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 Member

    Sep 6, 2011
    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

    Dec 6, 2009
    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.


  3. DRB

    DRB Member

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

    Aug 30, 2009
    Fairview, Pa
    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

    Jan 20, 2011
    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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