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As a new policeman in 1971, my two service revolvers, both .38's, was the PD-issued blue steel Smith & Wesson Model 10 (4" tapered bbl.) and my personally owned Colt Official Police (same specs). My knowledge in firearms was in its early developement stage as I was unaware of a particular Colt .38 that would have suited me better, in certain situations. This Colt, I speak of, is the post war .38 Police Positive Special. The Police Positive Special (PPS) was one of the very few firearms not marketed here in west-central Georgia in 1971. Why this was so, I'm left to speculation, but this small frame six-shot revolver had the same frame as the Detective Special. Now that was one Colt that "most" of the Detectives here were well versed on and wanted! The Detective Special (DS) was a six-shot snub nose that I saw a lot around Headquarters but not so the other. The PPS looks just like a scaled down Official Police and was built with the same kind of craftsmanship that other D-Frame and I-Frame Colts were. That means a "hand-honed" and "hand-fitted" trigger-action made and fitted by the "best" in firearms artists! The post war PPS never saw the light of day in this area of the south! In the 1950's, 60's, and up to the 70's the PPS sold in large volume to foreign governments but this fine, reliable, quality, and petite sixgun was not to be seen on gun shelfs in our gun stores here. I've been told the .357 march was the "reason" for the PPS not being marketed in this area and the labor cost making the contract sales harder and harder all played into the demise of the PPS in sales. I know that plenty of gun makers did not throw in the towell on four-inch six-shot .38's in the 70's. Colt didn't, they just didn't sell this fine Colt here for some reason! There were Pythons, Detective Specials, and Trooper MK III's by the bushel, but no PPS Models! That lightweight sixgun, with Herrett Trooper Grips, would have been a perfect fit and finish for myself, especially when I had the downtown beat and was on my feet a lot. That post war PPS had great sights and with a 4-inch barrel, extremely fast out of the holster! That skinny stovepipe barrel with the thick ramped front sight was a natural pointer too. The post war PPS could take a limited amount of hot .38 ammo for those who think they need that, for me, as an old beat cop, the old .38 Police Load would be sufficient. The PPS was sighted in with that load and it shoots tighter groups using it. This, from personal experience, using other .38 Loads in my PPS.

The .38 Special Colt Police Positive Special, where were ye in 1971, when I was working those downtown beats using the old fashion way of patroling, by foot! You were around, but your makers didn't send you in our direction! There were a lot of us, civilians too, who would have purchased you for the already great reasons, previously given! You were a foot patroman's dream! Lightweight, reliable, durable, accurate, and a "Colt"! The Colt name was legendary then (1971) as my own Dad thought his son better protected by a Colt and went out and got me one as a Christmas present, a second-hand PD trade-in Official Police! I think Colt made a mistake on this one because my lament and modest rant is about an opportinity "missed". Thanks my friends and "GOD" bless all of you here!
David
 

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David,
While I'm a bit younger than you, I too have fallen for the PPS. I have a love for classic (early 1900's) pistols. One of the first ones I acquired was an early S&W Pre-Model 10. I love the looks and the feel of a tapered barrel revolver. The first time I shot it, I was surprised. It HURT! My wife noticed I jumped every time I fired. The rounds were factory 158gr RNL. Nothing hot at all. The revolver just didn't work for me. I went back to shooting my 1911.
Soon there after, a friend let me try his PPS. Same ammo (still had that but not the revolver). No issues at all. I was stumped. I talked to my doctor about it (He's a shooter too). I have some ligament damage in the base of my thumb. Apparently the S&W and the Colt OPS are just slightly too larger for my hand. But the PPS is perfect.

My "friend" won't part with his PPS so the hunt is on...

Aloha
 

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S&W model 10 should answer your question about the police positive special being less common. I am a colt shooter and collector also so I would lean to the Colt but it is what it is. I was just out shooting my bankers special and someone who was just leaving the range was showing me his S&W pre-model 10. I of course had shot these before but its courtesy to at least handle and point down range a gun that someone hands you as they are proud of it. And the model 10 really points well for me while the skinny barrel PPS feels small . The heavy barrel PPS of 1977-79 adds some needed weight and grip area but the market was already sold on the k frame smith. I too believe the police positive special would have been a wonderful gun for guard use where the weight of the duty rig is a prime concern.
 

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I've been a Colt semi-auto guy most of my life. Last year, however, I latched onto my first Colt revolver. A co-worker told me he had a nice used DS for sale: $200. I said I'd like a look and he brought it to work for me to see. With a closer look I discovered that it was not a DS, but was apparently a chopped-down PPS. Nice condition two-inch barrel, timing & lockup were acceptable and when I shot it I thought "nice, nice, nice........!" Wish I could find some decent replacement stocks, tho. Anyways, I carry this little piece concealed. It fits nicely under loose summertime clothing. I'd bet my life on it if need be.
 

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I have to say I don't care much for the post-war Police Positve Special. The fat wooden grips (like the post 1972 Detective Special) are not really suited, to me, for a service gun (plus they somehow....just don't look right) as they get in the way of speedloaders. The standard rounded service grips (seen on pre 1972 Detective Specials) just don't look right on a 4 inch service gun either to me (though they don't get in the way of speedloaders. Excellent on a snubbie, but not right on a service. The prewar ones look much better and when I see photos of them next to their pre-war OP counterpart, I can hardly tell the difference.

Aside from the "look" it's mostly because I just have large hands and the Official Police just feels right to me.
 

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I have small hands and the PPS grips feel really good. I have never liked the look of tyler grip adapters, I think that's what they're called although a lot of people use them.
 
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