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Colt Official Police 38

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Willie, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    I got this a while back and I think it is post-war model because it does not have a patent date on barrel. Does have fixed sights. I have the Blue Book,24th issue and my question is, have the values changed much from 2003(this books date) ? I don't know how to tell Coltwood grips from Walnut grips. Also the finish is not real shiny,was this just how it was made? Note the worn spot where the officers holster strap wore the grip. I like this gun Just because I am sure it must have seen some sights in it's time. Never shot it yet,any reason not to? Markings are:
    Left side of barrel
    Official Police
    .38 Special ctg.
    Right side of barrel:
    Colt PTFA MFG CO Hartford Conn U.S.A.
    Serial # 857xxx
    Thanks for any help here.
  2. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    I have more pictures,having trouble getting them to load. here is one.

    Attached Files:

  3. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    Here are some more.

    Attached Files:

  4. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    More pics

    Attached Files:

  5. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Yup Willie, your Official Police is post-WWII. It was made in 1957.

    Value, according to the 28th Edition of the Blue Book is:

    Official Police Post-War:

    98% - $600
    95% - $375
    90% - $350
    80% - $265

    The Offical Police came with Coltwood grips from 1947-1954 and checkered walnut thereafter. Yours, being made in 1957 should have the walnut grips.
  6. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    Thank you Xracer. I did'nt know how to find manufacture date. That is cool-I myself am a 55 model. I sure wish I could see a slide show of this gun's life. There is no marking of which police dept. had it like some other guns I saw on this site. Shame. I bought it from a friend a few years ago who needed money. He worked around Galveston as a home remodel contractor and was always trading work for things. He also had a Browning vest pocket gun so I bought both for I think maybe 300.00. Looks like I did ok. Any reason not to shoot this gun? I did see that I should by low power ammo-from previous posts on this site. Thanks for taking the time to answer.
  7. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    No reason at all not to shoot it. Standard factory loads of .38 Special should be fine.

    Since 1957 was before +P loads came out, the gun is probably safe to use them occasionally, but not as a steady diet.

    Your gun doesn't have Police Dept. markings because it was probably sold on the civilian market. The "Official Police" is just a model name and doesn't have anything to do with to whom it was sold.

    Just FYI, you can find Colt Serial#/Manufacture dates here:

    http://proofhouse.com/colt/index.html
  8. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    Looking at ammo I already have most is +p 125 gr. We use in my wife's gun- S+W Airweight. I do have a bag from a gun show marked New Factory,.38 special 130 gr fmj. This would be less powerful ? I'm afraid I don't know a lot about ammo. The +p ammo is all hollowpoints. I did look at the Colt date site. Real cool!! Thanks
  9. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville New Member

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    leave the +P stuff alone, you could probably shoot some through it, bt I wouldn't reccomend a steady diet of it. the 130gr FMJ should be fine.


    Nice pistol by the way, yo could send it to me for testing...:D







    +P just means you need a bigger gun IMNSHO
  10. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    "I don't know how to tell Coltwood grips from Walnut grips" I saw a Colt Woodsman for sale on one of the auction sites. It said that it had Coltwood grips. From the picture, they appeared to be wood-grained plastic.
  11. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    Nice pistol by the way, yo could send it to me for testing...
    Thanks AD, I am going to the range to test it asap.I had this for a couple of years or more and never played with it. Can't wait to shoot it now,however.


    I don't know how to tell Coltwood grips from Walnut grips" I saw a Colt Woodsman for sale on one of the auction sites. It said that it had Coltwood grips. From the picture, they appeared to be wood-grained plastic



    Alpo, I think these are wood. Sounds like Coltwood did'nt look good.
  12. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    Just took this to the range. My wife and I both shoot real well with it. What a gas!!! I was really surprised at how the trigger pull was so light. Could this be modified? It just seemed to good to be true!
  13. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

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    Those early Colts had a very nice trigger pull right from the factory. I have an Official Police from the same era and it is a very smooth gun.

    The Official Police is a good-size gun, slightly larger than the S&W K-frame, and IMO it can handle +P ammo with ease. It is built on the same I-frame as the Python and grips for one will fit the other.

    And yes "Coltwood" grips are plastic grips. A dumb move by some bean-counter at Colt back in the 1950's.
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