I have seen a friends colt police positive. It is engraved on the backstrap
with RHKP(Royal Hong Kong Police) It is complete with lanyard ring.The
caliber seems to be 38 S&W. Need background on this piece. Did Colt have
the Hong Kong contract before S&W? The weapon is reported to have
been a local law enforcement officers carry gun some 20 years ago in
Any background would be helpful/Thanks
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February 22, 2004, 01:34 PM
Not really info. But I'm interested since I have a S&W .38 spec. RHKP. Look at link, is this your gun? Scroll way down.
Thanks for the help. I checked the link at Simpson Ltd. Yes that appears
to be the gun that my neighbor has indeed. His is in about the same
condition. I have a S&W 10 RHKP. Mine is pretty holster worn, but is very
tight and is a good shooter. I usually keep it loaded in our safe "just in
case". I bought mine 5 or 6 years ago(grade 3) when they first started
being realeased to dealers. Interesting weapon. I still want to find out
about when the RHKP had the Colt as their duty weapon.
OK, so I'm about 3 years late with this but here goes....
I'm a Brit and served in the RHKP from 1975 to the early 80s. When I first arrived the standard issue handgun was the Colt Police Positive. It used the .38 short round and was just about powerful enough to stop a charging cockroach. They changed to the S&W .38 special around the end of the 70's but the changover took a couple of years. At that time a uniformed officer carried only the six rounds in his revolver and handed the weapon in to the police station armoury at the end of his shift. C.I.D. (Criminal Investigation Department) officers carried short barreled versions on personal issue with 18 rounds (later reduced to 12) and got to take them home. C.I.D. were the first to receive the new S&Ws.
Other weapons used in the RHKP were the Remington pump action shotgun (don't ask me what model) the AR15 rifle and the 9mm Sterling sub machine gun. There was also a 1" bore tear gas pistol and a 1" bore tear gas long barreled gun, the brand names of which escape me. Tear gas was the British C.S. (C.N. is for cissies) and the gas guns were also used to fire wooden baton shells. The baton shells were actually designed as practice rounds for rubber bullets but were cheaper and it was found that they skittered along beautifully at ground level when fired at the road surface about 20 feet in front of a hostile crowd.
Some of the Marine Police launches were fitted with WWII surplus 50 calibre Bren Guns.
I don't know how to take good closeups, so you can't read the markings, but the barrel of the Colt is marked, top line, "POLICE POSITIVE SPECIAL" and below that "38 COLT N.P.-----------38 S&W CTG" on the left hand side with the Colt address on the right side of the barrel. The backstrap also has the RHKP markings.
November 20, 2007, 01:17 PM
:cool: AMAZING!! There's about a 1 in 15,000 chance that I might have carried one of those! :)
Nice photos. I wasn't a bad shot with either of them... I won $10 off the range sgt once when I was O.I.C at the range, he fancied himself as "Dead Eye Dick" and bet me I couldn't beat him with 6 rounds each at a 2" metal flag pole at 30 paces. He hit it once and I got 5 out of 6. Not bad considering we only got to practice once a year.
That's me in the middle in PTU (Police Tactical Unit) gear. Taken in about 1980, after we gave up shorts and long socks and switched to long trousers.
November 20, 2007, 01:24 PM
I call them Yun-Fat specials. IIRC the bad guy in "Hard Boiled" expresses amazement, as he's dropping down, that one of the old CID .38's killed him.
As I understand it, in real life the old Hong Kong police had to deal with some pretty well armed nogoodnicks in the 70's and 80's with little more than those wee sidearms. When you think of the substantial hardware floating around SE Asia during that time period it would be a heck of a thing to go walking around on patrol with a six gun and no reloads.
November 20, 2007, 01:56 PM
You've got that right Cosmoline. Late 70s and early 80s when things were going pear shaped in China the thugs used to come down over the border in gangs of 3 or 4 with Chinese military handguns, rob a goldsmiths/jewelers shop and head back home. It wasn't so much the their weaponry that was the problem as their attitude, they didn't give a flying **** for anyone and knew their chances of getting caught were next to zero... they'd be back home on duty in the Army within 3 or 4 hours. Anyone who got in their way was shot without a second thought. A lone constable on patrol with six rounds, a button flap cross draw holster and a radio that didn't work half the time didn't stand much chance. (Still, the radios were better than the ones we had when I first arrived there in '75... only available for special ops and usually only worked when you could see the person you were trying to talk to.) I don't know any stories of constables who ran out of bullets in those circumstances, they were usually dead before they had a chance to get off more than a round or two.
I saw a chap who'd been shot with a .38 short once, he was rolling around cussin' and swearing and you could see the bullet lodged in his belly, it was winter and he was wearing a heavy jacket, the bullet had pierced the jacket and stuck in his belly fat! ... I bet he had one heck of a bruise though.
November 20, 2007, 02:14 PM
Grandad - a couple of questions, if you don't mind. Was the issue ammunition ball/FMJ rounds or some thing else? How long would you have had to stayed to draw a pension? There must be a fair number of ex-RHKP constables in the UK, do you have a organization? Reunions? Any good books of the RHKP you know off? Thanks much.
November 20, 2007, 02:16 PM
That's fascinating stuff. Do you know what the've been using since the changeover?
November 20, 2007, 02:36 PM
Cosmo - I think HKP is still using the S&W Model 10, according to what I've heard. With leather and holsters that are more of a N. American police fashion, for lack of a better way of describing it.
November 20, 2007, 07:14 PM
Grandad, was that a typo about the Bren?
A .30 caliber Bren I can accept. Meaning either .303 or the later 7.62mm version. But
WWII surplus 50 calibre Bren Guns
is something new to me.
Or did you mean they had the .55 Boys Anti-tank rifle? It had a magazine on top like a Bren. And any round that would punch through armor on a smallish tank would perforate a hull rather nicely.
November 21, 2007, 03:29 PM
OK, I'll try to answer all those...
Will5A1: All ammunition was ball/FMJ, hollow points etc were not even considered, too many ex-military in senior ranks with memories of the Geneva convention.
Pension? most Brits (with some Aussies, Kiwis, South Africans and a couple of Canadians) went out on 3 year contract terms, we were young and pensions weren't really of interest. I think it was about 25 years for a pension. Also I should point out that the expatriates went with the rank of inspector, equivalent to military lieutenant. There were about 400 expats as officers in a force which totaled somewhere around 25,000. I think there is a group who have annual dinners and such here but I never bothered.
I have a book called "Asia's Finest" by a chap called Kevin Sinclair but it's long out of print. I think there's a more recent edition out by the same chap called "Asia's Finest Marches On" or something like that. Not sure if it's any good.
Cosmo: I haven't a clue what's happened with their sidearms since the changeover. Incidentally, when I was there in '75 there was also the old Webley 38 short (MkIV???) which was carried by the Auxilliary police (part timers). They were phased out when the new S&Ws came online.
Bart Noir: I'm no gun expert in any way shape or form (obvious, eh? :rolleyes:). Whatever it was I remember it as a 50 calibre heavy machine gun on a mount and with an armour plated shield... a bit like the WWII U boats. I thought I remembered it as a Bren but can't find any references. It may possibly have been a Browning ? but that doesn't sound right, I'm certain it wasn't a Boys...Whatever it was I think the crews would never dare fire it as it was probably more dangerous to them than to whoever they were firing at, it being so old and constantly exposed to sea air. If they ever had to "put a shot across someones bows" they'd have used the AR15. I didn't do any time with the Marine Police so I only ever saw them with their canvas covers on. I checked my book but it doesn't have any photos of police launches with the armament visible. Sorry about that.
November 21, 2007, 06:03 PM
Grandad - thanks for the info, I'll find the book.
November 22, 2007, 05:45 AM
I saw a quite worn example of the RHKP Colt in a California gun shop a few years ago for $165. Owner didn't know what it stood for.
November 22, 2007, 11:03 PM
I thought I remembered it as a Bren but can't find any references. It may possibly have been a Browning ?
Almost certainly a Browning, through the British may have had another designation for US arms in their service. As near as I can tell all British fighter planes used the Browning though in .303 caliber. Even British Tank guns were a non British design using the 7.92 mauser rather than the .303.
Considering that even the BREN was a European Design and the Vickers was basically a modified MAXIM gun, the Brits don't seem to have designed any sucessful Automatic weapons before or during WW2.
I've seen the Browning guns designated with a "Br" and if you saw that on any paperwork you'd probably think Bren. No reason a Civilian Policeman would give it much thought.
The Browning came in more than one type when used as a shipboard weapon. Most prewar .50 Calibers used by our Navy fired a much less powerful round and had a Watercooling jacket. They usually had a gunshield.
These were still in service at Pearl Harbor.
I've heard that British Officers prefered the Wartime S&Ws to their .380 Webleys because the Smith had a tighter bore, .358 compared to .361-363 for the Webley. This gave better accuracy.
S&W had defaulted on a contract for a 9mm light rifle they'd designed and gave the British thousands of refurbished revolvers to make up the difference.
The .38 S&W round being interchangable with the .380 Webley revolver cartridge.
Smith had lots of old .38 S&W cylinders laying around since US police had switched to .38 Special, some of the British contract guns have barrels marked .38 Special but with .38 S&W cylinders.
November 22, 2007, 11:24 PM
You know, usually when a three year old thread is ressurected from the dead, it is closed by a moderator.
In this instance, all I can say is "Thank you Granddad", both for the information, and for your service.
Oh the memories of the China Fleet Club and Cat Street, and my envy of Will's revolvers!
May 23, 2010, 10:36 AM
Hello from Switzerland,
Hope this letter will be of interest
Kind regards from Heidi's land