Help with Official Police
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    Help with Official Police

    Hi, Does anyone know what A.F.D. No.40, on the butt of this Colt Official Police .38 special stands for? The serial number indicates a 1943 production. Thank you!
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    Recommend that you get a Colt Archive letter.
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    If you used one of the internet serial number lookup sites or the Colt lookup, your OP may be earlier than 1943.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyP View Post
    If you used one of the internet serial number lookup sites or the Colt lookup, your OP may be earlier than 1943.
    Indeed. No Official Police was produced in 1943, although some still shipped.

    The numbers for “1943” both on the Colt website and Proofhouse.com correspond to actual production in late 1941 and 1942, as documented by many archive letters.

    I don’t know the abbreviation AFD, but it was some agency that got the gun through a DSC order likely in 1942.
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    I agree it's probably a 1942 manufacture as Commando revolvers replaced in it production in late 1942. It probably was shipped to the military or some defense related company or law enforcement agency. An archives letter would be well deserved for this revolver...it can make a huge difference in the gun's value.
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    Unless there are more A.F.D. guns with the No. 40 out there, the serial should be 702897, which would put at least its manufacture around May/June 1942.

    The gun shows up in a few old auction postings from the past years. Interestingly, I can find no trace of any other, although there should be at least 39 more.
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    Looking in Charles Pate's book on the secondary revolvers, if the Official Police in question was made in the May/June 1942 time period, it may have gone out in one of a number of shipments to a variety of locations...Anniston Ordnance Depot (possibly through the DSC), US Coast Guard (but would have been marked US Coast Guard on the backstrap), Penn. Ordnance Works, War Department Ordnance Engineer, Chicago with a 5" barrel, Springfield Armory in one of several shipments, Port Ordnance Officer in Brooklyn in one of several shipments, or simply to the US Government with no specific destination listed.

    You can take your pick which it might be but only an archives letter will tell the tale. These were shipments to the government only. It doesn't include those going to the DSC. I would expect the DSC likely distributed the revolver to a law enforcement agency or defense plant.
    Socialism is like a Jedi Mind Trick...it only works on the weak minded. SnidelyWhiplash
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absalom View Post
    Unless there are more A.F.D. guns with the No. 40 out there, the serial should be 702897, which would put at least its manufacture around May/June 1942.

    The gun shows up in a few old auction postings from the past years. Interestingly, I can find no trace of any other, although there should be at least 39 more.
    You sir are good! Yes that is the serial number. Just noticed it has an “L” above the serial number and a “B” below it.
    Sub inspectors marks? Thank you!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnidelyWhiplash View Post
    Looking in Charles Pate's book on the secondary revolvers, if the Official Police in question was made in the May/June 1942 time period, it may have gone out in one of a number of shipments to a variety of locations...Anniston Ordnance Depot (possibly through the DSC), US Coast Guard (but would have been marked US Coast Guard on the backstrap), Penn. Ordnance Works, War Department Ordnance Engineer, Chicago with a 5" barrel, Springfield Armory in one of several shipments, Port Ordnance Officer in Brooklyn in one of several shipments, or simply to the US Government with no specific destination listed.

    You can take your pick which it might be but only an archives letter will tell the tale. These were shipments to the government only. It doesn't include those going to the DSC. I would expect the DSC likely distributed the revolver to a law enforcement agency or defense plant.
    Snidely, I will pursue an archives letter. Thank you for the info and help.
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcmh1 View Post
    Recommend that you get a Colt Archive letter.
    Good suggestion, thank you!
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