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Discussion Starter #1
\"virgin\" early 50\'s O.Police,in a ratty package.

Over on the S&W there has been quite a "discussion about the value of boxes". Basically,my opinion is that unless the box is numbered to the gun you have,and in "good" shape,I don't want it. The prices on eBay for beat up boxes are "outta control",IMO. So yesterday,spied a 5" never fired O.P. Sadly it was wearing aftermarket fake ivories,that as is typical of aftermarket stocks,fit too small(I will bet the owner chucked the "cheap looking" Coltwood grips out!!,as it is a 1951 gun.) Dealer had dug up a prewar O.P. box,that had rips,taped and missing end labels and inside was horrible,and it was marked to a gun 100,000 number lower. He said it was so nice,that it needed a box. Yeah,but my analogy of having a concourse winning 1930's classic car,then parking it in,or next to a beat up,falling down 1930's garage,just to have the correct era,still makes sense,at least to me. Last thing I need is another O.P.,and I'd shoot it anyway! Tried to get dealer to keep the box,and ersatz ivories(I have some Coltwoods in my parts drawers) and lower price to $275 OTD,but no dice. Don't have a 5" O.P.,but not being a "collector",its not killing me not to get it! Bud
 

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Re: \"virgin\" early 50\'s O.Police,in a ratty package.

I'm with you. A pistol w/o it's "#s matching" grips and box doesn't qualify as a safe queen anyway. Plus, they weren't made to lay in a box. They look much better to me on the bench at the range next to a full box of ammo. I don't buy "virgin" pistols b/c I can't resist shooting them. It would be a losing proposition to pay NIB price
(Maybe I'm just jealous b/c I can't afford a NIB Python from '60???...I'd like to try it).
 

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Re: \"virgin\" early 50\'s O.Police,in a ratty package.

Lonewolf - in the case of your O.P., that box wouldn't do a thing for me either. If it belongs with the gun, I sure wouldn't throw it away, but the wrong box isn't worth a dime to me.
Also, beware of "ethically challenged" dealers out there - I got burned a couple of years ago when I bought a Pocket Positive in a box, numbered to the gun, package deal; got home and looked close - the pencilled number had been carefully erased and rewritten. Found out later that this guy was buying up boxes and mating them with nice guns to sell ANIB, (in Gun List, etc.) at a big premium. These were prewar boxes with the whitish bottoms.

But don't be too hard on us guys that keep a couple of "safe queens"...maybe when I assume room temperature my kids will be able to pay for my pine box.
 

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Re: \"virgin\" early 50\'s O.Police,in a ratty package.

No matter how any of you feel about boxes. There are 2 simple things to remember:

1) A box has value. (Like it or not, ratty or pristine, matching to the gun or not.)

2) Buy the gun, not the box. (If a box or "the" box is included, consider it a benefit. I personally use a box as a tie breaker on a borderline deal.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: \"virgin\" early 50\'s O.Police,in a ratty package.

Dealer called me,and seller had brought in the correct box for the 5" O.Police,so its probably gonna loose its virginity Sunday. 1952 gun,and the box is the correct one,and in "good" shape,# to gun,with the small "Shooting Suggestions" booklet,printed 11/51. That duo tone blue really stands out,and the correct Coltwood stocks(that I had) don't look too bad,but I'd prefer the earlier/later wood. I guess the "collector" in me came out.vs. the shooter. I did not have a 5' O.P.,so needed it to complete the collection of 2",4" 6", 6" Heavy Barrel, 4" .22,6" .22, a 32/20 O.P. 6",plus a 4" Marshall. About 20 years ago, I had a chance to buy a matched set of 6" O.P.s, a .22 and the very rare .41 Colt(this chambering was discontinued in 1930,and a few O.Ps were sold from 1926-30). Nice stags,and in great shape. Shoulda "sold" something,but I passed, saying that I already had a .41 Army Special.

Probably as much as a gun showing "honest wear",I'd love to know where this O.P. "hibernated" for the last half century!

BTW,dealer gave me $255 trade in on a 95% 32/20 Army Special,as he has a newbie collector wanting the older Colts,so CD was $75. Bud
 

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Re: \"virgin\" early 50\'s O.Police,in a ratty package.

Once again you came out smelling like a rose, Bud! (Yes pun intended. Sorry!) So in a sense you used the box as a tiebreaker to swing the deal. It sure did help that he took your Army Special in on trade too.

When I bought my 5" OP it had been sitting on consignment in a small gun shop for just short of a year. It was actually pretty good shape but not nearly as nice as what you just scored.

We figured it wasn't selling because of the gawd awful fake white girly pearly grips. So I presented an offer. The gun shop owner said she wasn't sure if the owner (an old gal) would accept the offer as the gun had been in the family a long time. I offered her $100 less than the asking price, since I would have to spend money on the correct wooden stocks. I told the shop owner to tell her she could keep the pearly whites if that made the offer more palatable.

As it turns out, she accepted my offer and let me keep the pimp like whites. Come to find out later that they were actually real Mother Of Pearl and the gun came from the factory with them. Mine turned out to be a basic night stand gun that she had for eons. Her husband had purchased it for her long before the war.

So much for my story. You did real well and I'm happy for you. But I'd be hard pressed not to believe that the box helped swing the deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: \"virgin\" early 50\'s O.Police,in a ratty package.

Thanks,WS23. If I couldve' got gun w/o box,cheaper,I'd of done it,but this one deserves(and I will keep!) the correct box,which probably rates "good". Great story about the "fake pearls". Interesting that 5" O.Polices were "bureau/desk draw pieces"! Usually ya find H&Rs and I.J.s! I bought an early 30"s O.P. without it's stag grips,as my dealer pal,knew a customer that was looking for genuine,old stags for his Python. Turns out to be one of the most accurate guns I own;has the "T" mark in crane recess and a special order wider front sight,but it ain't a "collector piece". Have no clue where the original Coltwood stocks went to(dealer asked seller when he called about box),and the Franzites fake ivory had that "typical" too small issue.

Bud
 

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Re: \"virgin\" early 50\'s O.Police,in a ratty package.

Lonewolf: you've got a helluva O.P. collection! It makes me realize I've got a long way to go.

Here is probably my nicest, it came from a mine in Michigan where it laid in the safe for years.

BTW, have you ever seen a post-war .32 PPS? It's cataloged, but I don't remember ever seeing one...

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: \"virgin\" early 50\'s O.Police,in a ratty package.

Lovely,Bushwaker. You know,those "Coltwood" stocks kinda grow on you. Still haven't shot the 5" I got on Saturday. Neighbor passed away.and wouldn't be too respectful to have used my outback range yesterday,work today,just got home,and will probably have tomorrow off from teaching due to a foot of snow. Oh well,I got 2 weeks Spring Break starting Saturday-yeah Spring in Maine!!!

I have seen a postwar .32 PPS,and they also made the .38 Colt New Police(.38 S&W-not special). These were available on the Cobra and Detective Special also. Big difference is that where as the prewar Police Positives used a shorter frame and shorter cylinder,for the .32 N.P and .38 N.P.,the postwars all used the longer frame and cylinder of the Police Positive Special, The .32 N.P. seems relatively "common" in the Cobra and Detective Special,the Police Positive Specials in these 2 chamberings are rarer. I had a 4" .32 New Police Cobra,but the previous owner had stored it wet,and the barrel got pitted on the outside. Thought about getting a new barrel from Gun Parts,in 3" for my wife as a carry gun,BUT,I bought a .32 Courier;NOT a mint piece,and she carried that(with a steel .32PPs postwar cylinder,with hot handloads;the Courier originally had an aluminum cylinder. Both Courier and its two cylinders are in the safe,as my wife,"appropriated" the 2" O.P. that took me years to find! Carries it in her "fanny pack",and I told her if her fanny gets any wider,she can easily carry another type of Colt; an M-16!

Massad Ayoob wrote a great article in the 1990 American Handgunner Annual,as to what a "sleeper" for collectors/shooters the Official Police is! More and more people are "discovering them",both as shooters(they are a helluva lot stronger than pre Model 10 S&W M&Ps,and even the 1930s eras' can handle factory +Ps) and collectors! Bud
 

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Re: \"virgin\" early 50\'s O.Police,in a ratty package.

You're right, they are sleepers. My 6" .22 will shoot rings around some of the newer stuff. No issues with using .22 magnum in the same barrel
I have a piece of steel about 24"X24" hanging in a tree 100 yards from my back step; and can usually hear 4 out of 6 rounds "fwop" offhand if I do my part.

Your wife's fanny pack made off with a good one, I'm still on the hunt for a 2" O.P. and Commando. I do have a snubbie Marshal, though (was too dumb to know what I had at the time; until I broke down and took some money from the gun kitty and put it into some reference books). Enjoy deflowering the 5".
 
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