Obviously not what the originator of the thread is interested in, but the original Border Patrol 38 was a Colt's New Service, I believe. COL Charles Askins adopted it when he was head of their Firearms training division.
Don't know anything about the later BP guns except that they were surely NOT based on the smaller Police Positive frame.
Might try the BP Museum in El Paso. They are supposed to house archives there, but don't know if they have the research capability to provide the answer. Nice lady who manages the museum though, and a BP widow with a strong affection and interest for the museum.
"And the blithe revolver began to sing/ To the blade that twanged on the locking-ring..."
The border patrol used the New Service revolvers, in 38 special, for many years, but they were standard run of the mill New Service, with the Border Patrol acronym stamped on the backstrap. There is no New Service version with a Border Patrol model designation. Colt made a heavy barrel version of the POLICE POSITIVE SPECIAL, in 38 spl cal, that was designated, and roll marked with The Border Patrol model name. This is the rare model from the early 50's. The later J frame MK III 357 Border Patrol's are more common, and the Blue Book quantities are probably correct. I suspect the J frame 357 Border Patrol s/n's are mixed with the other J frame MK III models. Trooper, Metropolitan, OP, etc.
To address the original question. My 357 Border Patrol is s/n J959XX, and built in 1972, using this method. Hope this helps.
Based on ohiobuckeyes info the serialization should run 1970 from # J8601 to 1973 # J100000 with an overlap starting in 1972 with #01001J thru 1975 with #88100J.
That would give you the serial range moosedog, but as ohiobuckeye said they would be mixed with MKIII, Lawmen, OP, OMM etc. I'm afraid that is about as close as we can get.
IN GOD WE TRUST,
BUT KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY,
JUST IN CASE!
Gentlemen: I appreciate your input on this subject. I recently picked up a nickel border patrol 4 inch (I believe they may have all been 4 inch) # J87000 and was wondering if it may have been the end of a production run because of the even numbers. Some holster wear, but very tight and a smooth trigger pull. $200 I think I did good.
I believe the 1952 Border patrol is an I-frame (Official Police, Python, etc.) gun, not a D-frame (Police Positive Speical, Detective Special, etc.). I think the statement in the BOCF that the BP was built on the PPS frame is in error, one of several I have identified in the BOCF. The weight of a PPS is about 22 ounces, and the weight given by the BOCF for the BP is 35 ounces, about the same as the Official Police, etc.. There is no way a 4-inch "heavy barrel" could add 13 ounces, unless made out of lead!
The Mark III BP is much more common. I have never seen a 1952 BP, but I am looking!
I mentioned on an another thread that the original 1952 Border Patrol could NOT have been built on the lighter PP frame due to weight. There is a photo of one in Severns book,and it definately is built on the Official Police frame. The photo shows the shorter front sight & the huge "bull barrel". Basically,you could "build" one by putting a 4" Trooper or "357" bbl. on an O.P. and altering the front ramp sight. The New Service, 4" .38 used by the USBP was heavier though by a few ounces. Bud
In `61, I joined the Border Patrol and was assigned to Presidio, TX. My issue gun was assigned to me when I was sworn in at Marfa, TX. It was marked as a Colt Border Patrol with a heavy "bull barrel". I can't recall where the "Border Patrol" marking was located. It was either on the barrel or backstrap.
At 25 yards, it shot 3" to the left and as soon as I could, I bought a Python and turned in the issued gun.
Qualifying with the issue gun was a chore. I had to remember to use Kentucky windage at all distances greater than 7 yards. In order to qualify, it was necessary to use the issue gun and after qualifying with it, you could re-qualify with a personal gun. Going from the issue gun to the Python was like getting out of a Chevy and getting into a Rolls-Royce.
By the way, Bill Jordon told me the Python was a good gun but I should have bought a Smith,
[This message has been edited by JCM298A (edited 02-28-2004).]