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Newly Acquired Colt Official Police

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by DRB, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. DRB

    DRB New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    Hello to all, I was given another pistol from a family member. He didn't know too much about it other than he thinks he purchased it back in the 60's and remembers using it quite a bit back then.

    All I really know is that it is a Colt Official Police .38 Special. It has a 4 inch barrel and solid wood grips that show quite a bit of wear. It is S/N 5593XX which is stamped on the frame under the crane. The only other markings are on the barrel which are as follows:

    'COLT OFFICIAL POLICE 38' on the left side of the barrel.
    'COLT'S PT F A MFG. CO HARTFORD, CONN U.S.A. PAT D AUG. 5, 1884. JULY 4, 1905. OCT. 5 1926.' on the top of the barrel.
    The Colt horse logo on the left side of the frame just above and forward of the left grip.

    I do not know how to determine the %bluing or condition as requested in the sticky but I will say that the cosmetic condition of this revolver is pretty rough in my opinion. It has some areas of minor surface corrosion that appear to have been scotch-brited off in some areas. The areas that have been re-worked are very smooth and I cannot feel any pitting to the touch. I am attaching pictures for help with the condition.

    I have fired the gun and it performs very nicely so I wouldn't mind using it as a first restoration type project for myself.

    With regard to the finish; can/should it be re-blued? Where is the best place to have that done?

    I want to know a few other things about this gun:

    1. Can this gun fire .38 +P.
    2. The date of manufacture.
    3. Approximate value (I'm not necessarily looking to sell but it is nice to know).
    4. Anything else that you 'the experts' think I should know.

    Thanks in advance!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    Your family member might have bought it in the 1960's but it was not new at that time; Wilson shows that gun as made in late 1929. Based on the general appearance and what you describe, I would guess that it is an ex-police gun, the grips worn and the barrel blue gone as a result of holster wear.

    While it would probably be just fine with +P .38 Special loads, I generally can't recommend those older guns for that load. .38 Special +P+ is a no-no without any doubt.

    Value always something of a guess, but I would put that one at around $200-225. The Colt revolvers of that era will, I think, someday come into their own as collectibles, but that day is not quite here and that gun has enough wear that it is not a collectible and probably will never be. It is still a good old gun; shoot it and have fun.

    Jim
  3. DRB

    DRB New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    I just confirmed and he said he bought it from the Police Officer's Association in San Francisco in 1964.
  4. Inthewind1976

    Inthewind1976 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    553
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    Colt OPs had one of the thickest cylinder wall configurations of any "medium frame" service revolver and its frame size was considered to be a ".41 frame" meaning it is IN THEORY on par with the L frame S&W NOT the K frame. That being said, a steady diet of +p's can take its toll on any revolver - is it likely to fly apart from shooting +p's; not likely. Will it eventually become "out of time" as Colts are prone to do after a long service life - undoubtedly. I love the Colt OPs and think they are about as graceful and smooth as they come - ENJOY IT!! :)
  5. Treeman53

    Treeman53 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    90
    Personally, I would tear it down and rust blue it. May not be "original", but sure would be a pretty piece!
  6. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3,477
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    I would not run +P's thru her at all.
    Not that it is weak, but,
    she already has age on her, and no idea
    of number of rounds, and I would
    not put the additional stress on her with
    anything more than a standard .38special round.
    I also would not re-blue.....clean, lube, shoot,enjoy.
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