Colt Pocket Positive

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Steely, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. Steely

    Steely New Member

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    Hey all,
    A friend just handed me a Colt Pocket Positive in "good" condition,
    has the 1905 patent date on the barrel,
    serial number is 137XXX
    stamped on the barrel is .32 Police CTG

    I read in an earlier post that .32 S&W Long will work best in this gun,
    however my buddy already tried that round and every casing was split down the side when fired. What is the issue here? is there something wrong with the cylinder or were they using the wrong ammo?
    also can anyone tell me the approx. age and value?
    any help would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks
    Steely
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    That should be the .32 Pocket Positive, First Issue, made from 1905 to 1927. Your number dates to 1928, though, so either my sources are incorrect or (more likely), Colt was simply using up a bunch of older barrels with the old patent date.

    Those guns were made in .32 Colt, .32 S&W Long and .32 Colt New Police. The two latter cartridges are, for all practical purposes, identical. I can't quite understand the split cases; the .32 S&W Long won't fit in a .32 Colt chamber, and should work OK in the other. Is the ammo modern, or is it old rounds that were found with the gun. What is the headstamp?

    The gun is basically the same as the older .32 New Pocket except for having Colt's "positive" hammer block safety, hence the name change. Those little guns were very popular with both civilians and plain clothes police in a day when .32 was considered adequate for doing in bad guys.

    Value depends on condition; like new, they bring upwards of $700; in average shape, $250 or so, with a premium for nice nickel and a deduction for cracked or broken grips, a common situation.

    Jim
  3. Gabob

    Gabob Well-Known Member

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    I have fired .32 S&W Longs in a couple of Pocket Positives with no problems
  4. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    So have I, which is why I wonder what the problem is.

    Jim
  5. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

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    Were the rounds factory or reoads?
  6. Steely

    Steely New Member

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    I just got a hold of the box of ammo they were using,
    Federal Classics
    not new, but doesn't seem excessively old,
    Factory Loads, headstamp shows FC 32 S&W Long
    98 grain 32 S&W Long Lead Round Nose
    box and brass look brand new but there is a small
    amount of corrosion around the lead nose
    price tag on the box says $7.65
  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if you are misreading the number on the barrel, and it actually says "38 Police"? Or, since Jim says the SN doesn't agree with the barrel, maybe someone (for whatever reason) has put a 32 barrel on a 38 gun.

    I'd put a caliper on the chambers, if it was me.
  8. Steely

    Steely New Member

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    The barrel definitely says .32 not .38
    the 32 S&W Long rounds seemed to fit perfectly in the chambers
    (even though they split from top to bottom when fired)

    I will put a caliper on the chamber as soon as I can and get back to you all
    Thanks again
    Steely
  9. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Mine is a Smith, not a Colt, but the chambers I just measured were .3405" in diameter.
  10. Steely

    Steely New Member

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    I hit the gun with a Franklin Arsenal Caliper

    The muzzle of the barrel measured 0.312
    The forward end of the cylinder (Bullet end) measured 0.319
    and the rear end of the cylinder (headstamp end) measured 0.345
  11. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Certainly sounds like .32 S&W Long.

    Jim
  12. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Only thing I can think of is, at 7.65 for the box of ammo, it is at least 20 years old. Maybe it was stored badly - where something could have gotten to the brass and weakened it.??

    Try some new ammo (which will run between 30 and 35 dollars a box) and see if it still does it.
  13. jim.i

    jim.i New Member

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    Saw this thread and have a question: I have just gotten my hands on a Colt Pocket Positive, 32 cal with 3 1/2" barrel, and shoots .32 longs.

    Description: Stamped on top of barrel - "COLTS PT.F.A.MFG.CO.HARTFORD.CT.USA PAT'D AUG 5, 1884 JUNE 5,1900 JULY 4, 1905"

    Colt emblem on left side of frame below hammer. Looks like a triangle with "VP" inside stamped on left side of frame above front of trigger guard.

    SN stamped on cylinder arm and also on frame. There is also a "5" stamped on the frame below the SN.

    "4" stamped on frame under left grip.

    Any ideas on manufacture date and possible value? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  14. popgun

    popgun New Member

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    sounds like a Police Positive Special 32-20 that has a 32 police barrel put on.
  15. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    deleted
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
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