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I have recently purchased a Philippine Alaskan. I also see these referred to as Philippine Constabularys. Is this just the terminology or is there a difference? It has the US the JTT and RAC markings on it.
 

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Philippine Constabulary is a correct description since virtually all of them went to the Philippines.

Jim
 

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I knew an elderly collector ,born in 1898 who in 1910 purchased a pair of 1902 Colt revolvers. He was working on the family ranch 50 miles east of Burns Oregon when he was asked to drive his mother into town for supplies. While there he found that he wanted to be a two gun man so he purchased both guns and had holsters made to fit. When he returned home, his father was furious that he had spent his savings on two guns. Thereafter whenever he rode away from the house, his father made sure that both guns were worn. In 1914 he joined the Navy and served on the USS Pennslyvania. He served on her again during WWII. Larry made sure that I was able to get one of them before he died in 2003.
 

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Philippine Constabulary is a correct description since virtually all of them went to the Philippines.

Jim
Also, as to the enlarged trigger guard being to allow gloves to be used, a side-by-side comparison shows that the trigger guard is extended downward, not forward, and that there is no more room in front of the trigger than on the "plain" 1878.
 

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I always leaned a little toward the story that the mod was for getting two fingers on the trigger in order to more easily or rapidly pump 255gr .45 slugs into an attacker.

Those Filipino guys down below could get your attention in a hurry. They aren't large men, but they are very tough and incredibly agile - more than a match for an above average Soldier or Marine in close combat. If they are fatally wounded, but still able to fight, they will go to work on "the Infidels" with those razor sharp blades.


 

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According to Man at Arms magazine (date?) Governor Taft, the army primers were harder than the civilian primers requiring a stiffer main spring, which made the DA pull outside of military specs. The solution in the crisis was to make the trigger longer for increased leverage. This produced the unintended result of allowing either a gloved finger or two fingers to enter the trigger guard.
 

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My understanding is that the 4600 or so 1878/1902's went to the Philippines. As alluded to earlier, the longer trigger allowed the small handed Filipino's more leverage to fire the piece double action.
 

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Regarding Filipinos, I had a Filipino friend who was average height/build for a Filipino.
He was very strong and as agile as a monkey. You should have seen him climb those racks at work.
I was in awe. OSHA would have pooped a Cadillac.
 

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I was doing some research for an article on Colt revolvers used by the US Military prior to the Colt 1911 pistol and the story I passed along on the Colt 1878 DA like the one above was that they were going to Alaska, but were diverted to the Philippines due to the need for revolvers with more stopping power than the 1892 Colt and its .38 Long cartridge. They ended up with the Philippine Constabulary and many US Army troops received the Model 1909 Colt, a version of the New Service in .45 Colt.
 

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hwjhfs - That is the $64,000 question. My studies included material from the NRA to a warrior group from the Philippines and nobody has mentioned just where or to what unit the "Alaskan" Colt, AKA the 1878 DA Frontier Model, AKA the 1902 Philipppine Constabulary Model, was actually going. If you know, pray tell us! I suspect this is one of those cases wjere legend has become fact, which I may be guilty of passing on...
 

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hwjhfs - That is the $64,000 question. My studies included material from the NRA to a warrior group from the Philippines and nobody has mentioned just where or to what unit the "Alaskan" Colt, AKA the 1878 DA Frontier Model, AKA the 1902 Philipppine Constabulary Model, was actually going. If you know, pray tell us! I suspect this is one of those cases wjere legend has become fact, which I may be guilty of passing on...
Thanks for the post and the addtional information. I do not have the answer either. But, I like the Philippine story better than the Alaskan glove story. Regards.
 

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Check out the big toe of the left foot of that guy on the right side of the picture!
That is pretty common in societies that predominantly go bare footed....the big toe is splayed out from the other 4 toes exactly as depicted in the picture above
I spent quite a bit of time in Indonesia and specifically Bali and this splayed toe 'phenomenon' was evidenced everywhere
 

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According to the War Department reports for 1903 (1 July 1902 - 30 June 1903), the Ordnance Department purchased 3,107 "Colt's revolvers, .45 caliber, double action". Some of these were likely New Service revolvers, as the reports also note arsenal testing of these in that year, but 3,100 or so were most probably M1902s. A common figure tossed around for the number of M1902s purchased is 4600, but the Ordnance Reports for that year do not bear that out and I don't know where the figure comes from.

In that year, the Army also sold over $55,000 dollars' worth of Colt's .45 revolvers at a discount to the Philippine Constabulary. No mention of whether they are single- or double-action.

In Vic Hurley's Jungle Patrol, he mentions that in 1901 the Constabulary had ordered 5000 Colt .45 revolvers and repeating smokeless shotguns, and were told there would be considerable delays in both. As the order was placed to provide "modern" weaponry to the Constabulary (at that time armed with black-powder shotguns and M1873 revolvers), it's uncertain what model of Colt .45 revolver was ordered...but presumably it was an upgrade to the M1873 they already carried.
 
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