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I happened into a Colt Official Police, 6", .38.

Serial number is 812xxx - which based on some forum searches here leads me to believe the gun is a mid 50's vintage. Can someone with a dating book confirm the date?

If it was a 50's gun it should have walnut stocks - correct (the original stocks are not on the gun).

Any one have a source for walnut stocks that look original enough? The gun is not perfect, and I'm going to shoot it, but I want grips that look the part.

Great forum by the way!

Jeff
 

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Hi Jeff: Welcome to the Forum. You will find it to be a helpful and congenial place for Colt nuts. I don't have my research materials handy here, so I can't provide you with the date on your OP. However, on the stocks issue you may find that, depending on the date of manufacture, your OP may not have come with the walnut stocks but the brown plastic ones known as "Coltwood". I don't know when the changeover from Coltwood to wood began, but I can say that the early 50's OPs had the Coltwood style stocks. Perhaps others here can weigh in on that topic. Again, welcome. Charlie
 

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Wilson's data is a bit confusing here, but your OP was probably made in 1952.

It's possible that the original stocks on your Colt were made of plastic. The earliest such grips were a red-brown color, later model plastic grips were called Coltwood, these were a darker color that looked a bit more walnut like.

Because many of the plastic grips have shrunk in size over the years (no longer fitting the frames correctly), and because many shooters preferred walnut, it's rather usual to find aftermarket or "incorrect" factory grips on revolvers made during this time frame.

Bob
 

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Congratulations, Jeff. I hope you enjoy your OP. I think I've shot more of this one kind of gun than anything else. Growing up around Allentown, Pa. in the 50's and 60's and when I was a cop there in the 70's, just about everyone that carried a badge carried a Colt OP .38. (And a blackjack - another item I thought was very useful that you don't see anymore. They all went away after police stopped wearing hats!) Anyway, I'd bet a warm root beer that if you'd shoot your Colt from a rest, you'd be very pleasantly surprised how accurate they are. They are also quite stout and can take alot of heavy loads if that's your thing but I think they were intended to shoot 158 grain lead RN bullets. Grips interchange with grips from Pythons, original Troopers, Officer's Model Match and similar, .41 caliber frame Colts. It may interest you that internally, the OP IS a Python! SOME of us think the OP Colt and its sisters and cousins are just the best handguns ever. After all, ... it's what Robert Stack used in portraying Elliot Ness!
 

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I have 3 Official Polices in my collection: a 4" pre-war (1942), a 4" postwar (1954), and a 6" postwar (1955). All are great shooters. As far as heavy loads, the OP can handle the 38/44s used by the S&W .38/44 Outdoorsman! I use nothing but +p in mine (a 158 at about 1020 fps in the 6", 920 in the 4")
 
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