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  1. #1
    Junior Member Boss Hog is on a distinguished road

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    Colt Official Police?

    Just inherited a Colt Official Police 38 spl. At least that is what the markings on the barrel say. According to the S/N (8007XX) however, it looks to be a Police Positive Special, circa 1962, at least according proofhouse.com.

    Go by S/N or barrel markings, or did they mark the barrel the same on both models?
    Last edited by Boss Hog; 07-27-2010 at 08:59 AM.

  2. #2
    A1A
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    Welcome to the forum. It could well be and is most likely a 1950 or 1951 Official Police. There is an error in the starting serial numbers for 1951 in Proofhouse.com. It is the same starting number as for for 1954. That error was carried from The charts in The Book of Colt Firearms. Anyway, as such it would be dual tone blue with the flutes and entire strap a matte finish and the rest polished. Original stocks would have been Coltwood plastic. How about some pictures to see if it matches up?

  3. #3
    Junior Member Boss Hog is on a distinguished road

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    Thanks for the welcome. Here's some pictures. I suppose the grip could be plastic, but it looks like wood to me.

    Had a fair amount of rust on the exterior that I had to clean off. None in the barrel, luckily.
    Attached Images
    Last edited by Boss Hog; 07-25-2010 at 08:13 PM.

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    A1A
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    The stocks are wood aftermarket probably manufactured by Sile. The medallions appear to be the Sile "eagle". Colt wooden stocks would have silver rampant Colt medallions, but as I said were not the stocks of the day. It appears that the gun really should be disassembled, soaked in a penetrating/rust dissolving oil like Kroil and cleaned with a brass or bronze "toothbrush" and/or wool. Steel wool should not be used despite many smiths' recommendations as it further damages the remaining bluing and even the metal. I say disassembled because it appears possible there is internal rust as well. However, disassembly is not something recommended for the unfamiliar as it requires proper tools and procedures to avoid damage. Short of disassembly, I would remove the stocks and still soak it in Kroil, clean the exterior as described and flush the interior with a solvent like GunScrubber or even brake cleaner until the flush runs fairly clear, followed by a lubing with a good modern lubricant like Breakfree CLP. Since this is all just my opinion, let's see what others suggest.
    Last edited by A1A; 07-25-2010 at 08:21 PM.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Boss Hog is on a distinguished road

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    Thanks. Probably ought to do that before shooting it. I initially used WD-40, a rag, and copius amounts of elbow grease. That got about 90% of the rust. After that, I used some 0000 steel wool for a few persistent spots.

    So you are still thinking it is a 1950 or 51 Official Police? I read somewhere that if you call Colt and give them the S/N, they will give you the date of mfg, but nothing else without $$$.

    BTW, hard to see in the pics, but the medallions are that of an Eagle.
    Last edited by Boss Hog; 07-25-2010 at 08:41 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RDak is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by A1A View Post
    The stocks are wood aftermarket probably manufactured by Sile. The medallions appear to be the Sile "eagle". Colt wooden stocks would have silver rampant Colt medallions, but as I said were not the stocks of the day. It appears that the gun really should be disassembled, soaked in a penetrating/rust dissolving oil like Kroil and cleaned with a brass or bronze "toothbrush" and/or wool. Steel wool should not be used despite many smiths' recommendations as it further damages the remaining bluing and even the metal. I say disassembled because it appears possible there is internal rust as well. However, disassembly is not something recommended for the unfamiliar as it requires proper tools and procedures to avoid damage. Short of disassembly, I would remove the stocks and still soak it in Kroil, clean the exterior as described and flush the interior with a solvent like GunScrubber or even brake cleaner until the flush runs fairly clear, followed by a lubing with a good modern lubricant like Breakfree CLP. Since this is all just my opinion, let's see what others suggest.
    I would definitely do a disassembled soak on that gun. (But I do that with all guns I buy used.)

    Overall, I can't add anything to what you would do though.

  7. #7
    A1A
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boss Hog View Post
    So you are still thinking it is a 1950 or 51 Official Police? I read somewhere that if you call Colt and give them the S/N, they will give you the date of mfg, but nothing else without $$$.
    Yes. In addition to characteristics mentioned here Police positive or Official Police? , the hammer profile is distinctive.

    Before 1968, it was possible to have different models with the same serial number. Look in Proofhouse under Official Police & Marshal, noting what I said about the obvious entry error. Some believe that Colt uses the same charts for the quick telephone information. After all, they were derived from Colt records by R.L. Wilson. Often, however, even Colt personnel, especially newer, provide wrong information because they are not aware of the "oddities" of serial number assignment over the years. Nothing is perfect.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Boss Hog is on a distinguished road

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    Thanks again! You have been most helpful and knowledgeable.

    One more thing. Here's pictures with the grip off and the inside of one of the grips. The wood grain is excellent. Is there a way to chemically clean the outside of the grips (which are filthy now) without damaging them? I was thinking of doing that, then applying a clear linseed oil stain.
    Attached Images
    Last edited by Boss Hog; 07-26-2010 at 07:56 AM.

  9. #9
    A1A
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    Murphy's Oil Soap and a toothbrush is one common recommendation. It will clean but not strip. Some claim success with other wood cleaners, but I don't recall just what they are. If you want to strip and refinish, which you may not find necessary, I would recommend Citristrip and Tru-Oil. Others will have other suggestions.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Boss Hog is on a distinguished road

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    You were right...the Oil Soap alone worked wonders. Had to put in on straight, full strength though, then rinse and dry afterward.

    Along with inheriting the gun, I also inherited a box of shells to go with it. Remington 130 gr +P. In doing a little research (some on this site), there appears to be some confusion about shooting those increased pressure shells in these older guns. Some say they have never had a problem, but then again, most people who don't wear seat belts never have problems either.

    I think I'll err on the side of caution and give that box of shells to my son to shoot in his S&W .357 and buy some new, non +P shells for use in this .38.

    What is the general consensus, though?
    Last edited by Boss Hog; 07-27-2010 at 06:51 AM.


 

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