Year and value of Colt- Police Positive "CTG" 32


July 13, 2011, 01:23 PM
My grandfather had a number of guns in his possession when he died in 1992, living in South Philadelphia. I recently have been trying to gather info and clean the weapons. The most interesting of the lot is a Colt "Police Positive-32 CTG" in very good condition. I have seen some varying opinions on the value. The serial # is visible only when the chamber is open and is listed as #193XXX. The handle is all black with black grips and on the left side of body of the gun there is a "colt" engraving on the frame.

Just a little background,
If the weapon was only issued to police, there is NO possible way my grandfather should have it in his possession. There is no explanation other then "it was probably stolen" from family members (which concerns me a bit). But he was an immigrant from Italy and owned a small shop in an italian neighborhood.

Thanks for anyone who can provide some feedback on this!

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July 13, 2011, 01:55 PM
Looks like a first series Police Positive with the gutta percha grips. These were not police-only guns, civilians could and did buy them in large numbers. They were a very popular revolver in its time.

Serial number puts its manufacturing date around 1923 according to proofhouse. Depending on condition, it could be worth anywhere from 250 to 400. I've seen mint ones go much higher.

July 13, 2011, 02:05 PM
Very nice Colt! Closeups would be great. Don't do anything to it beyond a light cleaning with CLP or other mild cleaner and clean rags. Colts were the Cadillac revolvers of their day, but absolutely available to non-LEO's. They did cost a notch more than the competitors and a lot more than the typical lemon squeezer special you might expect to find in an immigrant's shop, so your forebear must have been doing well for himself.

July 13, 2011, 07:39 PM
How (precisely) is your gun marked as to caliber. Ensure it is not a .32 WCF/.32-20/.32 Winchester before you try shooting .32 S&W or .32 S&W Long through it.

BTW I paid $220 for a shooter grade marked .32 Police a few weeks ago.

July 13, 2011, 09:46 PM
Being a Police Positive, it would be chambered in 32 Police or 32 Colt. The frame and cylinder are not large enough for 32 WCF/32-20. 32 Police is todays 32 S&W Long. 32 Colt is obsolete. I have a 1923 Police Positive in 32 Police and a 1910 Police Positive in 32 Colt.
Great little revolvers!!!!

Jim K
July 13, 2011, 10:07 PM
The pictures are not good enough to determine the condition but those guns usually go for $250-400 because they were so common. One new in the box with papers would probably exceed that, but of course that one is not in that category.

As to concern about legality, unless you live in NJ, NY or one of the few other states that has handgun registration, there should be no problem. No one in 2011 is going to worry about how a revolver was obtained by someone 90 years ago.


July 14, 2011, 02:11 AM
Thanks so much for all of the info! it was very much appreciated. I uploaded better images as well as the following information found etched on the revolver. Not sure it changes anything.

Colt- Police Positive ".32 Police CTG" serial #198XXX
Hartford CT U.S.A
PATD August 5, 1884, June 5, 1900, July 4, 1904

Once again I am happy to hear any new information or suggestions on whether I should try and sell this or keep it in the family. My father entrusted me with them since I was in law enforcement and understand the safety concerns. Thanks Again!

July 14, 2011, 06:49 AM
I believe that the CTG is there because if they called it a 32 s&w they would be violating Smith and Wesson's patent on the cartridge. So the ctg means cartridge, so as not to call the revolver by the patented name. Someone will correct me if I have some of that wrong I am sure..
I'd personally keep it, just for the family heirloom value. It looks like its been taken care of.
I love old Colt revolvers. Enjoy it :)

July 14, 2011, 03:00 PM
That's my understanding--the .32 new police is the .32 S&W long. A gunsmith could tell for sure as the dimensions are distinct.

I would absolutely keep it. But I'd run it by a smith to triple check the chambering and also to make sure the timing is good. From the looks of it, it wasn't used much so that's a good sign. If timing is good and it is in .32 S&W long you should be able to find ammo for it pretty easily and you may find it to be a real tack-driver.

Value is going up on these but is nowhere near the 19th century Colts at this point, or the registered magnums or Pythons. But there is a growing collector's interest in them.

I'd suggest holding on to it particularly since you know its background. I'd also try to find out more about what it was used for. The statute of limitations has long since run ;-)

In other words, bring both the gun and the cannoli.

July 15, 2011, 03:17 PM
Thanks for all the info..very helpful!

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