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Discussion Starter #1
Appearances can be deceiving.

Those of you who know me from the S&W Forum know that I sell a great many NYCPD guns. I collect NYCPD guns and US Martial guns.

Here’s an interesting little item.


At first glance this gun, Colt Official Police #717446, appears to be an unremarkable gun. In my work I see literally hundred of Official Police revolvers, and this one didn’t jump out at me.

While not as well documented (yet) as the Commando in another post i made, the story of how I got this gun is enjoyable.

I was travelling through the American Midwest and found myself in a gunshop on the Wisconsin-Illinois border, about 30 minutes North of the US Navy great lakes Training Center.

I noticed this gun in the display case and would have passed it by, save for one small item



There appeared to be an Ordnance logo stamped on the frame.

I quickly remembered what I could about martial OP’s and recalled that about 5,000 were purchased by the US before the advent of the Commando.

I slapped a ‘Hold’ on the gun and did some quick checking. Sure enough, my gun was identical to the one shown on page 158 of col. Charlie Pate’s excellent reference book, US HANDGUNS OF WORLD WAR II: THE SECONDARY PISTOLS AND REVOLVERS.

Col. pate observes that the OP’s were bought in basically 2 batches in DEC41, with a few possible small ,add on contracts later. He describes the gun as “..rather scarce...”.

The thing that scares me is that had this gun been in the case with the -other- (non ordnance marked) side facing up, I never would have glanced twice at it. Blindluck!

Eventually I’ll get it lettered. I wonder if it’s excellent condition and proximity to Great lakes makes it some sort of Navy security gun that someone took home? Probably something I’ll never know for sure.

I would rather not say what I paid, but I have seen a couple other similarly marked Op’s for sale through a well known (although not necessarily reputable) dealer, and they were going for about 3-4 times what i paid for mine. I say this not to gloat, but to make an observation: knowledge is power. No one in that gunshop recognized that gun. The only reason I did was because I had done reading on the martially marked OP’s.

The other thing, and the point to this article, is that here we have a gun that appears to be a plain Jane civilain OP, one of a few hundred thousand, and it is actually a fairly scare US military piece!

Best,
RM Vivas www.vivasandson.com
 

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RMV, you'd be, "da Man," to ask, I guess ... What sorts of COMMON variations are there on the good ole' OP? Since I've been watching, I've found Official Police's in 4" and 6" and heard about a 2" and in nickel and blue and .22 and .38 and usually square and sometimes round butt. Oh, and heavy and pencil barrels, too. What else awaits?
 

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How about Official Polices in 32/20? Passed on 1 a couple of months ago because I have an Army Special in that caliber. This caliber made up to the stop for WW II,& not continued after the war. They even made a few in .41 Colt,as this was discontinued in 1930. I saw a matching set,.22 & .41 6 " bbls with stags about 15 years ago. I mentioned on another thread about the "round butt",like the Marshall,but O.P. marked. Pretty sure that NYPD got some for "under the coat" use,as r.butt easier to conceal. Wish I had a 5" O.P. (.38) that I traded. Oh, another one rc, those built for the British in WW 2,in the shorter .38 S&W (not special). They called it ".38-200",same as in their S&W Victory Models.They also experimented with a couple in 25/20,and one is described in NRA book on Revolver repairs! Thats it,as my brain is tired! Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My limited knowledge of the OP is based on the military and NYPD models, so i'm not really the guy to come to for expert OP advice.

I actually have an NYPD RB OP and it is pretty keen. Story i heard was that a small quantity were made as a special order contract. I have some advertising material from the era and it shows the RB as a special order item. Way it was explained to me was that the RB OP was a way to use left over Marshall frames.

Tomorrow I'll -try- to get my RB OP posted.

RMV
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rm vivas:

See you in Dallas?

RMV
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hey Bob: Yep, I'll be there and will probably have a small display this time. I'll look forward to seeing you there and we can discuss a fair price for your OP over a cold Lone Star or two.... :) Charlie
 
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