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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I was fortunate enough to shoot a "qualifying score" in the yearly mandated Ga. Peace Officer Qualification Course. A qualifying score is 240 and I shot a "248" with my 1959-vintage Colt Official Police (86994X) given to me on Christmas Eve 1971. I have shared, in previous posts, the background of my OP and some of the trials and tribulations that a young 61-something cop has in today's polymer-made blaster world. In my little piece of the State of Georgia the Glock 21 is carried by my Sheriff'e Department and the S&W M&P .45 Pistol is the PD's issued sidearm. One, very lone, revolver-carrier who struggles each year to qualify and "keep" his much-beloved Colt in his duty holster. Now, this deeply committed officer, has carried his Colt for over 4-decades and you might think that he should have 'changed' with the times. His detractors say he is stubborn and just plain old school. His friends say that his passion for his old Colt is rooted from, many years ago, being given that "special" Colt by kind and loving parents and others would say it is the "quality" and "craftsmanship" and "reliability" and "friendship" that, combined, is the 'real-reason' that he struggles to keep his Colt on-duty! There is part of all three reasons, advanced by my brother and sister officers, that he loves his Colt Official Police so. It was a 'silent' partner that was a witness down through the passing years to some of the veteran cops worst and most dangerous calls. That Colt was on his hip in his duty holster as he went from a very young cop, to a middle-age cop, and now as an old cop. It has been a loyal and faithful partner to him in good times and bad! This is 'why' the veteran cop rejoices when he qualifies at the yearly mandate. Because it would absolutely devatstate him 'not' to be able to put that four-inch blue steel Colt Official Police into his duty holster and go to work. He use to shoot his Colt weekly to stay sharp and he even competes occassionally in the monthly service pistol matches put on by the local PD. He has done this many years, to stay sharp, if ever called upon! In recent times he started using a .22 OP to train with because of the outrageous cost of ammo and reloading components. That post war .22 Colt was in his collection and brought out because of the high prices that .38 ammo command nowadays. He trained with the four-inch .22 OP for this past qualification mandate and it paid off with a qualifying score, for one more year! Thank you my friends!

David
 

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Nice story. When I was taking a part time security job, my son said........dad the won't let you carry your .45 auto. You are stuck with a .38 revolver. I smiled and said it was ok, a .38 was my first duty gun. I am quite comfortable armed with one.
 

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I am not law enforcement, just a Registered Nurse and CFI, CRSO at my other job. When I teach the monthly Pistol Safety Couse I will inevitably hear,'You only have 5 or 6 shots and one reload".My answer to that remark is that if you can't solve the encounter with 5 or 6 rounds and one tactical reload you don't need a semi-auto you need a SWAT TEAM. I also say when you see a Police Officer with a whelelgun you know one thing off the bat.....HE KNOWS HOW TO USE IT.Thank You for your service and carry that wheelgun with pride.....Mike
 

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dabney...Great story and congratulations on another qualifying year. It's a shame that many people can't understand our attachment to our firearms and think they should be taken away.
 

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I was a lockheed aircraft guard for 35 years, 1965 to 2.000. We were issued 4" colt offical polices when I first hired in. Trained and practiced under a captain but after the first couple years, maybe around 1969 the state of california set up requirements to qualify by the department of consummer affairs for standards and we were issued guard cards and gun cards for open carry on the job. I was close to the first to go through the program. In fact in later years I was told by several range instructors that my number was the lowest they had ever seen. I think it was 544. I still have my last cards somewhere. We later were issued s&w 586`s and ruger speed sixs. I suppose they must have went to autos since I retired. I mostly stayed with the colts as much as I could. I`d like to belive they kept a few in the safe for just me. I was given the #1 badge maybe six or seven years before retirement and still have it stashed. I dont know if my record has ever been broken for longevity yet. That was a big place with a lot of guards. Maybe a 150 or more at any given time. I suspect they had more durring world war two. I noticed our colts all dated to the early 1950s and probley were issued durring korea. We had a bunch of old 6" officer model matchs that probley were issued durring the war. No one would carry them though some of us would use them to qualify with. We also had some old dick specials. I only seem them carried once in awhile by pregnant female officers. My buddys wife worked for the local gun shop and scored a new one and a few of our best OPs when they turned them in for smiths and such. Our old ones are out there. If you have one marked L.A.C. on the butt, it stands for lockheed aircraft corp. I liked them over the smiths and rugers just for the fact that they were a little lighter and less bulky to pack than the smiths and rugers. Actualy I took the grips off one and put on my colt 357 trooper and carried it against refulations for many years. Finaly I quit chancing that when another guard ratted me off to the captain. The captain was a friend of mine and a gun guy, threw up his hands and walked off and said I dont see that! I figured it was time to quit pushing my luck and keep my captain friend out of trouble and started packing a OP again.
 

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David

Thanks for sharing your career with us. I also went from a trusted revolver to autos (dept. mandate) I never felt undergunned with a revolver.
I don't think it's what you carry nearly as much as how well you hit with it that'll bring you home when the situation is life or death. A very well known Peace Officer once said when he was questioned about his Colt SAA, "if I can't get it done in 5 shots, I'm guilty of sloppy Peace Officering". I believe that was Frank Hamer.
Carry that gun with confidence, shots that hit are the ones that count & a gun you are comfortable with is the gun you should probably carry given the choice.
 

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Dabney, I know where you're coming from. I am just across the river in Phenix City as a reserve with the Russell County SO. I have fought this revolver vs auto issue twice, from both sides of the aisle. When I started in 74 we all had revolvers. That was it. Of course back then you furnished your own gun and dang near everything else but the uniform. A couple of us were gun guys and we shot 45 autos. We used the old Phenix City police range at the time and we had no qualified instructor so one of the FBI agents out of Columbus who was qualified came over and run the annual qualification. They had revolvers also. One year when we were all done with quals he asked if anyone else wanted to qualify with another weapon. Me and my buddy stepped forward and said sure. He asked what weapon. We advised Colt 1911 45 auto. His statements was " I will not be on the range with an automatic" and refused us. Fast forward a couple of years and the FBI transitioned to automatics and at qualification when we showed up everybody was still with revolvers and we caught [email protected]@@ about it. We had to explain that we didn't have a rich uncle to give us everything. He touted the semiauto as the best thing since sex and we reminded him of the year when he refused me and my buddy qualification time with the 45. He stated that the FBI had determined that the ones they had were the safest, yada, yada , yada and he was OK with it. Go figure. Well now when I want to qualify with a revolver, everybody looks at me like i have crawled out from under a rock and don't know what the heck I'm doing. That is until they see the score and realize even at 67 I can still do the reloads in time and make the scores. I have found that most people bring their gear and ammo to the quals but very rarely their brain. They neither take the time to practice, put mental power into it. figure out the course and how to best utilize reloads or well ........... anything. Actually that was the case back in the day of revolvers as well. Give me a violin and it sounds awful, give a ukelele to a musician and he'll make it sound nice. Most of the time, it isn't the tool but the one weilding it that makes the difference.

Take care out there and thanks for your service.
Thanks for the post. Nice to see someone else stuck out there with me.
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
191745uvr;

I appreciate, very much, your in-sight and wisdom you shared in your post. My family has roots in Phenix City as my grandfather is buried in the old Girrard Cemetary, along with other kinfolks from years past. The last sentence of your post hits the nail on the head. Not the gun, but the gun carrier! I think you understand how hard it is for an old lawman (with a revolver),to qualify under the current mandated State guidelines, be it in Alabama or Georgia. The reload portion is my biggest challenge using my Official Police or my Metropolitan because those courses are set up for semi-autos not six-shot revolvers! You can well imagine a 61-year old lawman, decked out in our navy blue uniform and under a blazing hot June sun, fumbling around, sweating and mumbling bad words, while struggling to reload his Colt via the speedloader. All of this shooting under the clock with a range officer who does not realize or cares "what" it is taking for me to overcome the challenges of shooting my revolver in a pistol course-of-fire! "David, if you're gonna keep carrying that old Colt you gotta shoot what we shoot!" This statement was hurled in my direction and I try very hard not to let it bother me, but it does! I shoot as much as time and resources allow just so I can overcome and beat this very difficult pistol course. I'm fortunate just to qualify, let alone shooting a high score playing against-the-house as I do. Thanks, my Phenix City Brother!
David
 

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Good for you you stubborn geezer. We are around the same age,and I feel the same way. If I were to carry a handgun for an LEO job .I would still trust the old wheelgun. Need more shots? Carry a D frame snub for backup . I would be torn between a late model 4 inch OP, an OP Mark 3 4 inch, or my trusted brute ,the Lawman Mark 3. I would not want to be staring down the tail pipe wide muzzle of that wheelgun. The 38 spl today properly loaded, is as effective a fight stopper as any other. Loaded with hot 158 lhp coming out of a 4 inch barrel at 1150 plus fps ,it cools em quick. Good for you,keep fighting the good fight.
 

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Brother, i commend you on quallifying with and carrying a fine weapon like that! Im a new-er LEO and let me tell you i carry a Glock 21 w/5mags, a bodyguard 380 with 2 mags, taser, an ASP, OC spray and a Ka-Bar. Not to mention a PR 24 baton on my duty bag. Sometimes i wish i had more haha. You sir have giant balls and thats totally awesome. Stay safe
 

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One thing I have noticed as semi-auto's became the norm in law enforcement ,the extra mag capacity can give the LEO a false sense of security.Many times in my work as a CRSO I notice that many officers are more into the "Spray and Pray" mentality as opposed to shot placement with a B-27 looking like it got hit with a few rounds from a 12 gague shotgun. The veteran officers,even when shooting with semi auto's will shoot 2 in the ten ring,one to the head,stop,scan for other threats,and continue.I was very lucky to have been taught by a former LE Instructor who would scream @ me if I missed a shot asking what bystander or little kid I just killed.If I had a choice of a duty gun for me it would be my 4 1/2 inch Peacekeeper with my Cobra or D.S as a backup gun.Abe would always say "Added Capacity is Good,shot placement is FINAL......God Bless all LEO'S and Stay safe
 

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When I retired from law enforcement (a small city in Jefferson Co, Alabama), I was carrying a 3" M625 S&W, chambered in .45 ACP. I had the advantage of using full moonclips. I could reload as fast as or faster than most of my fellow officers that were armed with semiautos.

BTW, I started out as a deputy with the Lee Co, Alabama Sheriff's Office. I first carried a 1911 pattern .45 auto, but the chief deputy wasn't crazy about it. I then bought a 1917 S&W. I did carry a Colt 1917 for a spell while in Jefferson Co.
 

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Not long before I went to the police academy (in Georgia) in the mid-90's I picked up my 4" blued Python for a song. The firearms instructor was a true Glock believer, complete with the sweat pants, t shirt, jacket and hat. I'm not kidding about that. Kept saying stuff about how malfunctions and missed shots were impossible. I still don't think of him as well educated, but at least he could shoot. Anyway, after days of classroom, we went to the range for presentation drills (drawing and initial indexing techniques). The nstructor was walking down the line observing and advising, naturally. When he got to me he stopped in his tracks and asked me "Hey, it that a Python?". When I answered yes, he asked me quietly "Can I shoot it later?"... I carried that gun for several months, and I really miss the accuracy. Policy changes now prevent me from carrying anything but a (really good) Glock 22, and I mourn its heft at my side. Oh well, it keeps the bluing intact.
 

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I carried my Colt Trooper for 32 years in Chicago. In the mid eighties we had the option to carry the semi automatic as our primary weapon. Us old timers who continued to carry the wheel gun were called fossils by the newbie hair gels who had a few years on the job. One cold February night in 1984 that old Trooper proved her worth against one of those fancy semi autos. Love my Colt Trooper.
 

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The first handgun I was ever issued as an LEO was a 4" Colt Police Positive Special in 1977. It was one of the last models made with the post-1972 Detective Special-style barrel with the shrouded ejector rod and DS-style wood grips. I took those grips off and put on a more traditional-looking set with a grip adapter. That was the only Colt I ever carried as everyone else I worked for afterwards (until most of the U.S. LE agencies went to auto-loader) issued S&W revolvers. I just recently added a nice Colt Army Special to my collection and I would not feel the least undergunned if I could strap it on my duty belt today.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
LaVistaBill, sometimes around 1995 you wrote an excellent article on, at that time, the Colt Police Positive MK V .38 Revolver that Colt Firearms had just brought out. In your article (Combat Handguns) you mention that same Police Positive .38 that you had been issued as a rook with a Housing Police Agency, if my memory is correct. Somewhere in Kentucky, I believe. I have a copy of your well-written 1995 article on the MK V Police Positive that Colt Firearms only produced for one year (1995) as well as some other excellent articles you have authored over the passing years sir. Thanks for all the great writing you have done for many years! Your last sentence in your post lets me know you don't condemn an old cop for sticking with his .38 Colt Official Police as you would not feel uncomfortable packing the .38 Army Special AKA: Official Police on duty! Thanks again sir!
David
 
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