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View Full Version : Bill Jordan. Colt Border Patrol. Is this Bunk?


Doug.38PR
May 22, 2007, 10:22 AM
http://www.nationalfirearmsmuseum.org/tour/gallery/lawenforcement.asp

Is this BS? I just got Jordan's No Second Place Winners. I see no mention of this revolver or him using or carrying it. He seems to have prefered the M-19 .357 and didn't care too much for the .38 special at all. I heard elsewhere that he prefered Smith & Wesson revolvers too.

Dfariswheel
May 22, 2007, 02:05 PM
The Border patrol always favored Colt revolvers.
In the 1930's, they used Colt New Service .38's which famed Border Patrolman Charles Askins sighted in and checked upon receipt.

In the 50's, the BP bought the rare Colt Border Patrol, and it was the only authorized gun, so Jordon did use it.
I've never heard that Jordon was involved in the purchase of the Border Patrol, but it's very likely he was.

RJay
May 22, 2007, 05:46 PM
Bill Jordan was in the Bordar Patrol for quite a few years before the Model 19 was introduced in 1954 .

tipoc
May 23, 2007, 01:10 PM
Take another look at the book, which is always helpful anyway, Jordan speaks highly of a good many Colt's. He also speaks well of the .38 Spl. he just believed that there were better rounds for police work than the .38. He advises in the .357 a 160 gr. bullet at 1200 fps out of a 4" barrel. His chapter on "Calibers and Loads" is interesting reading.

tipoc

kcshooter
May 23, 2007, 04:04 PM
It was Bill Jordan that helped develop the Border Patrol revolver into a heavy 4" barrel .357 instead of the .38. He was the one that helped develop the K-frame model 19 Combat Magnum, which was the Border Patrol gun that he envisioned in the first place. (Also my first gun.)

croyance
May 23, 2007, 09:07 PM
I think at the time and earlier, many Border Patrol agents carried non-authorized weapons.

Mal H
May 23, 2007, 09:22 PM
Several of you will notice that many posts have been deleted.

This is the Revolver Forum, not the Legal and Political forum. If you wish to discuss illegal aliens, it should be done in the L&P forum, not here. Also, we do not allow racial slurs in any form in any forum no matter what the history of that slur may be.

Now back to your regularly scheduled revolver discussion.

Doug.38PR
May 23, 2007, 09:29 PM
Thanks Mal.

kcshooter
May 23, 2007, 09:39 PM
Appreciate the clean up!

22-rimfire
May 23, 2007, 10:12 PM
Bill Jordan and Elmer Keith were the driving force for the development of the 41 magnum. Skeeter Skelton also had a hand in promoting the caliber with Smith & Wesson and the ammunition companies. It was hoped to be the preferred police round with better man stopping capabilities than the 357 magnum. Unfortunately, Smith & Wesson chose to market it in the large N-frame revolver and the ammunition manufactures initially only offered it as a "magnum" and not a lighter police round. The police round was pretty much recommended by Keith and it would have been a "41 Special" loading (akin to the 44 Spl). Anyway, the new caliber in 1964 did not catch on in the field for police use and the rest is history. It became a thinking man's magnum revolver round popular with hand loaders. It continues to be over shadowed by the 44 magnum for hunting purposes.

As I recall, the Border Patrol tends to prefer the heavier caliber handguns since the guys in the field are said to see a lot of action with firearms in comparison with most LEO's. The 45 ACP was popular with the Border Patrol even when most police forces were switching to the 9mm's.

Mike Irwin
May 23, 2007, 10:48 PM
"The 45 ACP was popular with the Border Patrol even when most police forces were switching to the 9mm's."

After World War I when the Border Patrol was in its infancy the standard issue weapons were Model of 1917 revolvers in .45 ACP and Enfield bolt-action rifles.

Most agents quickly ditched these in favor of personal weapons such as the 07 Winchester rifle in .351 and a variety of handguns, including 1911s, Peacemakers, and S&W and Colt double-action revolvers.

Someone mentioned the Colt New Service .38s that Charles Askins helped procure.

According to Askins writings, he personally took delivery of all of the revolver and sighted them in, including bending the front sight if necessary and either cutting the front sight down or filing the rear notch deeper.

He didn't bother to put explanatory notes in the crates when he forwarded them, which caused a small incident with BP's upper management when they heard that Colt had 'shipped' guns with bent front sights.

Askins also said that he very much would like to have ordered the guns in .45 Colt, but the Border Patrol's administration wouldn't go for it.

Doug.38PR
May 23, 2007, 11:18 PM
wonder why they didn't stick with the .41 Long Colt that was offered in the Army Special or at least offer it as a more powerful .41 Special? It was on the same frame as the Official Police. Of course, I guess the .38 Spl. LRN had more power and penetrating abilities as it was a smokeless cartridge than the .41 Long Colt even though the caliber wasn't as large. Still, couldn't they have upgraded?

tipoc
May 24, 2007, 07:22 AM
One reason Askins chose the .38, and it was the official side arm for several decades, was that, according to him, most border patrol agents couldn't shoot worth a darn and had poor gun handling skills. He established their first systematic training courses. When Jordan signed up some time later he benefited from these and always gave Askins his due.

tipoc

Mike Irwin
May 24, 2007, 08:45 AM
After the change from heeled bullets to the modern bullet, the .41 Long Colt was a .... .38

Of course, after the change to modern bullets, the .38 was a .357...

Numerous people have wondered why no one bothered to bring out an uploaded .38 Special with a 200-gr. bullet. It would have, according to some, mimmiced (sp?) the .41 Long Colt fairly closely.

And, the .41 was also offered in later years in smokeless loadings.

Doug.38PR
May 24, 2007, 09:32 AM
After the change from heeled bullets to the modern bullet, the .41 Long Colt was a .... .38

Of course, after the change to modern bullets, the .38 was a .357...

I'm not sure I understand these two statements. The .38 was called a .38 because of the size of the cartridge (at that time) right? But the bullet itself was a .357.

Are you saying that the .41 was called a .41 long colt because of the size of the cartridge and the round itself was .38? (I've seen the bore size of a .41 Long Colt Army Special....it's noticably different from the Official Police .38. Heeled bullets? Modern bullets, what's the difference?

Mike Irwin
May 24, 2007, 10:02 AM
Doug,

"I'm not sure I understand these two statements. The .38 was called a .38 because of the size of the cartridge (at that time) right? But the bullet itself was a .357."

Yes. No. Maybe. It's actually very complicated....

Prior to about 1875, many of the metallic cartridges that were brought out used heeled bullets. They looked something like a mushroom.

The most common example of this, and the only one still in regular production/circulation, is the .22 Long Rifle.

Using a heeled bullet, the bullet diameter is very close to the "name" diameter.

Heeled bullets of that time frame were the same diameter as the outside of the case.

In the case of the .41 Long Colt, that was .405 or so, or rounding it up, .41. But, the heeled portion of the bullet, which fit into the case mouth, was very close to .38 caliber.

With the .38 Long and Short Colt cartridges, the outside diameter was .381, or .38, while the diameter of heeled portion of the bullet was .357-.361.

As originally designed, the .38 Special did NOT use the heeled bullet -- it used the .357-diameter bullet.

S&W chose the .38 name, in spite of the reduce diameter of the bullet, because they were hoping to interest the military in the .38 Special as a replacement round for the .38 Long Colt, which had proven to be rather lacking in the Philippines.

hhb
May 24, 2007, 01:47 PM
I read an article about Bill Jordan somewhere, and it mentioned that he was involved in the accidental shooting of another Border Patrol Agent.

dgludwig
May 24, 2007, 03:49 PM
From what I've read, he (Jordan) was not only involved in an accidental shooting, the victim died.

BigG
June 4, 2007, 08:56 AM
I believe Jordan practicing his quick draw put a round through the locker that contained the boss' uniform. That was the source of "he shot somebody" rumors, IIRC.

Mal H
June 4, 2007, 04:04 PM
No, I believe you'll find that "rumor" to be true.

In 1956, Jordan fired a .357 revolver in the Chula Vista, CA BP office. The round went through a wall and hit BP Agent John Rector in the head. He died not long after at the hospital. Jordan "thought" the revolver was empty.

Doug.38PR
June 4, 2007, 05:45 PM
did he go to jail, get sued?

BigG
June 5, 2007, 06:56 AM
Sorry, Mal, my bad. The article here (http://www.sdmemorial.org/index.php?/memorial/comments/C10/) states he was killed by accident, but does not name Jordan, by name.

Mal H
June 5, 2007, 04:35 PM
I don't believe any legal action was taken against Jordan. It was written off as the tragic accident it was. You've got to believe that any legal action would be far milder than the guilt he must have felt for the remainder of his life.

Doug.38PR
June 5, 2007, 05:05 PM
exactly. now why don't we think that way today. Accidents don't happen these days, we have to find and punish somebody to make ourselves feel good. Nevermind that the driver, shooter whatever is going to have to live with that for the rest of his life

tipoc
June 5, 2007, 07:06 PM
Doug,

now why don't we think that way today.

Some of us do.

tipoc

croyance
June 5, 2007, 08:54 PM
Accidents "don't happen" because we constantly remind ourselves that guns are always loaded, no matter what we think. This is why we have so many accidental/negligent discharge threads.
If it were not Bill Jordan, but a person you didn't know of who picked up a gun and played with it, assuming it wasn't loaded, what would you have said?

Mal H
June 5, 2007, 10:45 PM
I don't want to put words in Doug's mouth, but I think what he is saying is that the law (and lawyers) doesn't seem to allow for guilt-free accidents as much as it used to. IOW, we are becoming such a litigious society that a true accident, like the one in discussion, would have been called negligent homicide and a civil suit would have followed the inevitable trial finding him guilty. Maybe even the handgun manufacturer would have been a co-defendant. IOW, yesterday: "people make mistakes" - today: "yeah, but they're gonna pay for them".

Having said that, I have to remind everyone, including myself, that this is the revolver forum. A modest amount of further discussion is fine, but any continued discussion should probably be in the L&P forum. The topic is fine, but the forum is wrong for the topic.

Doug.38PR
June 5, 2007, 10:54 PM
^
Bingo.

But as you also said, let's keep this on revolvers.

What is the difference between this said Colt Border Patrol and an Official Police? Both are .38 Specials. Is it built on an E frame? From the book No Second Place Winner, he seems to highly favor the .357 magnum and think very little of the .38 Special. He does indeed as tipac indicated think it an adequate round but you could do better. Seems to think "shocking power" and "knockdown power" is something that comes from the caliber in order to knock somebody down.

Geronimo45
June 5, 2007, 11:29 PM
As I recall, the Border Patrol tends to prefer the heavier caliber handguns since the guys in the field are said to see a lot of action with firearms in comparison with most LEO's.
Maybe they're more likely to deal with BGs in vehicles as the most common type of incident, and need something to punch though those car bodies. Seem to remember that was why the TX DPS switched to .357 SIG - for car shooting.

Doug.38PR
June 6, 2007, 10:02 AM
Didn't the DPS, before they went to the .357 Sig, carry a S&W .357 Magnum Highway Patrolman? Wasn't the .357 Sig an attempt to duplicate the performance of the more powerful magnum revolver?

BigG
June 6, 2007, 12:14 PM
If, by DPS, you are referring to the Texas Rangers, they have carte blanche as to personal weapons. If their website is true, they can have 357 SIG or anything else they want. There are only about a hundred and twenty of em. Hardly a world shaking number.

juliet charley
June 6, 2007, 12:34 PM
Didn't the DPS, before they went to the .357 Sig, carry a S&W .357 Magnum Highway Patrolman? Wasn't the .357 Sig an attempt to duplicate the performance of the more powerful magnum revolver?
The TX DPS replaced the Model 28s with Model 686s. When the switched to autoloaders, the trooper had a choice of the P220 in .45 ACP or the P226 in 9x19. The P220 was selected by far more troopers than the P226.

The TX DPS was satisfied with the .45 ACP except for the issue of intermediate barrier performance. They tried several different varieties of .45 ACP, but none of the ammunition available in that time frame was deemed satisfactory.

SIGArms needed to promote the new (at that time) 357 SIG calibre and were right there with a sweetheart deal for the DPS. Since the 357 SIG delivered good intermediate barrier performance (relative to the .45 ACP ammunition of that day), the DPS made the switch.

In the decade-plus since, bullet design/engineering has progressed signficantly, and the premium .45 ACP loads of today are easily equaling the intermediate barrier peformance of the 357 SIG. Ten year later, there would be no need for the switch to the 357 SIG.

All of which really has nothing to do with this thread (except as a history lesson). :)

buzz_knox
June 6, 2007, 02:07 PM
IOW, we are becoming such a litigious society that a true accident, like the one in discussion, would have been called negligent homicide and a civil suit would have followed the inevitable trial finding him guilty. Maybe even the handgun manufacturer would have been a co-defendant. IOW, yesterday: "people make mistakes" - today: "yeah, but they're gonna pay for them".

Since a small amount of OT is authorized, it's not just that we are more litigious. It's that we've attempted to create a society where both victimhood and law (not justice) are enshrined. There has to be a villain and there has to be a law.

PennieRector
September 21, 2011, 07:10 PM
Hello I am here to tell you that the story of Bill Jordan accidentally shooting a fellow Border Patrol officer is true. That man was my father, John A. Rector.
I was 13 years old and in the 8th grade, and that has been some 55 years ago, but my memory is very clear. According to the Coroner's inquest, this is the way it happened: Bill Jordan was showing a pistol, a 357 Magnum, to another man. They were in Bill's office at the headquarters of the San Diego Sector in San Ysidro, CA. The gun was unloaded initially, and Bill was demonstrating how he drew and fired. He then reloaded the gun and put it into a desk drawer.
The conversation continued, and forgetting he had loaded the gun he took it out of the drawer, aimed it at the wall and fired. My father was sitting at his desk on the other side of that wall. The bullet went through the wall and hit him in the head. He died about 3 hours later. There was no wrongful death suit, or anything like that. Bill was so upset that he had to be taken home under sedation and the next day I remember he and his wife coming to our house, and he sobbed as he told us how sorry he was. He and my Dad were friends.
I have often given my story as an example of how ANYONE can have an accident with a gun, no matter how expert you are with them.
My Dad did not see me complete my education, he was not there to walk me down the aisle when I married, nor did he see me graduate from college. He never knew that I had a successful career. I don't hate Bill Jordan, nor bear him any ill will. I expect he is gone from this earth now too.
I just wanted to set the record straight for those of you in this forum and elsewhere who think this might have been a false story.

Tom Servo
September 21, 2011, 09:11 PM
Pennie, thank you so much for sharing this.

SIGSHR
September 21, 2011, 11:51 PM
I am saddened to learn this story is Bill Jordan was always one of the Great Shooters to me. But the Rector family suffered a grievous loss.

tipoc
September 22, 2011, 03:26 AM
An old thread but worth being revived. Thank you Ms. Rector.

A few years back Mike Venturino mentioned the incident in an article he wrote for one of the gun mags, I don't recall which one. He caught quite a bit of heck from a good many people for even mentioning the incident. Some did not believe it to be true. Others knew it to be true but believed that the telling of it was a stain on the memory of Jordan and an insult to the man.

It is a story that should be told now and then with respect to the memory of all involved.

tipoc

Andy Taylor
September 22, 2011, 10:44 AM
Pennie, thank you for sharing. I am sorry for the loss you suffered at such a young age. God Bless.

FTG-05
September 22, 2011, 11:33 AM
Wow, excellent first post!

My condolences to your family, Pennie.

sabre.45
September 22, 2011, 11:52 AM
Pennie, thank you for taking the time to share the truth behind this story with all of us. It is a painfully stark reminder of how quickly and dangerously things can turn when even the most experienced let their concentration lapse for a moment. Bill Jordan was a hero to many of us here and that he was involved in such a tragic occurence is very sobering. I submit that your father was a true hero as well, and am sorry we in the shooting community didn't get to know about him in a different manner.

I am very sorry for your loss 55 years ago.

Nanuk
September 22, 2011, 11:53 AM
Pennie,

Thank You for sharing your story. I have been a Border Patrol Agent for 23 years. One of my friends, dad was an agent and worked with your dad and Bill Jordan. The Border Patrol was a very small tight knit group until after 9/11. When I came in in 1988 there were about 3000-3500 agents nationwide.

Up until the mid 1980's agents could pretty much carry what they wanted.

2damnold4this
September 22, 2011, 02:23 PM
Sorry about the loss of your father, Penny.

ISP 5353
September 22, 2011, 04:55 PM
Thank you Pennie. I am so sorry for your loss!

bds32
September 22, 2011, 10:46 PM
Unfortunately many law enforcement officers have lost their lives in accidental shootings. Some have accidentally shot themselves while many others have been killed by well meaning fellow officers. I remember hearing about a TX DPS trooper who shot one of his Captains in a training accident in the 1980's. They were practicing a technique and the gun was loaded. No matter how tragic these things are, I truly do not think any lesser of the person who accidentally causes the death unless it is truly reckless. It was an oversight in several aspects and it cost a good man his life. I can truly empathize with all parties involved. Who hasn't made a mistake with a firearm? Most of us have been truly lucky to not have had an accident. When I read Bill Jordan's No Second Place Winner, I do not think any less of him knowing that he accidentally killed somone. My deepest condolences to Pennie Rector and the rest of the Rector family.