Police Positive in 38 S&W


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LubeckTech
August 29, 2012, 04:47 PM
I am bidding on a Colt Police Positive on Gunborker.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=302632259

From the SN I think it was made about 1918 - when did they stop making them in 38 S&W? Could it be anything other than 38 S&W?

Right now I am the winning bidder at $130 and won't go more than $140.00 is it likely to appreciate much in value as they become more scarce??

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smkummer
August 29, 2012, 05:10 PM
Remember 38 S&W chambered guns are not a easy sell. While the cartridge is still loaded it is not common anymore. Colt made this model until WW2. After that the longer cylinder Police positive special was sometimes chambered in 38 S&W for customers who wanted it. Hong Kong was ordering this caliber well into the 60's.

waidmann
August 29, 2012, 07:44 PM
I asked this question on the Colt forum several months back. It could be .38 Colt/Short Colt or .38 New Police (.38 S&W). If its any consolation you might find yourself trimming .38 Special cases. The responses I received indicated the ".38" marked guns have to be taken in context, and in the case of Police Positives (not PP Specials) unless they are marked Police or New Police, no context other than dislosure or discovery.

Sorry.

Old Fuff
August 29, 2012, 09:12 PM
By the time I looked the auction was over, and I had mixed feelings. First of all I have to admit that I'm a fan-boy when it comes to Police Positive Colts. This one was chambered in .38 Colt New Police, which is identical to the currently available .38 S&W. Also it is the only .38 S&W chambered revolver that has .38 Special chamber throats and bore grooves, which mean you can reload the cartridge using regular .358" bullets rather then the odd-size .361" size that is standard in other revolvers. It is an accurate cartridge, inexpensive to reload, and can be safely loaded to offer .38 Special performance.

That said...

The problem with all of these older Colts is (1) the availability of repair parts, and (2) finding a gunsmith with the knowledge to fix them. If you pick the wrong one he can quickly make a fine old revolver into a useless paper weight.

On this particular gun I detected in the excellent photographs that someone had used an incorrect screwdriver to remove the sideplate screws, and in so doing had marked up both the screws and sideplate. From this I must conclude that some Bubba had been trying to fix something with the expected result. :barf: :banghead:

So, I would have jumped at the chance to buy it for $130, and maybe gone to as high as $200...

BUT ONLY IF I COULD HAVE PERSONALLY INSPECTED THE PIECE FIRST!

Otherwise the cost of fixing it might have more then wiped out any advantage in the original price. On the other hand if the internal mechanics were good (sort of doubtful) it would have been a prize.

LubeckTech
August 30, 2012, 12:44 AM
That is why $135 was my top offer. From my experience colts some times suffer from timing problems and I am concerned about the screws but many times I have found buggering like this to be the result of screws working loose and being carelessly tightened. At any rate it is a gamble - it was $116 when it started and I felt like taking a chance as I've not done anything stupid in qiute a while. If nothing else it will make a nice wall hanger with some imitation stag grips!

Old Fuff
August 30, 2012, 01:26 AM
If nothing else it will make a nice wall hanger with some imitation stag grips!

Seems to me that Numrich had some. Check www.gunpartscorp.com

I found a pair of brown "Coltwood" plastic stocks I put on one I have so I could preserve the original black hard-rubber ones that came on it.

LubeckTech
August 30, 2012, 09:44 AM
Found some on Ebay too.
At any rate I am not expecting much from it and would be happy if it shoots SA. Since I am in no hurry it should make an interesting project and conversation piece. Too bad they can't talk but if this one could it would probably shriek "Help Meeeee!!"

SaxonPig
August 30, 2012, 09:52 AM
I've seen much worse sell for much more. Be glad I didn't see that at $130 because your $135 bid would not have been enough to hold it.

I have bought dozens of guns without an inspection and only two have had unseen problems. One I lived with and the other required repair. that's the life in Internet buying.

Nice score.

Old Fuff
August 30, 2012, 11:04 AM
I make a point of buying cripples, but I am always careful to scan the pictures when buying over the Internet when I can’t inspect the gun. This is especially true when “fix it” parts may not be available, or especially expensive. Generally my luck has been excellent, and I've lucked-out on some great buys, but the reason for my success is the care I use before jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Also in this instance I wasn’t taking any chances, but instead recommending to someone else what they should do – and in my book that carries some responsibility. Hopefully when this gun arrives it will live up to expectations.

bikemutt
August 30, 2012, 10:32 PM
Agree with Fuff. I really, really wanted to bid on a gun a few weeks ago and sent the seller a set of very specific questions. With no reply in hand, I watched it go unsold, but I kept the bookmark. After about a week it was re-listed, I mentioned to the seller I might have bid if he'd answered my questions. He said he never got my original correspondence, so it re-sent it. I got my questions answered and bought the gun. It was hard though, to resist the urge to buy in the first place, in the end I'm glad I held to discipline.

TarDevil
August 30, 2012, 11:00 PM
What am I missing? I see these guns for sale all the time at prices north of $400. I know I'd certainly pay more than $140 for my sweet shooting Colt.

Old Fuff
August 31, 2012, 12:01 AM
What am I missing? I see these guns for sale all the time at prices north of $400. I know I'd certainly pay more than $140 for my sweet shooting Colt.

If it's "sweet shooting" I'm sure you would, but it wasn't and you couldn't get it fixed short of taking out a second mortgage, you might hesitate long enough to be sure about what you were getting into. At least I hope you would. :uhoh:

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