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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Guys, I recently purchased a Trooper MKIII in .38 special from a local gun shop. I was told it belonged to a retired Suffolk County Police Officer. It appears to be in really nice shape with original box. I noticed that it was stamped SCPDR. I assume that it would stand for Suffolk County Police Department but does the R stand for revolver? I looked online and found another trooper stamped with the R as well?
Any help would be great!! Thank you very much guys :)
Box Wood Plywood Packaging and labeling
Text Document Paper
Gun Revolver Trigger Starting pistol Gun accessory
Revolver Gun Firearm Trigger Starting pistol
 

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Nice MKIII. Not sure about the R. The stocks have been changed however. The transition for gold medallions on the MKIII was 1976 with early '76 models having silver and later '76 having gold medallions which was several years after this gun was discontinued. These .38 MKIII's came with silver medallions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice MKIII. Not sure about the R. The stocks have been changed however. The transition for gold medallions on the MKIII was 1976 with early '76 models having silver and later '76 having gold medallions which was several years after this gun was discontinued. These .38 MKIII's came with silver medallions.
Hi mafd2, Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate your help and info on this colt. Thats very interesting that the stock has been changed. Were the originals open on the bottom? Could these have been installed to show the stamping?
 

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It could've came with target or service stocks but either would've had silver medallions. The target stocks would cover the bottom of the backstrap where as the service stock doesn't. A pic of service stocks with silver medallions.
 

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In reference to the "R", all I can say is that it appears to have been stamped as an after thought. It does not have a period after it like the other letters, does not line up with the S.C.P.D. stamp, and has a different patina. Just a very wild guess, R = Retired? This way it would be known the revolver was not stolen and no longer police property, and was a better option than grinding off the S.C.P.D. marking.

John Gross

 
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The R stands for Retired and was put on when the gun went out of service. I have a twin to yours. My serial number is 71xxJ. One of the detectives from Suffolk County PD contacted me on another forum and researched my gun. He then sent me a copy of the index card showing who it was issued to by the firearms section. Mine was received from Colt in 1973. It was issued to an officer in 1975 and then to another officer in 1977. He probably got it at retirement.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
CFPython, thank you very much for the help with this. Thats a great Story and you can't any better verification then that. I looked up my serial # which is also 71xxJ on the colt website and it said 1973. Mine seems to have been a safe queen, I wonder why he changed out the grips? Did the department add the gold medallions for some reason or was mine just changed some time along the way?
Thanks again
 

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Mine also looks like it is almost new. I know it made a trip back to Colt after the first officer was issued it, but not sure why. He only had it a month before it went back to the factory. I'm not sure how long the second officer had it before he retired, but it sure doesn't look like it saw any holster time. As for your grips, I have no idea.
 

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They were changed along the way. The dept. would have no reason to change medallions from silver to gold. Maybe the stocks had some blems etc on them and the previous owner wanted gold medallions for some reason. The gold is just not period correct for 1973 on a MKIII.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you mafd2, thats what I figured. Its funny, I really can't find much about these. I looked on GB and a couple other sites. There really wasn't any in 38 special. I see a lot of 357 but no 38. You would think with them being SCPD guns there would be a bunch around for sale?
 

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I also have a .38 4" Trooper stamped "SCPDR". Mine is from a 1965 production and is unfired (NIB). It is my understanding that the "R" stands for retired. I'll try and post a few pics later...
 
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Suffolk County must have had a ban on .357. Thats a lot of revolver for .38 spl.

Colt did indeed produce limited numbers of .357 revolvers in .38 spl. for just this market, LE agencies that banned .357 (NYPD in particular). That was the sole reason for the existance of the "Metropolitan MkIII" which was the .38 spl. version of the Lawman MkIII which in turn is basically a Trooper Mk III with fixed sights.
 

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Don't know for sure and records preservation at Colt is not nearly as good as at Smith & Wesson. Just to give a vague idea when I Googled the topic a post from 2005 came up from another gun board about a member finding one and guess what? SCPD again, small world. Really small in the Trooper MkIII .38 spl world apparently.

Colt Trooper 38 Special - What's it worth? - The Firing Line Forums

Post # 10.

You could Surprise R.K. Campbell author of this Gunblast article as he states that to the best of his knowledge no Trooper Mk III's were chambered for .38 spl.

http://www.gunblast.com/RKCampbell_ColtTrooper.htm

Colt Fever site says they were special order for Police agencies, seems to fit the circumstances, and episodic evidence suggests not many agencies at that;

http://www.coltfever.com/Mark_III.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you very much rswartsell. I appreciate you taking the time a helping me get some info on this colt. I just found it odd that there really wasn't many out there being sold (being an old police issue pistol) I just love the history and story of it. :)
 
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