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Discussion Starter #1
i have a rather unusual colt official police
.38 cal. ser.# 633xxx.
the weapon has a six inch brl. with target sights. the rear sight is adjustable with inserts and the front sight (marked "king")
is ramped, with an orange plastic insert and a reflective mirror. it also came with a
.22 conversion unit consisting of a tube barrel insert and a unique .22 cal. cylinder and crane that replaced the .38 cal. cylinder.
the weapon is in fine condition very well made and extremely accurate.
has anyone come accross anything like this before ?
could this have been an early colt factory conversion ?
thankyou
jimmy b
 

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I read recently about King conversions or modifications to either S&W or Colt revolvers. I think (my memory is crap) it had to do mainly with sights.
It likely was in Guns
Magazine. I'd check their website for the September, August, and July issues.
JT
 

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jimmy b; Agree with everything dfariswheel said,but a couple of other "clues" to look for on your gun. 1)Colt came out with the .22 lr. version of the Official Police in 1930,with a 6" barrel(scarce 4" after World War 2) for economical training(& I suspect for carrying afield & plinking,as those front & rear adj. sights on the target models wouldn't take a lot of holster carry etc!). The crane & cylinder could be from one of these-IS THERE A SERIAL # on the .22 crane & cylinder-and if it is the same as the .38 assembly,(and on the frame where the crane rests when locked) it is most likely factory(you didn't explain what you mean by "unique"?) 2) Is there an amperstand (&)mark on the gun? The "&" usually denotes a factory rework,repairs and/or refinish? 3) Any markings on the "conversion unit for the .22 insert etc? Finally,how does it shoot? How is the point of aim with the 2 different calibers? Sounds like a great gun,and along with pre war S&W N Frames,this is my favorite frame size. King conversions are collected by some collectors,while others frown upon them. What type of stocks(grips) does it wear? Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #5
lonewolf
there are no markings on the .22 conversion unit.
i was a firearms instructor for the newark police department for many years....have tested all kinds of firearms....this was the most accurate, comfortable shooting revolver i have used.
we used to shoot golf balls at 25 yards, with .38 cal. wadcutters....they didn't go that far with my driver. the .22 unit shoots just as well.
the grips are the standard colt, wooden grips and unlike the product they put out today, thay were right for the gun. manufacturing in that time period showed a sense of pride, we don't have that today.
thankyou
jimmy b
 

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GREETINGS, Mr. Jimmy B! This gun/combo really intrigues me. Never even HEARD about anything like it. Any chance of some pix? I'll bet you've got a few zillion shooting stories to share, eh? Who was the best shooter you ever saw? What did they use? I guess it's ancient news but I'm interested in police gun people and how they feel about the new plastic guns and the complete absence of revolvers ... I still can't get used to it. How did the change effect you?
 

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The old King's was famous for their custom gunsmithing on handguns.
They were famous for the various King's sight alterations for target shooters.

King's are probably best known for the alterations on target pistols, including the sights, and the famous King's "Cockeyed" alteration to hammers to provide a target hammer for single action target work.

They were a complete custom service, and possibly supplied the .22 conversion unit for your gun.

Only a Historical letter from Colt would tell, but the Colt Custom Shop apparently would send a Colt out to King's for some custom work if a customer requested it.

However, MOST of King's work was after market, and I'd guess that any Custom Shop work of this sort would have been on a Colt Target model revolver, not a standard Official Police.

In any event, you have a valuable and not common Colt/King revolver conversion with a very uncommon .22 conversion unit.

Your Colt was made in 1939, which was the hey-day of Colt target revolvers, and King's custom work.

[This message has been edited by dfariswheel (edited 08-21-2004).]
 

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Discussion Starter #9
rcwambold

yes, it's all been very interesting.
wouldn't do it again but wouldn't have missed it for the world.

i am not set up for pictures, i'm lucky i can work this dam computer...sometimes.

things have changed a lot on the police departments, some good, some bad. i had always found that as a working tool the revolver was always more dependable then the semi autos used today. i feel the officers think more about firepower than about accuracy. but that's just me.
as far as one of the best,natural shooters i've shot against, that would have to be an F.B.I. agent that used to shoot with us on the range when we were doing in-service to the officers. he had a 3 inch. COLT, specially reworked for him (if HOOVER only knew). the revolver was accurized, trigger honed, front of the trigger guard was removed and the hammer spur was removed (he shot double action only) this guy could do things with that weapon that would make your head spin. i used to like when one of the officers, that couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, would always complain that there was something wrong with his weapon. the agent would take his weapon, inspect it, load it and right in front of him turn the revolver upside down, fire it with his pinky and put round after round right between the eyes on a man size silhouette target. naturally this would keep anyone else trying to use the same excuse quiet until one wise guy turned to the agent, after he performed this stunt and said "SURE IT WORKS THAT WAY"
great times...great guys...great memories

thankyou for your interest
jimmy b
 

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Hey, Thanks, Jimmy B.! Great story! Was the agent's gun a 3" Official or Police Positive? I share your views on, "kompooters," and, "kameras," too! But still, I'm glad we have 'em. From time to time, on these pages, some of us have exchanged views on barrel lengths ... Just recently, I've taken the notion the best would be a 3" for a shorty and the 5" for longer, rather than the 4" and 6" that were standard. A 5" pre-#27 S&W got me thinking about this. Sadly, somebody else liked it too and it was sold before I got the cash together! I'd like to hear some thoughts from you about revolvers versus the Colt .45 auto and .38 super ... While I prefer revolvers, I still admire these two autos, but that's about as far as I can go with 'em!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
rcwambold

being retired doesn't mean you stop working.
atleast not in the state of new jersey.
i have a private detective agency and sometimes find it necessary to work nights.
i have the option now of carrying a number of weapons that fit the occasion. not like while on the department.
age has a way of humbling the mighty, so to speak, so it becomes necessare to improvise at times and give mother nature some help.
therefore; i have outfitted my carry guns with lasergrips. sight pictures are non -existant at my age, at night.
so, from my standpoint, barrel length doesn't matter much as long as i can see the red dot. i do carry man stoppers when i work because that's what i want if i fire a weapon. i find .357, .38 super, .45 auto all fine. i do prefer the .357.
now for shooting at the range i don't want the punishment just to put holes into paper so i would use .38's or smaller calibers.
my two favorate hole punchers are my S&W MODEL 52 (.38 wad cutter) and my S&W MODEL 16 (.32 MAG) very accurate, no punishment.
i'll let all you young guys bang away. (no play on words)
thanks again
jimmy b
 

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Tell me more about your, "red dot." I've heard some about this approach but never tried it nor actually seen it done. What all's involved?
 

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I tend to agree with your statement about the 5" barrel length. I have an O.P. made in '45 but with pre war markings that has a 5" barrel. The gun was carried in a holster-so there's the typical blue wear-but sure wasn't fired much. The 5" barrel balances nicely and gives a noticably more stable off hand sight picture than my 4" Python. The action is as smooth as anything I own except my 1960's Python 6". A 5" Python-there's a nice thought! The red dot referred to is the dot left on the target by the laser beam. Think of it as scope crosshairs with a dot. No focusing on sights-put the dot on the target and fire.
 

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Jimmy B, I realize this is an old post, but if your still out there I hope it helps.

 

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Talk about me digging up old posts. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif This has to be interesting for everybody. Amazing. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

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Not at all. Someone noticed I dug up an old one a while back. Thought I was the only one who did that. I really mean that is interesting because there never was a spot on answer. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Hmmm, it does sound sarcastic doesn't it? /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif I use it, but generally not on the forum. The comment was based on you implying the answer might only be of interest to the original poster, but I think it will be of interest to all. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

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Seems to me that you did something very worthy of post resurrection! Thank you!!
 
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