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Discussion Starter #1
Today I found a nice little Police Positive, that I am almost sure the barrel has been cut down on. The revolver appears to have 95% bluing left, but it has aftermarket grips. It locks up tight, and functions with zero problems. Serial number is 1529XX. It is chambered in .38S&W.



After discussing this gun on a couple of other forums and comparing the barrel markings to other Police Positives, some have hinted that it might not have been cut down afterall. So, I took a close-up pic of the barrel, and located this forum. Can anyone tell me if it is or is not a cut down barrel?


I am planning on getting some original (repro) grips for this gun. Are these the right type?



Were the Tyler T adapters correct for this time period?

edited to add: Obviously, the pic has been updated on my website to provide a pic with the new reproduction grips. The old grips were fake stag from the 1950's.
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Xavier's Guns

[This message has been edited by XavierBreath (edited 01-14-2005).]

[This message has been edited by XavierBreath (edited 01-18-2005).]
 

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According to Wilson's THE BOOK OF COLT FIREARMS, all the Police Positives were marked "Colt" right in front of the "P" that doubles for "Police" and "Positive". It appears that on your barrel the T (at the end of "Colt") is right in front of the large P. Since even the 2 in. barrels had the full marking, it would appear that your original assumption was correct: it would seem to have been cut down. Even so, it sure is a nice little snub. -Asa
 

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asa has it right. Also note the crown is far too rounded to be a factory crown. A 2-inch PP is uncommon. Most who wanted a 2-inch PP bought a Bankers Special.
 

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Your gun is a late 1923. I believe they used the hard rubber Fleur de leis type that you pictured. They switched over to the wood checkered type shortly thereafter. I have one dated to 1922 and they have the black hard rubber style.

You may not need buy repro's. I say this because I have seen some originals in decent shape go for pretty cheap (meaning less than 25 bucks) on the e-bay auction.

Sorry, can't answer the Tyler T question.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can anyone tell me if Colt can/will supply information on where this gun was first shipped, and possibly who ordered it, similar to a Jink's letter on a S&W? I'd like to learn a bit more about the history of this gun. I'm thinking it might be interesting.

Also, can anyone tell me when Colt began supplying guns from the factory with two inch barrels? I'm looking into the who, why and when this one was cut down. If the verbal info on the first owner is correct, then the rest might fall into place.

Is there a book on Colts similar to The Standard catalog of Smith & Wesson?

edited to add: Many thanks for the correct info! To me, that makes the gun even MORE interesting!

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Xavier's Guns

[This message has been edited by XavierBreath (edited 01-16-2005).]

[This message has been edited by XavierBreath (edited 01-16-2005).]
 

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It is difficult to say when Colt began supplying guns with 2" bbls,but not difficult to say when they began to "catalog" them,or over them as a regular production option. While your gun was certainly not a 2" snub,as has been pointed out,and evident by the photos,"non catalogued" items will crop up. I once owned a 3" factory lettered Police Positive Special(.38 Special). Was shipped to a New Hampshire "govt. official"in 1922. The Bankers Special,2" Police Positive,began to be catalogued in 1928 in both .22 and .38 S&W. Later models(1933-43 got a rounded butt. The Detective Special,2" .38 Special,was first catalogued in 1927,as a 2" Police Positive Special. Colt may well have produced the even smaller frame .32 Pocket Positive in bbls. shorter than the 2 1/2" smallest listed. Factory letters from Colt are either $75 or $100,significantly higher than S&W! -AND- you will only get the jobber or retailer to whom the gun was shipped and when,in most cases,unless it was a rare "direct factory order". I've only sent for letters from both,when I knew I purchased a "rare,expensive specimen" and needed the letter for a sale to a dedicated collector. IMO,the letter may raise as many questions as it will answer as far as the user! (This is why I love "estate sales",as i learn about the prior owner). My assumption is that owner of your gun,knew it was an excellent shooter,felt comfortable,and protected with it,and wanted to make it more "pocket friendly"! BTW,the gunsmith did a nice job reattaching the sight to the "snubbed" bbl. and I am assuming it lines up correctly with the rear sight groove and the elevation is correct(usually requires some lowering with snubbed guns). Glad to see that you are enjoying this bit of history. Bud
 
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