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Discussion Starter #1
Guys: I just picked up a 99% .38 Special, blued, 4" PPS which, by serial number, dates to 1970. It looks like the standard PPS, except for a large "P" marking which I presume is a proof mark. The US military, of course, used such a marking for many years, but I find it hard to believe that a '70s PPS could be a military gun. There are no other unusual markings on the gun. The P is located on the left side of the frame on the forward edge of trigger guard. This is the same location where I would have expected to see the Colt "Verified Proof" marking, but no VP marking is present. In looking at Wilson's big Colt book he says that the VP marking was used until the end of PPS production. So, I'm wondering if the P is just a replacement for the VP marking, if it is a military marking, or if it has some other significance. Do you guys have any ideas on this? Thanks. Charlie
 

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Well, my earlier post did not generate any suggestions as to the meaning of the "P" marking was on the trigger guard. I thought I would post a couple of pics and maybe that will jog some memories as to what this marking is. The first is just an overall shot of the PPS. The serial is A59XXX.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here is a closeup of the "P" marking. I am not real familiar with post-'70 Colt revolvers. Anyone seen this marking before? Thanks for any input. Charlie
 

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Sorry, I have NO idea what gives here.

The P is in the exact spot Colt has always put the VP verified proof mark on all their revolvers since I don't know when.

Also, the P is rather large. Colt usually didn't get carried away with the size of proof mark stamps.

Is there a VP mark anywhere on the revolver?
Is there a mark on the rear of the trigger guard?

It's POSSIBLE it's a military purchase gun, but most of the post-50's military Colt's I've seen usually had military-related marks on the butt or on the back strap.

The military DID buy Colt revolvers in the late 60's/early 70's. I've seen several Detective Specials that were purchased by Army CID, which had army markings.
If they bought DS's, why not PPS's?

My only suggestion is a historical letter from Colt, but this costs.
 

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ordnanceguy

Only thing I can tell you is what you probably already knew, all of my Diamondbacks have VP inside the triangle on
the left side in front of the trigger guard. Without taking all the grips off I can tell you that the ones with smaller grips were I can see the back of the trigger guard at the same spot all have a single letter such as O,V,Q,U. No two alike. These letters may not be as large as the one in your picture but it's hard to tell from your blow up shot. I always assumed they were either an Inspector stamp or some sort of month or date code, but I never gave them any other importance. Hope this helped. Dick
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Guys: I thought you might want to know this. I ran the pics of the PPS by Charlie Pate, who authored "US Handguns of WW2". He has spent a lot of time digging through the Colt factory records, and elsewhere, in his search for information on US guns. Charlie had no first hand info on my PPS, but expressed the opinion that "it definitely looks GI" and recommended a factory letter. That will be my next step. I will let you all know what I come up with. Thanks again for the input posted above. Charlie
 

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OK interesting story. By now you have had plenty of time to get the letter.

So what did the factory say?
 
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