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Discussion Starter #21
Welcome to the Colt Forum! Thanks for sharing your wonderful soon to be heirloom with us. You're in the right spot to learn more about it.

For a general overview of your revolver, check out this link: Pocket Positive

Simplest put, the Pocket Positive is the smallest 'modern' swingout revolver Colt made, featuring their 'positive' technology making it much safer from accidental discharge. The insides of that little guy are on par with and was the basis for every revolver Colt made throughout the 20th century. Every revolver after utilized its design. With the serial you provided, that would place your gun sometime around 1927, so it is likely a late 'first issue' Pocket Positive. Around 1928 is when Colt made a couple of changes and became what collectors refer to as the 'second issue.'

From my understanding, I do not believe those are the correct grips. They would have been added later as a personalization. Factory grips on a Pocket Positive almost always were either black hard rubber stocks or standard checkered walnut stocks. Colt began transitioning to walnut around 1924, but it's possible yours originally left with either when it was shipped.

With my mention that it's the smallest 'modern' swingout revolver and comparable to any of Colt's other revolvers from the 1900's, it's perfectly safe to carry, shoot, and enjoy. You may want to have a qualified gunsmith look it over before shooting it unless you know your uncle had maintained its condition.

And now finally, as you noted your gun is .32 Colt New Police. That's effectively identical to .32 S&W Long, and any .32 S&W Long ammo will work. Back in the day, Colt didn't want to put their competitors name on their guns, so they created an identical cartridge with a flat nose and gave it a new name. For sake of purpose, there is no difference. Definitely don't try shooting .32-20 WCF in it, but feel more than free to take it to the range (or backyard if you're out far enough in the country) and can find some ammo for it. They're great little guns.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask. I am sure other people will be by to fill in the blanks I may have forgot, but hopefully this helped! I've never owned a Colt Pocket Positive, but I'd like to and intend to get one sometime. Let us know how it goes when you get it and what you decide to do. :)
Thank you so very much for the through response it helps a lot And is greatly appreciated!!! That now being said it has been well cared for, kept clean/maintained, but not fired in some time, as my uncle is older and unable to now.... Out of curiosity, what would shoot a .32-20 WCF? He had another "police positive" 4 in, with less info. (My dad has a spreadsheet of his collection and I'm wondering if something got transfers from voice to paper? Do they even make .32-20 WCF any more....? (That's what it was listed on the spreadsheet as, hence the ammo question)

All this info again is very helpful and appreciated!
-Jess
 

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I was just looking that up. It does get super confusing. If it makes mention of Police anywhere in it, wouldn't that be .32 S&W Long, and not .32 S&W?

And with that being said, if it's marked ".32 Colt CTG" that is .32 Colt?

Yes, .32 S&W Long. The .32 Colt (long usually, but short will fit) is NOT anything to do with the .32 S&W long or short. The Colt long or short are hard to get and reload for, several versions. The S&W (Any .32 Police Positive that refers to "police" or "NP") are common, easy to find rounds. Those Colts were chambered for the .32 S&W long. Technically, you can shoot the short in them too, kind of like shooting a .38 Special in a .357 Mag. The difference in the .32 cartridges Colt used has been asked and answered many times on this forum.

Colt with the Barrel Marked .32 DA = Discontinued Colt caliber .32 Short Colt or .32. Long Colt.

Colt with the Barrel Marked .32 S&W, .32 New Police or .32 Police CTG or 32. Police = .32 S&W Short or Long, Colt .32 Police Cartridge or .32 New Police/NP.
 

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Thank you so very much for the through response it helps a lot And is greatly appreciated!!! That now being said it has been well cared for, kept clean/maintained, but not fired in some time, as my uncle is older and unable to now.... Out of curiosity, what would shoot a .32-20 WCF? He had another "police positive" 4 in, with less info. (My dad has a spreadsheet of his collection and I'm wondering if something got transfers from voice to paper? Do they even make .32-20 WCF any more....? (That's what it was listed on the spreadsheet as, hence the ammo question)

All this info again is very helpful and appreciated!
-Jess
You're welcome! Glad I could help. Even if he hasn't fired it in some time, if he cleaned and maintained the revolver, it should be perfectly safe for you to shoot. Just give it a visual inspection and cycle the cylinder a few times to make sure it locks up tight and rotates on time.

As for .32-20 WCF, there were three guns Colt made chambered in that cartridge. Those guns were the Official Police, Police Positive Special, and Single Action Army. If your uncle has "Police Positive" and you think it was chambered in .32-20, then that could be correct. It's probably a Police Positive Special (which is just the Police Positive with a longer cylinder to house larger rounds, hence the .32-20). They do still make .32-20, but it's not as popular as it once was. And with the ammo shortages in general, it'll be as hard to find for a good price as everything else.
 

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Yes, .32 S&W Long. The .32 Colt (long usually, but short will fit) is NOT anything to do with the .32 S&W long or short. The Colt long or short are hard to get and reload for, several versions. The S&W (Any .32 Police Positive that refers to "police" or "NP") are common, easy to find rounds. Those Colts were chambered for the .32 S&W long. Technically, you can shoot the short in them too, kind of like shooting a .38 Special in a .357 Mag. The difference in the .32 cartridges Colt used has been asked and answered many times on this forum.

Colt with the Barrel Marked .32 DA = Discontinued Colt caliber .32 Short Colt or .32. Long Colt.

Colt with the Barrel Marked .32 S&W, .32 New Police or .32 Police CTG or 32. Police = .32 S&W Short or Long, Colt .32 Police Cartridge or .32 New Police/NP.
Thanks for the explanation. It surprises me none that this question has been asked many times on this forum. If you don't mind one last question of mine, I'm trying to understand exactly what ".32 Colt CTG" is.

By the name, I would assume that a barrel marked ".32 Colt CTG" means .32 Colt Long or .32 Colt Short, which as you said has nothing to do with .32 S&W Long and Short. That makes sense to me up until, as Oberon mentioned, he has always shot .32 S&W in his .32 Colt CTG Pocket Positive. If .32 Colt CTG is referring to .32 Long/Short Colt, why does the .32 S&W Short fit and fire in the gun? I would think the wider diameter of the S&W wouldn't fit the cylinder chambered for Colt's heeled cases.
 

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I have no idea what Oberon is saying or what his guns are. Strange things happen with guns. I have a New Service marked .44 WCF, but it chambers .44 Specials. Someone changed the cylinder out.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Yes, .32 S&W Long. The .32 Colt (long usually, but short will fit) is NOT anything to do with the .32 S&W long or short. The Colt long or short are hard to get and reload for, several versions. The S&W (Any .32 Police Positive that refers to "police" or "NP") are common, easy to find rounds. Those Colts were chambered for the .32 S&W long. Technically, you can shoot the short in them too, kind of like shooting a .38 Special in a .357 Mag. The difference in the .32 cartridges Colt used has been asked and answered many times on this forum.

Colt with the Barrel Marked .32 DA = Discontinued Colt caliber .32 Short Colt or .32. Long Colt.

Colt with the Barrel Marked .32 S&W, .32 New Police or .32 Police CTG or 32. Police = .32 S&W Short or Long, Colt .32 Police Cartridge or .32 New Police/NP.
THIS!!!!! This is the answer I was looking for.... lamens terms for the absolute Newbie! While I know my way around ammo enough to handle what I already own (9mm Springfield XDM and .22 long and short Winchester single shot, new ammo is a mystery until now! I have saved this page in my bookmarks for sure!!!!
I'm now trying to find out from my uncle any stories behind it. When and why he bought it, and changed grips etc. I'll share if I find anything out unique. :) Thank you so much again!
 

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The base diameter of the 32 Colt case, Long and Short, is .318" whereas the base diameter for the 32 S&W (long and short) is .335". On a 32 Colt revolver with a generous chamber a 32 S&W might fit, but the long case most likely would not. A 32 ACP has the same case dia and will work in the 32 S&W long.
 

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The base diameter of the 32 Colt case, Long and Short, is .318" whereas the base diameter for the 32 S&W (long and short) is .335". On a 32 Colt revolver with a generous chamber a 32 S&W might fit, but the long case most likely would not. A 32 ACP has the same case dia and will work in the 32 S&W long.
The OSS favored H&R revolvers in .32 S&W for various operations as the .32 acp was readily available in Europe and could be substituted.
 

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I have no idea what Oberon is saying or what his guns are. Strange things happen with guns. I have a New Service marked .44 WCF, but it chambers .44 Specials. Someone changed the cylinder out.
The idea is, my Colt and S&W .32 revolvers all shoot .32 S&W, and so do my Iver Johnsons. The notion is that this is safe and not a risk to my skin, gourd, or guns.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I am so excited to share I finally picked up the revolver from my dad and it's even more beautiful in person. Confirmed lots of things including the use of 32s&w long ammo. :D
Now another question has popped up.... there are two different sets of numbers on the revolver... I forgot to get a picture of the other one, but you can see the last couple numbers above the arrow... My guess without much info in the family was that a part was replaced and it is not 100% all original parts.... Not that it matters, it's all a very cool piece. The number that starts with the 1277 is also engraved with an "M".... What could that mean?
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The number that is visible above the arrow is on the crane, the part that swings out with the cylinder, there and should be a matching number in the recess where it fits back in the frame. These are the serial number of the revolver.

The hand engraved number starting with 1277 on the bottom of the cylinder window appears to be a later added identification number added by either a police department/officer for court purposes or a previous owner. Thankfully, whoever added it put it there, where it's not that obvious, and not on the side of the frame.
 
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