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Hi Colt fans,

Can anybody give me some history about the Colt Border Patrol? The first ones where designed by or for Bill Jordan in .38 special. Later in .357 magnum. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Must I share for instance the Border Patrol under the Colt .357 Magnum (E)frames?
Year of production, ended production, produced numbers, collectors value etc.

Just curious.

Thanks in advance.

Best regards,
armes de poing
 

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The first gun actually marked as a "Border Patrol" was a version of the Colt Official Police, "E" frame revolver.
These had 4" inch, heavy barrels.

It was produced FOR the US Border Patrol in 1952 only, with a total production of only 400 guns, in the Official Police serial number range of around 823,000.

Whether Bill Jordon had anything to do with the Border Patrol is uncertain.

Due to the rarity (only 400) collectors value is over $3000 for one in 100% condition. Since these are now mostly in advanced collectors collections, one very rarely comes up for sale publicly.

The second Border Patrol was built on the Colt Trooper Mark III model which was a "J" frame.
These were simply Trooper Mark III guns with a slightly lesser polished finish and the Border Patrol stamp on the barrel.
These had 4" inch barrels, and were available in blued or bright nickel.


This model was produced for the US Border Patrol AND for commercial sales.
The Border Patrol issued guns have US Border Patrol stamps on the side of the frame identifying them as BP property along with an issue number.

There were made from 1970 to 1975.
There were 5,356 made in blue, and 1,152 in bright nickel.
How many were actually sold to the Border Patrol is unknown.

Due to the higher production and commercial sales, this model is not worth as much, with prices on a 100% blued model running around $600 or so.
Keep in mind, that Colt prices are skyrocketing, so this may vary greatly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks dfariswheel. Your knowledge is unbelievable! You are a walking database. Appreciate that. So the MK III Border Patrol models are nothing more than a "dressed down" MK III Trooper.

I did ask this question because I'm want to extend my guns with another Colt. Seriously got infected by Colt. And the Peacekeeper running smooth now it's time to look around and "dump" the CZ75 with .22 conversion kit for a nice D, E or I frame based Colt.

By the way $600 is the price they are asking for in the Netherlands. $600,- is approximately 480,- euro. Pythons are doing roughly between $480 to $720.

So we are still not affected by the "pricewar" on Colts. Hope it stays that way.

greetings from sunny Holland
 

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Fortunately, the Colt disease is a pretty rare virus in our little country by the North Sea.

But I'm very happy being infected by it! /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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The Bill Jordan reference is intriguing; I've seen in print a quote of his expressing a firm preference for S&W ...but then I haven't read a great deal about him. Can anyone speak to Jordan's experience with or opinion of Colt revolvers?
Bryan vdZ
 

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As I recall, when Jordon joined up in the 1930's, the official BP revolver was the Colt New Service.

I remember reading (Charles Askins??) who was in charge of receiving the new Colt's.
He sighted in each gun, bending and filing the front sights to target them.

This was NOT popular with the rest of the patrolmen, some of whom thought the sights were defective and complained about getting a new gun with bent sights, and others, like Jordon unhappy that Askins had sighted in THEIR revolver, which didn't shoot to the same point of impact for them.

Jordon complained that he had to re-bend the sight, all the while fearing that it would break.
Askins on the other hand didn't take criticism too well, and was very vocal about other patrolmen re-sighting the guns for themselves.

Jordon was just a S&W man, and had friends at the plant.
 

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Colt Border Patrol

Good information dfariswheel. I acquired one of these revolvers a few years ago. The serial number J72XXX indicates it was made in 1972. I joined the USBP in 1982 and the BP Agents I worked with had several different .357 Magnum revolvers; most where the S&W Model 19 or Model 66. One had the Colt BP Model, the only other one I'd seen was a nickel-plated one on the hip of an Alabama State Trooper I met in 1976. The Colt BP I have is apparently a commercial version as there are no USBP markings. The finish is a strange mottled blue that has a sort of green cast. It's in pretty good shape and shoots good. It's a nice remembrance of my days in the "Mean Green."
 

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Bill, from looking at several guns at gun shows and doing a little cold blueing myself, it appears your gun was given some type of cold blue treatment. I have a mint condition barrel only for a Border Patrol and the finish is of a very black/blue finish with a rough steel polish. I don't mean to degrade your Colt by any means as I would like to add a MKIII Border Patrol to my collection someday and would not walk away from something that looked like yours as I shoot all my guns.
 

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Perhaps relevant and complimentary to perspective: In the early 70's the N C State Highway Patrol issued BP .357's to a patrol academy graduating class. May have been first issue of .357 as previous classes were issued (probably Smith) .38's. Also some limited number of recent class(es) were issued the BP as a replacement to their .38's. Maybe as few as 200. Speculation was that Colt did a low bid to get into the Smith market area.
This is not intended to be in conflict with any previous statements.
 

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Bill, from looking at several guns at gun shows and doing a little cold blueing myself, it appears your gun was given some type of cold blue treatment. I have a mint condition barrel only for a Border Patrol and the finish is of a very black/blue finish with a rough steel polish. I don't mean to degrade your Colt by any means as I would like to add a MKIII Border Patrol to my collection someday and would not walk away from something that looked like yours as I shoot all my guns.
Could be somebody tried to do some cold blue on this gun, I've used some mself in the past to touch up spots where there was holster wear. I got it several years ago from a outfit in Louisville called KY Imports, they had a few for $179 each, this is what I received...
 

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not to get off topic, and maybe this is a question for the S&W forum, but didn't Smith & Wesson have a Border Patrol pistol too in .357 Magnum on the K-Frame? (essentially a model 19 or 66 with "Border Patrol" stamped on the barrel)

The reason I say this is because I saw one in person in a gun store in Buffalo, TX about 8 years ago.
 

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not to get off topic, and maybe this is a question for the S&W forum, but didn't Smith & Wesson have a Border Patrol pistol too in .357 Magnum on the K-Frame? (essentially a model 19 or 66 with "Border Patrol" stamped on the barrel)

The reason I say this is because I saw one in person in a gun store in Buffalo, TX about 8 years ago.
When I went into the USBP in 1982 a lot of the old BPA's were carrying S&W Model 19's and 66's; one Model 66 I saw had some special stamping. An agent the next county over had a Model 10 with a very heavy barrel, the barrel may have been marked Border Patrol, but lots of water has flowed under that bridge...my class got some new stainless Ruger Security Six .357's with a heavy barrel. The last BP issue revolver was an L-frame Model 686 called the BP-1; I was working for Customs by then and our version was the CS-1 and I had one with a 3" barrel.
 

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I got it several years ago from a outfit in Louisville called KY Imports, they had a few for $179 each, this is what I received...[/QUOTE]

That was a great place for some good deals on trade-in ex duty guns. Colt King Cobra for $350, 38 Agent for $225, a couple of ww2 Colt commandos for $150 each. Wish I had got one of the Colt Border Patrol revolvers also.
 

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Skeeter Skelton wrote a piece in his Hipshots column in Shooting Times Magazine concerning the guns of the US Border Patrol. Don't have the article in front of me now, but I believe it was Bill Toney who was responsible for the design of the Colt Official Police as the replacement of the New Service. Bill Jordan was responsible for the S&W Model 19 Combat Magnum for service use.

The first revolvers issued to the Border Patrol were S&W M1917s, which were surplus from the Post Office, I believe.

Bob Wright
 

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For whatever its worth, a copy of my original post:

Border Patrol Revolvers.........
In another thread I quoted Skeeter Skelton's comments regarding Border Patrol revolvers. that is, official issue. As has been discussed, many patrolmen carried their own personal sidearms, with permission.

In the same article, he states the New Service .38 Special was adopted in the 1930's to replace the Smith & Wesson M1917 .45 ACP revolvers. The revolvers (M1917s) were all gone when he entered the service (ca. 1950) but the arms rooms were well stocked with the half-moon clips.

In 1953 the Border Patrol ordered the Colt Official Police, or Border Patrol Special. This was the Official Police frame with a heavy, straight 4" bull barrel. The barrel was rollmarked "Colt BorderPatrol .38 Special-Heavy Duty."


In the middle 'Fifties, an order was placed for the Smith & Wesson .38 Special Military and Police model with a 4" heavy barrel, which became the Model 13.

Around 1956, the Smith & Wesson Model 19 4" .357 Magnum was adopted.

Around 1970 the Colt Mk. III Trooper began to show up in Border Patrol holsters. (Skeeter Skelton's words)


There follows some discussion then of adopting a Ruger Security Six and a Ruger built to BorderPatrol specifications.

Other than the statements regarding the markings on the New Service and the Border PatrolSpecial, no other descriptions are made concerning the markings on the guns.

As a side note, he does comment that R.L. Wilson's and R.Q. Sutherland's work The Book Of Colt Firearms does contain an error in that they state the Border Patrol Special was made on the Police Positive Frame rather than the Official Police.

(From Hipshots, Shooting Times, February, 1983.)


Bob Wright
 

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Thanks for this information Bob. A number of years ago I visited the USBP Museum in El Paso and talked them into letting me in the back room. The place was lousy with BP Colt New Service revolvers in .38 Special; had me drooling all over the floor. I knew an Agent in Lordsburg, NM that had one of the heavy barrel Colt OP revolvers, that is the only one I ever saw. My stainless steel Ruger Security Six shot very well and I put a set of Mustang Grips on it. We were still using .38 Special wadcutters to train with and was issued 5 boxes per quarter to qualify and practice with. They accounted for a lot of rattle snakes, jack rabbits and other varmints. One old-timer who wasn't really interested in shooting kept all his .38 ammo in his garage. I was over at his house one day, saw the ammo and traded him a set of stainless steel handcuffs for all of it; I had .38 wadcutter cartridges out the wazoo for a long time afterwards.
 
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