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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a BPD marked Bankers Special in .38 S&W made in 1935 at a gun show yesterday. It was cheap, so I grabbed it without doing any research.

Couple of questions:

1. Does BPD stand for Boston PD? The rack number is pretty high, so I assumed it had to be a large police department.
2. Since Bankers to my knowledge never came with Coltwood grips, was Boston PD known to put them on duty guns?

Thank you!

WW

bpd1.jpg bpd2.jpg
 

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Nice find. I've seen some Boston PD Bakers Specials before, so it could be.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Yes I do know that the stocks are later. Before I get correct period stocks, I was wondering whether possibly BPD used Coltwoods on issued guns. If that were true, it would make sense to keep them.
 

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There is a forum member here who goes by "Ben Cartwright SASS" who specializes in Boston PD guns. If you PM him, he can probably best answer your question. Do a search for "Boston Police", and you'll find some of his posts.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. I've already been looking for correct stocks. So far have not been able to find round butt ones with pre-war medals, but will keep looking.
 

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WW
I would agree with a high degree of certainty that this BS is a Boston gun, the numbering is consistent. Of course the only way to truly tell is to get it lettered. I also have two BS's a round and a square butt, and a few other Boston guns, about 30+ at this point. Some day soon I will do a complete family portrait! One thing of note is that there were several towns around the country that also used BPD, Bnghamton NY, Bloomfield NJ, Brownsville TX, and others, that is why if you are really concerned about the dept a letter is needed.

On the grips, all the BS's I have seen have a lot of wear on the grips and sometimes they got replaced. One thing about Boston they were a very cheap department and would replace grips with whatever was at hand, Colt or aftermarket. To my mind the odds are that the grips may very well have been replaced by the armorers at Boston PD. My pre-war Colt Woodsman's are a case in point, at some point in their "service" life both had aftermarket grips put on them, I am leaving them as is because that is how they came from the department.

To show how cheap BPD was (and is) a friend of mine was in the armory in the late 70's and the armorers where taking a HACKSAW to a couple 12 gauge side by sides and cutting the barrels down to about 14 inches for the undercover bank response them so they could hang them under overcoats and whip them out and blast any bank robbers as they came out the door of the bank. I also know they cut down 4 inch barrels to make snubby's. My S&W Victories where stamped at the armory so hard it bent the backstraps!













 

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Ben, That is quite a collection of BPD guns!! Do you have/had a connection to that department?
Not really, some friends on it. I was with Westwood MA in the early 80's, we used Smith Model 10's. I started to collect police guns and then realized there are so many out there I had to specialize and decided on Boston as it is the oldest Dept. and is local AND they mark all their guns.
 

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Yes I do know that the stocks are later. Before I get correct period stocks, I was wondering whether possibly BPD used Coltwoods on issued guns. If that were true, it would make sense to keep them.
No.


A set of correct pre war checkered round butt walnut stocks will set you back some money.
You can always sell the Coltwood plastic stocks if you're short of money. Expect to get $80-$100 for them if they have no cracks in them. They are collectable in and of themselves, as 90% of the people that bought Colts during the Coltwood period of 1947-1954 took them off and replaced them with real walnut stocks as soon as they could. Industry and science touted plastics as the new "miracle material" in the 50s but the public just didn't buy into that.
They are also not very durable, which also accounts for them being hard to find today.

Very nice Bankers Special. To me this is more desireable than one of the R.M.S. P.O. guns, having been a Boston P.D. gun. The Post Office bought the majority of the Bankers Special, so yours is a bit more unique.
 

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No.


A set of correct pre war checkered round butt walnut stocks will set you back some money.
You can always sell the Coltwood plastic stocks if you're short of money. Expect to get $80-$100 for them if they have no cracks in them. They are collectable in and of themselves, as 90% of the people that bought Colts during the Coltwood period of 1947-1954 took them off and replaced them with real walnut stocks as soon as they could. Industry and science touted plastics as the new "miracle material" in the 50s but the public just didn't buy into that.
They are also not very durable, which also accounts for them being hard to find today.

Very nice Bankers Special. To me this is more desireable than one of the R.M.S. P.O. guns, having been a Boston P.D. gun. The Post Office bought the majority of the Bankers Special, so yours is a bit more unique.
WINSTON is never "SHORT ON MONEY"...he just likes to BUY at WHOLESALE :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:....RETAIL is for guys like ME :cool: :cool: :cool: RR
 
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