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I have been re-reading the chapter in The History of the Colt Revolver 1836-1940 by Haven & Belden entitled A Trip Through The Present Plant of Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company. It is reprinted from the Century of Achievement 1836-1940 book. In the article, the author meets up with "Fitz" himself for a tour of the plant, and a revolver is built for him. It is an outstanding chapter and highly recommended reading. Also well illustrated and if you own a pre-WWII Colt, chances are that it was handled by one of the numerous workers in the photos. It goes into everything from the forging to machining and hand work, barrel making, lapping of the bores, and even some detail regarding the oven bluing process
Of particular interest, is when the author goes up to the Shooting Gallery. There is a photo of Jim Malloy, who's name is often seen on test targets. The author describes the test firing of a Heavy Barrel Officers Model. It was first fired rapidly, an entire cylinder full for function. Then, 5 rounds were fired at the test target. Sights were adjusted for elevation, and the target is signed and stays with the gun to be shipped.
Here is where it gets interesting. "All target models are target tested - The Woodsman, Officers Model, Shooting Master, Police Positive Target, Camp Perry, .22 caliber Official Police, New Service Target, National Match and Super Match. All police orders call for targeting." (emphasis mine)
I have a pair of Official Police revolvers, a .38 from 1943 and a .22 from 1937. The .38 has the "L" stamped above the serial number and the .22 has the "T". I am waiting on letters for both and will report on their destinations. I find it curious that the fixed sight .22 Official Polices were routinely targeted. Does anyone have one with the "L" stamp ? I can understand the targeting of police department ordered .38 OP's, and will be interested in finding out where my 1943 gun shipped. I wouldn't think that many civilian destined guns were shipped in 1943, and maybe by 1943 (or during wartime ?) the practice of targeting fixed sight guns was discontinued.
 

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I love the line in that piece that goes something like: "Built like a Swiss watch, yet tough enough to stand dynamite." Its been stuck in my head since I first read it ~24 years ago.

I think it would make a good tag line even today when selling forged-steel pistols in a world of combat Tupperware! :cool:
 

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All targeted revolvers from colt were stamped with a T in the yoke, and usually a sticker added to the box label for a long time.
 

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That's a GREAT book. I lucked out and got an original copy in like new condition on Amazon for like $15



 
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