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  1. #1
    Junior Member Errkola is on a distinguished road

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    Police Positive - 38 Special questions

    OK, this friend of mine has this PP in 38 special. it was given new (manufacture date is 1917 or '18) to a criminal judge back in the '20s and used very little since then. Other than the grip straps the finish on this gun is 98%+. As I understand it there is a Police Positive Special as well, chambered in 38 special. Apparently the cylinder on the Police Positive is not long enough to fit a 38 special, at least that was what I was told, but I am not sure how to explain this pistol. Please someone give me the straight skinny on this pistol as I am tired of debating it.

    Also, what is the approx. value of this pistol at current market?
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    Last edited by Errkola; 11-11-2008 at 10:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Member Oldnoob is on a distinguished road

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    I'm new in revolver world so I might be wrong, but I think police positive service has different caliber 38s&w, 38sp, 32s&w.
    Taiwan born, Chinese descent, red white and freaking blue America citizen. :rock:
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  3. #3
    Junior Member Errkola is on a distinguished road

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    yes from what I researched on the web it does come in other calibers.

  4. #4
    Member mulehide9 is on a distinguished road

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    Colt PP question

    yes, their was also a Colt PP Special. It was made from 1907 to 1973.

    The other PP's were chambered for the Colt 38 NP, and 38 S&W.

    It should state what cal. it is on the gun. If it is not a 38 special, a bullet will not chamber in the gun.

    The old S&W cylinders were basically the same size but the chambering was different. The colt PP's were different size cylinders.

  5. #5
    A1A
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    I'm confused. You say a Police Positive in 38 Special. That would make it a Police Positive Special, the "other" model you mention. The Police Positive 38 was not chambered in 38 Special. The Police Positive 38 was made starting 1905. The Police Positive Special started in 1908. The serial numbers are all digits starting at 1 for both models, so you have to know which one you have in order to date it.

    This is a steal from a sequence of pictures posted by member tommix. It shows the cylinder length difference quite excellently. The caption is under the corresponding picture. The longer cylinders are a little over 1.5" long and the shorter are in the 1.2 to 1.3" range.

    Four Police Positives, 1 - .32, 3 - .38's, note short cylinders.

    Four Police Positive Specials, longer cylinders to accommodate .38 Spec. ctg., 1 - Nickel, 1 - .32, 2 - .38 Spec.

    Going back to look at your picture, it looks to me a like Police Positive Special based on the cylinder.
    Last edited by A1A; 11-12-2008 at 06:44 AM.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Errkola is on a distinguished road

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    A1A, yes I totally agree from the picture the cylinder length on the one I have is longer, thanks for the pictures they're a big help. I first assumed that if a PP was in 38 special then that made it a PP Special, as you state, but was told that was wrong. I guess everyone has an opinion, and some of those opinions jibe with the facts and some don't it would seem. So there is no difference in the markings on the side of the barrel of the two types, they both just say Police Positive, then give the caliber and the pistols chambered in 38 special are then the PP "Specials", right? From what I understood from a forum on another board the designation on a PP Special should read: "Police Positive Special" then the caliber, "38 Special". I am a complete noob about colt revolvers so any information you have is welcome.
    Last edited by Errkola; 11-12-2008 at 07:01 AM.

  7. #7
    A1A
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    Well, I'm not an expert, but I am willing to go to the references. The Police Positive 38 Model was marked just Police Positive -.38 until about 1929, then without the dash, but never with anything about Special as it was never chambered for it. The Police Positive Special markings varied with caliber as it was chambered for other calibers in addition to 38 Special. So, it was marked either Police Positive .38 Special or Police Positive Special followed by the caliber other than 38 Special. Clear? The Police Positive 38 was made through 1943. The Police Positive Special was made through 1970. As you probably noted, the Police was over the Positive with a shared P followed by the caliber on both models until circa 1949 when the Police Positive Special marking was changed to one line with the caliber on the second line. HTH

  8. #8
    Junior Member Errkola is on a distinguished road

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    Excellent, that puts it to bed, thank you very much A1A!

    Oh yes, one last thing; what is the approximate market value on this pistol?
    Last edited by Errkola; 11-12-2008 at 08:31 AM.

  9. #9
    A1A
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    Condition is an important factor and it is difficult to determine definitively from your photo. Presuming the stocks are good and it is overall 90% or so, it could be $300 - 500 IMO, but again, I am not the expert and don't follow these particular models. The best guide is the online auctions that have actually sold. There appears to be one like yours, give or take, with a 4" barrel with an ask of $430, but no bids. That photo is also not definitive. Perhaps someone else has a better handle on PPS prices.


 

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