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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Dear Colt Officer´s Model enthusiasts,

I just joined this forum and would like to ask your kind help with Colt Officer’s Model revolver related question. I’m planning to buy Officer’s Model first generation gun to be used in Finnish Reservists’ Sport Association’s shooting competition for pre-WWII guns (Sport Association is closely connected to Finnish Reservists’ Association In English - Reserviläisliitto ). Rules of the competition dictates that pistol needs to be designed before 1945 and needs to have been in military/service use in some country/countries, if not used in actual war itself. I have tried to google and read forum’s and blogs after another, but results have been so far quite thin when it comes to the Officer’s Model documented use in military/service. Could any of you help me out here, have I been in totally wrong places or is it so that Officer’s Model is not used so much in the army circles?

All help and pointers to the source of information are most appreciated!
 

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Sorry to delay a response to your inquiry. I thought someone more knowledgeable than I would respond. I like the pre-war OMTs and have a few in all calibers. Other than a couple of references to special order revolvers to persons possibly on a military shooting team or the US Coast Guard/Customs, I don’t believe OMTs were ever issued to regular military troops.. Some others with specific knowledge may chime in. Welcome to the Forum!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you sabokc66, for your reply and welcoming. Not being used was a bit what I was afraid of ... well, let’s hope there would be someone in the forum who would have contrary information.
 

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Thank you sabokc66, for your reply and welcoming. Not being used was a bit what I was afraid of ... well, let’s hope there would be someone in the forum who would have contrary information.
I think, I can help you: Chamberlain/Taylerson, Revolvers of the British Services, 1954 - 1954, 1989 Appendix VII lists about 1000 Colt OM that went to Britain for military use in 1941. I do not know if they really stopped us from invading but they were part of the effort.


And I have one of those 66 in . 32 that were ordered (probably a mistake) for the National Guard in Massachusetts...

Peter
They are really a dream to shoot.

734539
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think, I can help you: Chamberlain/Taylerson, Revolvers of the British Services, 1954 - 1954, 1989 Appendix VII lists about 1000 Colt OM that went to Britain for military use in 1941. I do not know if they really stopped us from invading but they were part of the effort.


And I have one of those 66 in . 32 that were ordered (probably a mistake) for the National Guard in Massachusetts...

Peter
They are really a dream to shoot.

View attachment 734539
Thank you Peter, this is valuable info! Being such a great piece of gun craftsmanship, it makes sense those would have been used also in battlefield, not only for paper punching.
 

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I read about an American who carried a .38 OMT who fought in the Philippines. When they surrendered on Bataan he took a huge rock and destroyed his revolver rather than let the enemy have it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I read about an American who carried a .38 OMT who fought in the Philippines. When they surrendered on Bataan he took a huge rock and destroyed his revolver rather than let the enemy have it.
That is an interesting story! Do you happen to remember where was it, in some book, magazine or alike?
 

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Having one documented as used by an individual or by a pistol team is a far cry from having one approved and issued for service use, and no one knows what the British Purchasing Commission actually did with theirs, but it was likely training.

Yes, they were pre-war - but the US issued the M1917s as military weapons - the Commandos went to Defense Plant work, and the Detective Specials to various agencies.
 

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Pistol competitions were very popular for the US military between the World Wars. The .38 OMT was frequently used in these competitions. These military units included active, reserve and national guard. But, they were not necessarily issued pieces, but rather, purchased privately. However, if for issue, they were for members of shooting teams and probably used on a rotating basis.
 

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And I have one of those 66 in . 32 that were ordered (probably a mistake) for the National Guard in Massachusetts...
I don’t think these were a “mistake”. As dogface says, pistol teams and training.

But it really comes down to how your competition rules are worded. These are legitimate military uses, and with the history letters like Schuren’s you can document that they were purchased by military authorities.

As long as battlefield use is not a requirement, that should be good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Having one documented as used by an individual or by a pistol team is a far cry from having one approved and issued for service use, and no one knows what the British Purchasing Commission actually did with theirs, but it was likely training.

Yes, they were pre-war - but the US issued the M1917s as military weapons - the Commandos went to Defense Plant work, and the Detective Specials to various agencies.
Yep, that is for sure the case. What makes it even more challenging in my use case, is that rules of the shooting competition are not very detailed what kind of military use is considered to be adequate. My plan is then to collect as much evidence as I can and let the competition organizers decide whether it is enough or not for OM to be accepted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don’t think these were a “mistake”. As dogface says, pistol teams and training.

But it really comes down to how your competition rules are worded. These are legitimate military uses, and with the history letters like Schuren’s you can document that they were purchased by military authorities.

As long as battlefield use is not a requirement, that should be good.
Exactly, this is my thinking as well.
 

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Exactly, this is my thinking as well.
The British had lost a great deal of their arms at Dunkirk.Those Colt and S&W handguns were urgently needed for the military. I have a number of New Service (even a .357), Official Police and even a 1903 Hammerless pistol from this emergency shopping....
The German Wehrmacht used all kinds of handguns too... even Kongsberg Colten and Polish VIS pistols.

Good Luck with your OM - it is really good Colt.
Peter
 

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Looking through U.S. Handguns of World War II The Secondary Pistols and Revolvers; by Charles Pate it does look as though the Government did purchase some of the Colt Officer's Model revolvers prior to WWII. Whether or not this information would satisfy your shooting requirements I do not know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The British had lost a great deal of their arms at Dunkirk.Those Colt and S&W handguns were urgently needed for the military. I have a number of New Service (even a .357), Official Police and even a 1903 Hammerless pistol from this emergency shopping....
The German Wehrmacht used all kinds of handguns too... even Kongsberg Colten and Polish VIS pistols.

Good Luck with your OM - it is really good Colt.
Peter
Thank you Peter, and good information again. I’m at least cautiously optimistic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Looking through U.S. Handguns of World War II The Secondary Pistols and Revolvers; by Charles Pate it does look as though the Government did purchase some of the Colt Officer's Model revolvers prior to WWII. Whether or not this information would satisfy your shooting requirements I do not know.
Thank you Ken, good info. I’ll try to get my hands on Pate’s book as well.
 
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