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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a long-time Colt 1911 guy, and my revolvers have all been S&W. I'm considering purchasing an old Official Police for two purposes: my own personal shooting pleasure, and as a home defense weapon for my wife. I'd like to hear any personal opinions on these old revos good or bad.
And yes, I've been warned by the internet experts that "no one can work on these anymore" (any truth to that?), no parts available (might believe that) and trigger is inferior to a S&W.
One particular Official Police I'm checking into is a post-war nickel (any factory nickeled OP's?), nickel looks very good, lettering is nice and crisp, and has the "Coltwood" plastic grips with 4 inch barrel. Thanks
 

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I have an early 50's Official Police that I obtained from Mr.R M Vivas that is a first rate revolver. I'm not too keen on the DA trigger pull, being used to the S&W trigger, but the single action trigger is fautless. The DA pull is smooth and fine if one is used to it. Parts have to be just as available as S&W M&P parts. I'm not mechanically inclined but have successfully tinkered with Colt DA revolvers over the years.

I had mine out at the range a few weeks back with a couple of boxes of HBWC's and had a good time shooting gratifyingly tight groups with it.

I'm thinking that Colt made the Official Police in nickel but it must be an uncommon variation.

I'd have no reservations about advising you to purchase it.
 

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I've owned a police trade-in COLT .38 Offical Police for 15+ years, and been very pleased with it.

Its "role" has varied from plinker, to glove box, to nightstand, and woods walker. Have fired about 2,000 rounds through it, and its still tight. Never had a misfire or any problem.

I wish I had bought several when the police were upgrading to 9mm autos. I think I paid $125 at the time.

Never needed parts, but they seem to be available. The PYTHON has the same action and shares many idenitical parts.

JERRY
 

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I also have an Official Police. It is an excellent shooter and has a very good double-action trigger. It is extremely controllable, tough, and accurate.
I recommend it completely, with this one proviso- you may not find it satisfactory for your wife's use. Based on my own experiences, the grip size and shape of the E/I frames may be too large or otherwise awkward for persons with smaller hands. A test of some sort may be called for.
That's no reason not to get one, just a mention of a potential limit.
A good substitute for that use would be any of the D-frames, such as Police Positive Specials and their target-sighted siblings, Diamondbacks. With proper stocks (and as much as I love my Colts, I do have to admit that not all of their lumber is as ergonomic as could be) they are much better suited for smaller hands. The power, of course, is exactly the same.
So there's your excuse for buying two.
Bill
 

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Hi:
There were as many nickeled OP as Blue.
The first Department issue service revolvers for SPPD (1958) were nickeled OP. First order were 300 units.
Jimmy
 

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I started working at lockheed in 1965 as a guard. We were issued them originaly and they mostly were dated to the early 50s. As the years rolled by,(I retired in 2000) company went to rugers then s&w 586. I was about the only one to wear the old colts. I enjoyed the lighter weight, reliability and portability over the newer stuff the newer generation guards always seemed to prefer. The brass didnt seem to notice that I did sometimes carry my own 357 trooper with the smaller grips I took off a company gun so it wouldnt be as noticable, untill one day I was talking to the chief when another guard walked up and sez, werch did the company issue new guns? I said thanks a lot ya sob! The cheif threw up his hands and said I didnt see that! So I went back to the op!
 

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Nice story, thanks for sharing with us. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

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"There were as many nickeled OP as blue"

I believe the blue version far outnumbers the nickel. Virtually all the service type/police Official Police and Police Positive Specials one sees are blue. General production was blue for these models up to the Mark III models, nickel was generally for special orders and a number were made after discontinuance to use up parts.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
There were as many nickeled OP as Blue.

[/ QUOTE ]
If so then where are all of them today? The blued models far outweigh the nickel models on the market today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to everyone for the information. Whomever mentioned the size factor certainly makes a good point. And, as luck would have it, I've come across a 90% Diamondback, 4" with original box and correct wood grips for about what some of the OP's would cost (read CHEAP!) Always wanted a Diamondback and/or Python. I think I might snag it as it would probably fit her hand better than the OP.
 

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My, I certainly can give good advice now and then.
My .38 Diamondback is the gun that nearly all of my newbie shooters fire their first centerfire rounds with.
Ironically, I really can't use it for any competition, since the oversize web of my hand crowds the big D-back target hammer enough to slow down the action during rapid DA fire. I could put in a bobbed hammer from a Detective Special, I suppose, but it looks a little funny.
I guess I'll keep it anyway.
Bill
 

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Perception, I guess. My first OP was a Nickel Detroit PD Marked 5" 30 years ago and a nickel 4" 1967 production sits in my nightstand today, so I wouldn't have thought the disparity was all that great. No substitute for actual factory production figures, of course.
 

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I'm also a S&W collector;Roy Jinks says that,generally,nickel guns made up 20% +/- of a given S&W model production run.I wouldn't be surprised to find out that was accurate for Colts as well.My perception is that blued guns have always been more popular than nickel ones.
Here's a pair of post-war OP's,both 5",with a period Clark hand-carved holster.
Regards,
John Witty
turnerriver

 
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