Colt Official Police .38

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Cougarak47, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Cougarak47

    Cougarak47 New Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    I have just purchased a Colt Official Police .38 in above excellant condition. The serial number is 429XXX which according to the Proofhouse website says my Colt is a 1918 Army Special model. From what little research I've done so far I've been told that there was a lot of Colt Army Special model left over from WWI and Colt put O.P. barrels on them and sold them to police depts. can anyone shed some light on this subject for me.No matter which model it is it's in perfect shape. It has a 4" barrel and the old black grips. The gun was sold to me as unfired and it looks like it.Not even a mark on the cylinder. Thanks,Cougarak47

    Attached Files:

  2. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Upstate NY
    You are correct about the Colt Army Special and the Official Police being the same gun. By the 1920's Colt realized the military wasn't going to buy many revolvers, but police departments would be big buyers.... so the Army Special got a new name.

    O.P. revolvers are not scarce, but most have seen some use. One like yours in LN condition is a rare find. Congratulations.

  3. Cougarak47

    Cougarak47 New Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    Thanks for the info. I just needed some varification since the serial number didn't match the model.Cougarak47
  4. trapper704

    trapper704 New Member

    Mar 21, 2010
    nice looking gun. I have the army special nickel, with engraving and the 5 in. bbl in about 90 % cond., tight action and great rifling in 38 special, that I have been thinking about selling. If you don't mind what price range did you get yours for? thanks
  5. Cougarak47

    Cougarak47 New Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    I gave $575.00 for mine. That might be a little on the high side as far as cost,but it is in super fine condition. The pictures don't really do it justice. Hope that helps! Cougarak47
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    I doubt Colt ever thought there was any possibility of military adoption of the "Army Special", it was just a name. They did change the name (1927) to Official Police, which may have sounded better to the law enforcement market. The guns, as noted, were the same.

    Since they were the same, parts will interchange and in later years when a Army Special needed a new barrel, Colt or a gunsmith would simply install an OP barrel since Army Special barrels were no longer being made. No mystery, just a rebarrel job sometime in the gun's history.

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  7. Cleatis123

    Cleatis123 New Member

    Jul 1, 2009
    I have a 1914 vintage Army Special with a 6" barrel, someone refinished it long ago, much holster wear, but otherwise fine condition, so it has zero collector value. Fine by me, I don't "collect" guns, I accumulate them.

    That being said, that old gun, with its heavy trigger, horrible sights and wierd grip is the most accurate gun I have, more so than a Les Baer DCM Hardball, S&W 629DX, Custom Caspian Hi Cap or Ruger Mk III to name a few.
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