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Earned my first nickel

665 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ordnanceguy
First one for me in nickel. 5" OP. It has something I haven't seen before - the last three digits of the serial are stamped on the barrel flat where it screws into the frame. Was this done just on nickel finishes, or is it something else?

[This message has been edited by Bushwhacker (edited 03-18-2005).]
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Just when I "thought" I had "enough" O.Polices!!! Thanks,Bushwhacker! That is a beauty,and a pre war to boot. I don't have a nickle O.P.,but do have my FHP Trooper 5".

I think I have seen "1" genuine Nickle O.Police, a nice 6",with stags,that a couple was trying to get $200 for at a Gun Shop I was in about a dozen years ago;owner wouldn't give more than $125. Thought about following them outside and offering the 2 bills. They weren't suspicious looking,but still---coulda been "hot"!

I wonder if those 3 numbers had anything to do with the Detroit Police numbering?? I'll bet Lyle Larkworthy,on the S&W Forum would know,as he collects police guns,and has had some of the nickled Detroit Police S&Ws.

A "funny" Detroit Police Nickle Finish story. I was at a major show,admiring some high priced guns,and overheard a fairly prominent "southern dealer/S&W collector",showing a Detroit P.D gun. He said that they used Nickle because it stood up better to the "salt air" of Lake Michigan!

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Lonewolf- It has a four digit property number stamped on the butt, so I'm pretty sure the barrel marking is factory. I just don't know enough about the pre-war plating process, like whether the frame and barrel were done separately, and possibly the numbers would keep them mated afterwards. Or, as Judge Colt had heard, it was a factory refinish mark. ???
Didn't know about the 4 digit # on the butt. I take it there is no amperstand( & ) on right trigger guard denoting a factory rework, and/or 3 digit numbers stamped inside the stocks on the grip frame? Only factory refinished/reworked Colt I have,is a Bisley that was totally refinished in May, 1964. It has the "&" mark and the numbers,645 B,denoting blued finish(and case colors,of course). Even took the ejector rod housing to see if any refinish #s were there,under bbl. No. I also checked the only "nickled" Colt I have,a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper,and there are no numbers on the flat under the bbl. I know that the gun was made in the 60's,but thought this might be something to do with factory nickle.

In any event,a great find! Good Luck with the info. Bud
BW: You made a nice find there. The nickel OPs are very scarce in my neck of the woods. I ran across one at the Fort Worth gunshow last summer like yours, Detroit PD marked, but only about 70% finish. I passed on it as it also had the wrong stocks and I think the guy wanted $350. I don't recall now if it had the barrel marked as you described. Anyway, you got a nice one there. Enjoy it!

Charlie Flick
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