Advice/Value on 1943 Official Police HB
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    Advice/Value on 1943 Official Police HB

    I have a decent shooter grade Official Police .38 heavy barrel.. it looks to be all orig. ,but, I'm not sure and hope you guys can help. the grips are rather worn and it looks to be an honest gun,I was told its from 1943,dont really know ...serial is 699724. the hammer and trigger are checkered and looks like new style cyl. retention. someone overtightened the grip screw,and the inside of the rh panel and the nut is pulling thru, still tight and holding ,but I may run some targets on the gun so it don't break...what frame is this ? and is that front sight correct? What would you value this revolver at?....thank you all for reading this long post and please comment.
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    The serial puts production in late March or early April 1942. This means it was produced during the freeze on civilian sales and was shipped to an authorized user on a DSC authorization, most likely a police department.

    The front sight looks hand-modified; I believe that vintage of OP came with half-moon front. Such modifications were common.

    Wild guess on value: 400 plus/minus. I haven’t looked at auctions lately. Maybe check Gunbroker.

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    $350-$400ish. Should make a great shooter. You can find some factory pre-war stocks for it that will increase the value some.
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    To spend $75 on an archives letter would probably seem out of proportion to the value of the gun. The flip side is that spending that $75 might show it went somewhere special that could really increase its value a great deal. To me...that would be of more value than the same money spent on better quality stocks.

    If the revolver was built in March or April 1942 as Absalom says above, it could possibly be one of eighteen 6" Official Police revolvers sent to Anniston Ordnance Depot on June 8, 1942. According to Pate's book on the secondary handguns used in WWII, the only 6" barrel Official Police revolvers from that time period were the eighteen referenced above. There were other 6" barreled examples produced but they were shipped several months earlier. The vast majority of Official Police revolvers shipped during the war were 4" barreled with some 5" sprinkled in as well.
    Last edited by SnidelyWhiplash; 01-08-2020 at 03:27 PM.
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    Agree with above, I would use the front sight modification to get the price down as it does affect the price. It kind of looks like a useful mod though. Open the cylinder and see if it has. “t” stamp or “L” stamp.

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    I too, am in agreement with getting a letter. I gambled on mine and won the jackpot, at least in my little world of Colt's and by my standards of "what's cool", by finding out mine was one of 50 sent to protect a nuclear site related to the Manhattan Project.

    I'm not sure just how much increased value it brought to my gun but, I'd like to think at least a little bit.

    As to yours specifically, I actually really like that front sight modification. It's much better than the half moon factory sight.

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    I question the front sight,but, there is one on gunbroker that has a sight that looks exactly like mine! from 1947. also the cyl retention and some other features appear to be post-war mods.??? I don't doubt that it's from the spring of 1942, but?....never have lettered a gun....this may be one...this one has an L stamp
    Last edited by BABYSITR; 01-08-2020 at 03:47 PM.

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    I would believe that a letter confirming a Colt going to a truly neat destination...regardless of what actual use it received...adds at least as much value as the cost of the letter...maybe more depending on where it went, condition and what the piece cost you. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    I have four Commandos and a WWII Detective Special and an Official Police. Two Commandos went to the Merchant Marine, one to a police chief and one to a military base for counter-intelligence close to where I live (which is neat in and of itself). The Detective Special went to Fort Myer, VA for Army CID and the Official Police in the last shipment of them prior to the transition to Commando to Raritan Arsenal. Based on what I paid for the Official Police and the Dick Special it jumped their values about four-fold. I paid a more than fair price for each but the archives letter made it clear I won the lottery...maybe not as much as if they went to the OSS but definitely worth the cost of the letters.
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    The cylinder retainer on the pictured revolver is the pre-WWII style, as are the checked trigger and hammer.

    At the time, this was considered the .41 frame; later known as the E/I frame.
    Last edited by up196; 01-08-2020 at 04:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BABYSITR View Post
    I question the front sight,but, there is one on gunbroker that has a sight that looks exactly like mine! from 1947. also the cyl retention and some other features appear to be post-war mods.??? I don't doubt that it's from the spring of 1942, but?....never have lettered a gun....this may be one...this one has an L stamp
    I think I found the one on Gunbroker you mentioned; serial 736830, right? That serial makes it definitely post-war, and by that time the ramped sight was official, I believe.

    As a general rule, regardless of what the Colt look-up website or proofhouse.com say, all OP‘s within the serial range from about 688xxx to 724xxx were made in 1942 before October/November, when production switched to the Commando, although OP‘s shipped into 1943 and some single guns even later.


 
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