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Thread: History question on the 1977 Police Positive?

  1. #1
    Senior Member dabney is on a distinguished road

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    History question on the 1977 Police Positive?

    I was hoping that some of the Colt Historians, this forum is bless to have, could respond to this question concerning the 1977-production-era Police Positive. From my understanding this particular Colt was manufactured for only one year and discontinued. The 4-inch barrel was half-shrouded and two finish offerings of blue and nickel. There was also an alloy frame model that Colt named the "Viper" with both Colts produced only 1-year (1977). Both Colts were only avaliable in 4-inch barrels and had the Detective Special Grips (walnut) of that time period. Are these facts accurate?

    Also, I have seen on gunbroker several Police Positive Specials, from 1977, advertised for sale. The 'Special' was the model with the 'exposed' ejector rod. Colt dropped the name "Special' from the half- shrouded barrel Police Positive, but it would seem that Colt was making both six-guns during the year of 1977. Is this correct?

    I have long been a fan of the Police Positive/PPS/PP/and PP MKV. The first two models (PP,PPS) were real bread-winners for Colt for many years leading up to WWII. Then after the war, the PP was dropped with the PPS soldiering on up to the 1970's, until production ceased. Then in 1994, the MK V PP came out for 1-year and subsequently dropped. Am I right with this portion of the PP history?

    My limited 'stay' with these 'classic' Colts was delayed because there were none marketed in an area of the country that was extremely pro-gun and pro-.38 especially. The PD I worked with, in the early 70's, issued the S&W Model 10 and that caliber/sixgun, in a four-inch barrel, was very popular here. I, through gun publications and research, found out and educated myself on the PP/PPS Models.When the first opportunity to purchase a PPS presented itself, via Shotgun News, I took advantage through Dad's FFL and got my first, second-hand PPS. An ex-Colombian Police 4-inch PPS and I was like a kid at Christmas! As the years went by, I acquired a couple more PPS Models, ex-police models, and really became familiar with this 'classic' Colt. The 1977 PP has eluded me, and high prices, lately, have prevented me from getting this Colt. I have coveted the 1977 PP for a long time. The prices on this PP and the Viper are sky-high now and I had to comfort myself with a PP-clone, the Armscor 200! Looks like a dead-ringer for the PP except when you remove the grips and see the trigger-action, similar to the Ruger Six-series. Thank you in advance for any info offered to help further my education on this 'classic' Colt, the Police Positive.
    David
    Last edited by dabney; 12-16-2013 at 09:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ussmanlovede36 is on a distinguished road

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    here is a colt PP from 1977 all original. these were made 1977-78.DSCN0085.JPG there were two different models made in 1977 this one and the PP Special.
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    Supporting Member smkummer is on a distinguished road
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    The police positive (they dropped the special)was in the 1977 and 1978 catalogs and also listed in the price list for 1979. Keep your eyes on the auction sites and you can sometimes luck out. It feels smaller than the K frame smith but the stocks that came on the 77-79 model really work for all hand sizes. The stocks are 5/8 in. longer than the stocks that came on the detective special.
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    Senior Member Lawman67 is on a distinguished road

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    I picked up one this year as new and snagged a correct box for $30. The revolver was $650. I like the way it feels compared to the older version. One reason that there are less of them is that in the 70s , there were rumors of a 2 inch revolver ban. 2 inch guns became hard to find ,the factory also started making 3 inch versions . Some distributors took the Police positives and rebarreled the m wit h 2 inch DS barrels
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  5. #5
    Senior Member skilled is on a distinguished road

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    One of my favorite PP models. I am luck to have both blue and nickel.

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    Supporting Member saintclair is on a distinguished road
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    In my experience these PP's as well as the Viper are extremely difficult to find except on the web sites. Over the last 12 years, I have not seen one of the PP's in this configuration or a Viper at this regions LGS's.

  7. #7
    *** ColtForum MVP *** dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all

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    The Viper and Police Positive with the half-shrouded barrel had the same TYPE of Combat grips as used on the Detective Special and Cobra of that time, but the Viper and PP grips were actually longer on the bottom. These longer grips were used only on the Viper and PP of that time.

    Most sources say the shrouded Police Positive, known as the Fourth Issue was made in 1977 and 1978.
    The Viper was made from 1977 to 1984, although some sources do list it as 1977 only.
    Both were made in blue and nickel and with 4" barrels.

    Your history of the Police Positive is good, but there seems to be uncertainty at to exactly when Colt actually stopped making it.
    For years the PPS was not cataloged by Colt, but Colt was producing it on special order for foreign police agencys.
    No one seems to be certain when actual production or at least assembly of PPS models ceased, except for the Mark V version which did stop in 1995-96.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member dabney is on a distinguished road

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    Thanks for sharing the photos gents! Both of you have 'fine' looking Colts, the kind I've wanted for some time. The factory nickel PP was 'fantastic' looking as well as the blue steel models. Thanks again, for responding.

    Mr. Dfariswheel, many thanks for the info, especially the part about the grips. I was unaware of those dimensions you gave and this allows me to add some more data to my notes concerning this particular Colt. I do appreciate your wisdom! Concerning the foreign orders sir, do you know 'what' foreign country was using the PP/PPS during this time period of 1977? The PPS Models of 1977, I see from time to time on gunbroker, would these be the 'unadvertised' PPS/PP sixguns that you mentioned in your above post? This is interesting, as it appears that these two separate Colt Models were being produced at the same time (1977) with only the PP being advertised. Thanks again.
    David

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    Senior Member pistola is on a distinguished road

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    Thumbs up Police Positive 1977

    D.A.V.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dabney is on a distinguished road

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    Nice PP there Mr. Pistola! All of the pictured PP's here appear to be 'collectors-dream' of Colt Revolvers! I'm envious of the PP's on display here. I'll have to make do with my PP look-a-like Armscor 200 until I can get the Real McCoy! My 200 is very similar in profile and grip frame dimensions to the 1977 Police Positive, including the weight. I purchased this six-gun because it does look like the 77 PP and I happen to think a compact (D-Frame) 4-inch .38 Revolver, with the dimensions of the PP, to be an excellent sidearm for an old cop, like myself, who is riding a desk now, but still in uniform and detests the polymer blasters and clings to his Colt Service Revolver! The PP Model is several ounces lighter than the 1994 PP MK V Revolver. I really appreciate the craftsmanship and barrel design of the 77 PP over the 94 Model. The trigger-action was 'tweaked' a little with the newer PP MK V, but not much to my recollection. Anyway, thanks to all who answered my post. I appreciate each and every one of you for your input.
    David


 

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