Although the serial lookup indicates 1945, Paul has indicated in the past that for the war years that info is to be taken with a spoonful of salt. For example, the lookup shows the entire Commando serial range as made in 1942.
According to Pate, the Colt OP's (separate from the Commandos) shipped to the military encompassed the serial range up to 725,000, and shipped by March 1943. This gun's serial 724,780 just falls inside that, so I think the gun is legit. It's remarkably well preserved, including the stocks, but does not look refinished based on the photos. Looking at the bids, others don't seem to think so either.
I have an Official Police #26249 circa 1942 in .22 rimfire that is also marked with the flaming bomb. Colt letter says it was sold to: United States Government, shipped to: Transportation Officer, Raritan Ordnance Depot, Nixon, New Jersey, for: Commanding General. December 1, 1942. 70 guns in the shipment. And it's the same as new! Thanks, Joe
It looks correct to me. As Absalom indicates, the wartime OP serial numbers listed on Proofhouse.com are not correct.
1942 Official Police production seems to have run from 690,000 - 725,000 through November 1942. Perhaps some trickled through for the remainder of the war, but I assume that tooling was used primarily for the production of Commando revolvers through early 1945.
You have a really interesting one there. I think you've shown it here before.
Pate states about Commando production "Serial numbers ran consecutively from 1 to 50145 and then skipped to 50203." They then continued up to 50280 (p. 165). He presumably got that from the factory records.
Since your serial falls into that "skipped" gap, I wonder whether a box of frames maybe was set aside or misplaced and then rediscovered and used for the resumed OP production. Do you know of any others? I bet there are more out there from this gap.
Mine is in that range of about 58 guns that were not accounted for until Paul, pds03003, (Colt Archives) found the
ledger that contains them. I guess Paul is the only one who knows how many of those 'lost Commando
frames' got used.
Officer's Model Match. It shipped in 1962 to the Royal Oak Police Department, Royal Oak, Michigan. R.O.P.D. is engraved on the butt and verified by the Colt Archives letter. It is a single action only which is fairly rare and also verified by the letter. I don't recognize the stocks.