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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, fellas. I just purchased an Official Police that was manufactured in 1952 (my birth year). It is a former NYPD officer's service revolver and has his badge number stamped on the backstrap which is appropriate for this time period. What I need help with is regarding the grips that are on it. I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure that the grips on an OP of this vintage should be the Coltwood service type. Is this correct? Also, regarding the grips that are on it, they look to me like the grips that originally came on the Colt .357 revolvers of this same time period. Is that correct and do they look to be original Colt grips?

Thank you for any help/information you can provide!



Colt_Official_Police_6.jpg
Colt_Official_Police_10.jpg
 

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Your stocks look like Colt first generation to me and would have come on several models including the Model 357 and Officers Model Match. They are somewhat valuable today. I think they fit your gun well and would leave them on unless you want the smaller type.
 

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I believe original stocks would be Coltwood. The real wood target stocks would be reserved for Officers Model Match as already stated. They could have come on that revolver if special ordered that way but were probably fitted later. Those stocks have some value of their own.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for your help! The information is much appreciated. Before I spend a ton of money for a pair of original Coltwood grips, can anyone confirm for me that Coltwood grips are the appropriate ones for a Colt Official Police manufactured in 1952? Thanks!
 

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Coltwood was standard for most but not all Colt handguns from the late '40s through about '54-'55 or so. They may have begun with post-WWII return to commercial production. I'm not sure if anyone has hard and fast facts on that. An Official Police like yours would have come with Coltwood service stocks. Target stocks were (I believe) wood...someone can correct me if I'm wrong on that. I don't think I've ever seen target stocks in Coltwood.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I believe original stocks would be Coltwood. The real wood target stocks would be reserved for Officers Model Match as already stated. They could have come on that revolver if special ordered that way but were probably fitted later. Those stocks have some value of their own.
Thanks very much, amigo!


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Coltwood was standard for most but not all Colt handguns from the late '40s through about '54-'55 or so. They may have begun with post-WWII return to commercial production. I'm not sure if anyone has hard and fast facts on that. An Official Police like yours would have come with Coltwood service stocks. Target stocks were (I believe) wood...someone can correct me if I'm wrong on that. I don't think I've ever seen target stocks in Coltwood.
Thanks! Just what I needed to know!


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Help With Colt Officer Model

Here is a link to the Colt Fever website with a history on the Official Police which covers what stocks were standard on the model in the second paragraph.

Official Police
Thank you!

I’ve received several inquiries regarding the grips that are on my OP. Here’s the situation. I just bought the revolver this week and it is currently en route to my local FFL dealer. Once I get to see it and the grips firsthand and gotten to handle it a bit, as well, I’ll decide whether to keep the grips that are on it or replace them with a set of Coltwood grips. My first inclination is to put the proper grips on it, but it may turn out that I’ll really enjoy the look and feel of the target grips in which case I will keep them. In any case, I need to wait till I actually get my hands on it before I make any decision on the grips.


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The First Type Colt Target grips weren't used until 1953 as far as I know so that's too early for a 1952 Colt revolver.
They were first used on the Trooper, the 357 Model, and in 1955 with gold medallions on the Python.
It's at least possible some very late Officer's Model Special revolvers may have been shipped with the First Type Target grips.

As far as I know (Note the qualifier) the NYPD didn't use or possibly even allow target type grips on service revolvers in those days.
Short of a more informed source, I "think" that the NYPD usually specified wood grips. So, it's "possible" that wood would have been original even during the Coltwood days on an NYPD gun.

All this us just supposition by me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you! I appreciate the information and your thoughts on the matter. Whatever the case, I've pretty much made up my mind to leave it as I found it simply because of the fact that when its previous owner recently sold it to the gun shop owner I bought it from, it was wearing these grips. This is significant in that the aforementioned previous owner and the now retired NYPD MOS who once carried this revolver during his time "on the job" are one in the same.

The First Type Colt Target grips weren't used until 1953 as far as I know so that's too early for a 1952 Colt revolver.
They were first used on the Trooper, the 357 Model, and in 1955 with gold medallions on the Python.
It's at least possible some very late Officer's Model Special revolvers may have been shipped with the First Type Target grips.

As far as I know (Note the qualifier) the NYPD didn't use or possibly even allow target type grips on service revolvers in those days.
Short of a more informed source, I "think" that the NYPD usually specified wood grips. So, it's "possible" that wood would have been original even during the Coltwood days on an NYPD gun.

All this us just supposition by me.
 
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Most likely the original owner or maybe later liked both this official police and the target stocks and simply installed them. In my speculative mind, that cop liked his colt and even liked it better with target stocks and most likely shot it better at requal. The last of the official police mkIII revolvers came with target stocks from the factory. A late 1952 colt advertisement suggesting one treats themselves for Christmas with a colt, displayed the new officers model match with the full checkered stocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It came in today! I'm very happy with it! Lockup and timing are spot on! For those who may not know, the number on the backstrap is the NYPD MOS's shield number.





 

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Looks great, I would leave it as is, that's how it was for most of it's life. The type of grips people preferred was very personal back then, and you could buy other types cheaply, even the Colt target style. They fit bigger hands better, and just make the gun feel better than small service grips. I'm sure most guns that have these upgrades, were done within 2-5 years of the guy buying the gun. It becomes the gun's legacy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You might check to see if the gun's serial number is written on the back side of one or both grip panels. That could indicate that they are original to the gun.
I did check, Blackjack33. I couldn't find any serial numbers on them. Also, I'm told that these First Type Colt target grips came out in 1953, a year after this revolver was manufactured.
 

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If you are going to shoot the revolver very much don't get rid of those grips! The standard factory ones are great from a collecting point of view but are nowhere near as comfortable as what you have on the gun now. Besides that it's a cop gun which means it was a very personal weapon to the holder of badge #5530 and he may well have been the one who installed the target grips. I think it'a a great combo and the gun and grips look good together.
 

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1st gen target stocks like that are actually pretty comfortable and give a nice grip, at least for me.

They are much better than the later 2nd and 3rd gens in my opinion.

I have a pair of Olle's reproduction 1st gens on my 6" now and don't plan on removing them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
1st gen target stocks like that are actually pretty comfortable and give a nice grip, at least for me.

They are much better than the later 2nd and 3rd gens in my opinion.

I have a pair of Olle's reproduction 1st gens on my 6" now and don't plan on removing them.
To be honest, there are a little too large overall for my tastes. I'd prefer something a bit narrower in circumference and may get a nice set of original (and correct) Coltwood service grips for it. It's not like I'm going to be shooting it a lot, in any case. :)
 
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