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The Consummate Collector
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The year was 1896 and Teddy Roosevelt was the New York City Police Commissioner. That same year Commissioner Roosevelt authorized the purchase of a standard issued revolver for the NYPD. It was the Colt New Police Revolver in .32 Long Colt caliber. He also instituted required firearms training including pistol practice and qualification for officers. I just lettered this one and it shows as one of the Colt New Police that was ordered during his time as Police Commissioner.







Commissioner Roosevelt at his desk.
 

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A really neat tie-in between Teddy and Colt! In Teddy's bio "TR, The Last Romantic" (Brands, Basic Book, 1997) there is a succinct chapter on his time as Police Commissioner in NYC and his commitment to honesty and impeccable integrity in the NYPD. Even a bit hilarious at certain points. The book is also a great read of TR's entire life in politics, military service and his worldwide hunting exploits.
 

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Collect older handguns from Colt and S&W primarily
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Superb! For me the only thing better than an old Colt is an old Colt with some history.
The only thing better than that is an old Colt with history, plus a connection with the NYPD and my hero Theodore Roosevelt!
 

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That's beautiful. I love the ornate lettering on the backstrap. It's so funny to think that policemen once felt well armed with a .32 caliber revolver.
 

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Thanks for sharing your find.
This is interesting for another reason, too. So far I have relied on proofhouse.com for year-of-production determinations. But here they are apparently wrong. According to the site, for the New Police .32 serial numbers 1 to 4200 fall into 1897. Your letter and the historical record quite clearly show 1896.
How reliable is proofhouse generally? I'm reasonably new to dabbling in Colt collecting, so I'm hoping to tap into you'all's experiences here. Thanks!
 

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TR is one of my favorite presidents. Arguably the most colorful. I cannot testify to the veracity of this account but it is worth sharing in any event for entertainment value. During his presidency (1901-1909) he had a driver, horseless carriages being new and requiring all sorts of livery and such, that did an interview that claimed he favored a Smith & Wesson Safety Hammerless .38 S&W to be with him constantly since the failed assassination. One morning on departure from the white house he exclaimed.. "wait, turn back! I've forgotten my pistol, and I'm meeting the Archbishop today!"


Colorful and perhaps on guard.
 

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I find the assassination attempt did not occur until 1912 when he was campaigning for the Bull Moose party. Perhaps he did not require this incentive to carry a S&W Safety Hammerless.
 

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The Consummate Collector
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Thanks for sharing your find.
This is interesting for another reason, too. So far I have relied on proofhouse.com for year-of-production determinations. But here they are apparently wrong. According to the site, for the New Police .32 serial numbers 1 to 4200 fall into 1897. Your letter and the historical record quite clearly show 1896.
How reliable is proofhouse generally? I'm reasonably new to dabbling in Colt collecting, so I'm hoping to tap into you'all's experiences here. Thanks!
They are off by one year on this model. The New Police .32 came out in 1896 so you must index each column by one year in the proofhouse listing. Teddy Roosevelt, Commissioner of the New York Police Department, ordered 4500 of these guns for the New York police department and shipments began in 1896. Serial number 1 was sent to the department for the commissioner's examination.

Keep in mind that the serial numbers that are listed in the proofhouse listing are just a general guide and some numbers may be off by a few years since Colt did not ship guns in chronological order.
 

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The year was 1896 and Teddy Roosevelt was the New York City Police Commissioner. That same year Commissioner Roosevelt authorized the purchase of a standard issued revolver for the NYPD. It was the Colt New Police Revolver in .32 Long Colt caliber. He also instituted required firearms training including pistol practice and qualification for officers. I just lettered this one and it shows as one of the Colt New Police that was ordered during his time as Police Commissioner.







Commissioner Roosevelt at his desk.
Nice gun, nice letter....careful Mr. Roosevelt your phone is about to be on the floor.
 

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I DO NOT think any of the guns in that lot were chambered in 32LONG COLT as noted in your post. I think they were all chambered in 32COLT NEW POLICE [ 32S&W LONG].
 
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