Your Official Police was made in 1943. That's a 60 year old gun, but after having it checked out by a competent gunsmith, I would think standard loads would be ok, after all there are not many loads in available in that caliber, unless you are talking about re-loads. Dick
Hey Dick: Your DOM for the OP was, I guess, from Larry Wilson's book. That's what mine says anyway. I wonder, however, how reliable his serial number lists are? It seems very strange to me that Colt would be making and selling OPs in a nearly obsolete caliber in the midst of the most desperate war in history. Colt was not even able to keep up with M1911A1 production, while making machine guns, the Commando, .38 Supers and pocket autos for the War Dept. as well. On top of that, sale of new guns for civilians was pretty much banned, with all civilian law enforcement and defense agencies required to obtain their guns through the Defense Supplies Corporation. I don't think there is any other source for the serials besides Wilson and the Colt factory, but situations like this make me question just how accurate Wilson's serial lists are. Maybe this was a DSC gun, but it seems odd in that calliber. Anybody else have an opinion or info on this subject? Charlie
One has to be careful indeed in relying on Wilson too much for exact Colt dates. Ordnanceguy, I think you have the scenario well thought out.
Diamondback, I noticed you don't footnote your references, but rather state them as of your own knowledge. Do you have independent knowledge of the date on this gun or are you relying on someone else's reference work?
The only other reference is the little blue book compilation of dates called "Dates of Manufacture" which states "Serial mumbers based on "The Colt Heritage" book published 1979".
I'm with O man, I highly questioned that DOM when I saw it, as that is an unusual caliber for an OP during trying times, but unfortunately we have no other reference material to go by. Nothing has been updated since 1985. That said, we should all take any questionable dates like this with a grain of salt and not etch them in our minds as absolute.
I have tried before and Colt will give you little or no information unless you send them a $100 for a letter.
If anyone has better information, please let us know. Dick
The Army's Office of Special Services bought quite a few revolvers from Colt's and to a lesser extent from S&W in odd chamberings during WWII.
These were intended for "black" operations in various places around the world in which it was desirable to have a gun that was not directly traceable to the U.S. Military.
The OSS also bought used guns (The sale of most used revolvers and automatics were frozen by the WPB during the war...required a WPB priority to buy one.) I have heard comments that some used guns were entered into Army inventory as having been manufactured on the date the Army acquired them.
Thanks cxm, that sheds a little more light on the subject. These rather odd calibers in this time frame could very well be some of those OSS guns. It sure would be interesting to find out, wouldn't it? Dick
In any event, it seems fair to say that this is a late 30s to early 40s gun. As such, I would expect that it was made of quality steel and would not be considered as a potential bomb if I handloaded for it.
I have in mind 100 gr. to 115 gr. cast bullets and would like to achieve 1000 fps to perhaps 1100 fps from the 5" barrel using something like 2400/AA9/Blue Dot or some such powder.