Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Bought another Colt, hoping it is original

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Clark, Dec 31, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Checkman

    Checkman member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,884
    Location:
    Idaho
    Looks like you got a good one with some honest wear and a nice "patina". Congratualtions.
     
  2. JT-AR-MG42

    JT-AR-MG42 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    336
    Did those two Officers Models come from the same shop? The finish loss is indicative of the owner having highly acidic skin in #25. I can see fingerprint outlines.
    The finish is what it is. Bet they'll shoot with a Speer 148 HBWC and 3 grs. of Bullseye though.

    That sure looks like a King hammer on the OMM.
    From #23 - The checkering pattern is consistent with the original OMM hammer and it was obviously professionally done.
    The King cockeyed hammer allowed the shooter to re-cock the revolver without coming completely out of the grip. That was particularly important when using thumbrest Sandersons, Ropers, or the more affordable Fitz grips.

    I come up with a '47 or '48 date for your OMT, depending on the last three digits of the serial. Serial numbers for the E frames in the '47 - '49 period got pretty confused. Even for Colt.

    Here's my 1949 OMS .38. Came with the full checkered targets, although they were not a factory option in 1949.
    This is the most accurate Colt revolver I've ever shot and is my 'go to' gun for making fun shooting wagers. ColtOfficersSpecial1_zpsb8351775.jpg

    Like checkman said, Colt used up their OMT frames as late as 1950 (the latest I've personally seen) while making the newer OMS model.
    They just never threw anything out. Remember, the last of the pre-war SAA frames were assembled and shipped in 1972.

    Around my area, all I see are overpriced and abused MK IIIs.

    JT
     
  3. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,530
    If I found an OP .38 or PPS .32-20 in that condition, in that price range, I'd be all over it.
    My LGS has a .38 sp PPS that appears to be renickeled. the hammer and trigger are both nickeled and are very slick feeling.
    Plus, the plating is in much better shape than the checkering on the grips.
    I don't recall seeing any nickeled revolvers from that era with a nickeled hammer and trigger.
    It just doesn't look right, compared to my mom's original nickeled .32-20 PPS.

    Maybe the one in the LGS is chromed, not nickeled. Dunno.
    Anyway, they want $350 or $375 for it. *cough, cough, ripoff, cough cough*
     
  4. Checkman

    Checkman member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,884
    Location:
    Idaho
    JT-AR-MG42
    Boy I like the look of the Officer Model Special. There is just something about that bull barrel and the sights that appeals to my sense of style. Good looking revolver. I've yet to come across one, but I am always looking.
     
  5. Clark

    Clark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    4,340
    Location:
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
    No, the gun stores are 20 miles apart.... but they could have been felt by the same sweaty hands.. they are now.

    For my brother a year ago, I processed 1500 pieces of "Remington Target 38 Special Wad Cutter Brass" and got him some 148 gr Rem wadcutter bullets.
    I should have kept some:)
     
  6. JT-AR-MG42

    JT-AR-MG42 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    336
    That's funny Clark!

    And thanks checkman. The finish is worn, but it actually looks better in person than the pic.

    Here is a link to an auction that I am not affiliated with or pushing at all. Just using it to show a classic example of the transition Colt Officers Model Target.
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=326506087

    Note the combination of pre and post war parts on it.
    The gun is a post war dual tone. It is a challenge to fake or re-do that finish.

    The frame is an OMT, but has the single crane retention screw. The backstrap is grooved rather than checkered.

    The cylinder release latch is smooth post war with a pre-war checkered hammer and a grooved post war trigger.

    The barrel is not marked as a heavy barrel. I have not come across a pre-war '37-'47 .38 special that was not marked as a heavy barrel.

    The barrel is marked with Colt's post war single line address on top in pre-war placement rather than on the side.

    The grips are standard pre-war walnut. I'm not questioning them, but most transition OMT .38s and .22s I have looked at have the mottled Coltwood instead.

    There are variations of all these features on different post war OMTs I've seen.
    Guess I wanted to use the auction to show just how many variations of the OMT a guy could come across and go broke trying to collect one of each!

    1947 through 1950 must have been a confusing time for the guys and gals assembling these pistols at Colt.

    JT
     
  7. Clark

    Clark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    4,340
    Location:
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
    I bought a Colt Official Police 38sp 1961 today, that I think is original.

    But I saw another one, I would like to also get, but it had a brass button on top of the front sight.

    Did Colt ever put a little brass knob on a Colt Official Police 38 sp front sight?

    I have made a picture of what it looks like, sort of.

    Thanks.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    If paid enough, Colt would do almost anything within reason, but a gold bead on the front sight of an Official Police is highly unlikely and was never cataloged.

    What they did sometimes do on a special order basis was offer the Officers Model target-style revolver with an optional bead front sight with a matching "U" notch at the rear. You could also have the barrel length shortened to any length back to about 2-inches. Be aware that more of these modifications occured outside the factory rather then within.
     
  9. MagnunJoe

    MagnunJoe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    593
    Location:
    South Florida
    Beautiful, I'm using my first post to let U know that I appreciate a good revolver. Yes I'm a traditionalist and revolvers R in my CCW rotation.
     
  10. Clark

    Clark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    4,340
    Location:
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
    I got the one with the Gold bead on top of the front sight.
     
  11. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    The revolver appears to be of post-war production, but the brass stud in the front sight is an aftermarket alteration. Some (but not all) collectors might frown on this, but it should make a very acceptable shooter.
     
  12. Grayrock

    Grayrock Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,414
    Location:
    The great state of TEXAS
    Dang, Clark- I think you have exceeded the current administration's limit on gun purchases just within this thread!! CONGRATS- all nice pieces!
     
  13. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,241
    Location:
    The Shadow Knows...
    Love old Colts!

    IMG_1554.gif
     
  14. Checkman

    Checkman member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,884
    Location:
    Idaho
    Yes indeed. They are nice.
     
  15. Clark

    Clark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    4,340
    Location:
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
    I got another Colt today.
    A 1960 Colt Police Positive Special 32 Colt N.P.
    S/N 757XXX


    This revolver was almost completely frozen.
    But I could tell that it was the cylinder rotation was gummed up lube and not rust.
    The cylinder would barely turn. I bought it anyway, as everything else seemed to work.
    I got it home, took off the crane and side plate and there was no rust or dirt. Just lube turned to glue.
    I scraped out some old lube with a dental probe.
    I put Break Free CLP in it.

    This revolver is like a scaled down Official Police 38 sp.
    This little revolver could have been much lighter, but they made it heavy duty, with thick chamber walls and frame.

    This pic I gave so much gamma correction that the blue back ground is gray.
    Otherwise all you would see is a black blob.

    The revolvers in this area that are available to me and getting further and further from what Old Fuff would consider collectible.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    Perhaps the Old Fuff has failed to explain the facts of life concerning collectors and/or collectables.

    Some (generally well off financially) collectors limit themselves to well-established fields (examples: Colt cap & ball or Single Action Army revolvers, 19th Century Smith & Wesson’s and selected pre-war hand ejectors, Winchester lever action rifles, etc.) and will pay healthy sums for perfect or near perfect examples.

    Others who are not necessarily wealthy and are more interested in the history behind their collection, and more willing to venture into some less established and researched categories, can find opportunities - and with a few exceptions Colt and Smith & Wesson hand ejector (swing out cylinder) revolvers produced during the first three-quarters of the 20th Century offer some interesting areas to explore where a collection can be assembled over time that won’t require a second mortgage on the ol’ homestead. It is also a field where values have room to grow, especially for pieces that are boxed, and/or in pristine condition.

    But to fully appreciate what one has or has a chance to acquire it is necessary to spend some money on research books and other publications, to know exactly what is what. When building a gun collection ignorance is not bliss.

    Which brings me to Clark’s latest buy, which it appears has not set off any bells and whistles on his part, but has caused the Old Fuff to raise an eyebrow.

    From 1908 (or possibly as early as 1905) to 1942 Colt made a revolver called the Police Positive that was slightly smaller then the Police Positive Special. The former was usually chambered in .32 Colt New Police (.32 S&W Long) or .38 Colt New Police (.38 S&W) where the latter was offered in .38 Special and .32 WCF (.32-20). When revolver production was resumed in 1945 the Police Positive was discontinued, and the .32 Colt New Police and .38 Colt New Police chambering added to the options available in the Police Positive Special.

    But neither of the latter two proved to be particularly popular, and a substantial part of the already limited production was exported to overseas markets. So it wasn’t long before both versions were discontinued.

    Granted, they’re not a whole lot of collectors or shooters who are looking for this particular Colt variant, but among the few that are some that would grab it in a heartbeat, and I expect over time the number of such individuals will increase.
     
  17. Clark

    Clark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    4,340
    Location:
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
    I got some 22 revolvers at the gun show today.
    I am beginning to suspect one of them is not a revolver.

    The other two; Officers Model 1930 and Police Positive 1920
     
  18. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    22,559
    Is the Police Positive Target a Long Rifle or a WRF?
    My late boss had a .22 WRF of the type and I see more of them than I do LRs.

    The other one looks pretty good even though not a revolver.
     
  19. Clark

    Clark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    4,340
    Location:
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
    It just says on the barrel "22"
    The chambers are .224" go, and the cylinder is 1.26" long.
    So it is too tight and too short for magnum.

    The conditions vary:
    1) The one in the box has spent most of the last 93 years in a bank vault.
    2) The big revolver looks original, but worn.
    3) The little revolver looks like it was reblued. Bubba did not have the right tools when he worked on the front sight. And he left some of the grip on the nail when he used the Police Positive as a hammer. But it is a Colt 22 with adjustable sights that locks up tight, so it followed me home. Old Fuff would not all it collector grade. Barely shooter grade.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  20. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,530
    I recently found an Army Special in .32-20. It has been parkerized by the GS that is selling it.
    The finish was uglied up on the starboard side, due to laying on it's side under a car seat, apparently. The grips appear to be checkered black hard rubber and are in excellent condition. I can't say if they are repops or OEM.

    It obviously has no collector value, due to the refinish. I'd like to send it to Colt for rebluing.
    The action is damned tight. Bank vault tight. It appears to have been shot very little.
    I want it, if it's still available.
    It is priced at $329.
    How much should I offer them?
     
  21. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    Remove the stocks, but be very careful in doing it because if they are original they'll be very brittle and prone to crack or chip. If they are original you'll find the panels are solid (not hollow with ribs) on the inside, and part or all of the serial number will be scratched on one of both panels.

    Check with Colt, but I think you'll find they will refuse, because they no longer have parts, and can't replace what's in it if there is a problem. Also given the condition it's in now, it would likely cost more then the revolver is worth.

    You are right in thinking that it is (or was) a fine revolver, but now it's chambered for a less-then-popular cartridge, and the ammunition is expensive. The condition it's in should not affect it as a shooter, but will discourage most people from buying it at $329.00. For that much money you should be able to find one in much better condition, and possibly chambered in .38 Special, which is easier and less expensive to get ammunition for. I would pass, but in any case not offer more then $200.00. If I was so unlucky as to have them accept my offer I'd keep it as it is, and use it as a shooter up to the point of being able to afford the ammunition.

    Do check the bore carefully, as you sometimes find them with a bulge caused by someone who shot another bullet on top of one that didn't exit the muzzle.
     
  22. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    The little Police Positive Target is chambered to us .22 Winchester Rim Fire (.22WRF) cartridges. It's a neat revolver, and was very popular in its day, but now it's next to impossible to find ammunition for. Do not try to shoot it using .22 WRM (Winchester Rimfire Magnum ammunition
     
  23. Clark

    Clark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    4,340
    Location:
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
    The big 1930 Revolver says "22LR".
    It has a .226" chamber, .223" throat, and a 1.505" long cylinder.

    The small 1920 revolver says "22".
    It has a .227" chamber, no throat.. straight through, and a 1.26" long cylinder.

    I shot stingers and sub sonic hollow points in the small revolver and it seems to work. The chamber is the right diameter for 22LR, but throatless.
     
  24. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,530
    Old Fuff, thanks for the reply. I was thinking of offering them 200 bucks for it.
    Unfortunately, I'm a .32 fan, especially .32-20. The first centerfire pistol I shot was my late grandfather's PPS .32-20. It has a neat story.
    Dude came down from up north, to Mississippi, and shot up a juke joint in the hood.
    Said revolver was confiscated by the popo at the time of his arrest, at the scene.
    Chief of police was good friends with my granddad and gave it to my granddad, after the trial/conviction. This was before my granddad and grandmother got married, in 1935.
    IIRC, the serial number placed the DOB at 1922.
    It is nickel with pearl grips. Totally pimped out version. My best friend always called it a pimp gun.
    It's always been a good shooter.

    I realize that .32-20 is going to be a reloading proposition.
    The last ammo I found for it was over a dollar per round.
    Now, I just need to find out how hot is safe for an old PPS and an Army Special.
    I get the feeling the Army Special is a good bit stronger than the PPS, based on frame and cylinder size.
     
  25. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    The Army Special is identical to the Official Police, the only difference being a name change made in 1927 when it had become obvious that the Army was no longer interested in .38 revolvers. The frame and cylinder were designed around the then popular .41 Long Colt. Any listed load today in .32-20 (.32 WCF) for revolvers should be safe.

    The Police Positive Special is a much lighter gun, and the snubby version named the Detective Special is much better known. Again listed loads for handguns should be safe, but given that heavy loads can loosen the revolver and put it out of time; combined with the lack of repair parts and qualified gunsmiths to fit them, would cause me to avoid the heavy stuff.

    Incidentally the Old Fuff is also a big fan when it comes to .32 revolvers...
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page