore it. I dont know if anything specific should be done. Any help would be great.

bannockburn
January 30, 2011, 03:54 PM
jhom05

With that serial number, it would have been built in 1911.

LightningMan
January 31, 2011, 12:43 AM
W.E.G. I have a few of those High Velocity 32-20 rounds in my collection. I do remember when I bought them from a vendor at a gunshow, the seller told me never to shoot them out of a vintage or older revolver chambered for these rounds. BTW here's an good source for info on loading 32-20's according to a guns age. http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/3220wcf.htm.

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