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Old August 4, 2011, 11:53 AM   #1
JACKAL0PE
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Can you identify this Colt?

It's a "Police Positive .38"

Any information ... or information on how to get more information would be greatly appreciated.

Jack



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Old August 4, 2011, 12:56 PM   #2
James K
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The Colt .38 Police Positive was introduced in 1905. Over 200,000 were made before it was discontinued during WWII. The serial number would indicate the date of manufacture, but I can't read it in the blurry photo. The grips (if original) indicate production between 1909 and 1923. It is chambered for the .38 Colt New Police, which is identical to the .38 S&W (NOT .38 Special). Modern .38 S&W cartridges can be safely fired in that gun if it is otherwise in good condition. The term "positive" when applied to a Colt revolver indicates it has Colt's "positive" hammer block safety that does not depend on spring action.

Value, as best I can judge condition, would be around $200-250.

NOTE: ".38 Smith & Wesson" or ".38 S&W" is the name of the cartridge, and does not indicate the make of the gun itself.

Jim
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Old August 4, 2011, 09:32 PM   #3
DG45
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The 38 S&W was used in a lot of old snubbie guns, and caught a lot of flak for being anemic, and a poor penetrator, which was in part caused by a bad marriage of bullet to gun. It's not ever going to be a .357, but a 6" barrel is certainly going to help.
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Old August 5, 2011, 03:58 AM   #4
JACKAL0PE
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Oh, I don't really want it for personal protection. My Grandfather retired from the Sparta, Georgia Police Department. When he was uniformed, this was his service piece. It's a lot more sentimental than useful.

But I would like to go out and shoot it a bit, so the ammo information helps. The Gun Store guy said I needed Remington Colt .38 ammunition that they only make a few times a year at a cost of $38 per box.
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Old August 5, 2011, 08:30 AM   #5
JACKAL0PE
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James, the number in that blurry photo is 108880.

Does that help?

Thanks again,

Jack
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Old August 5, 2011, 09:04 AM   #6
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According to Proofhouse.com, it was made in 1919. As far as ammo goes, look around the Internet for .38 S&W. It's not a common caliber anymore, but it is readily available online. Able's (www.ableammo.com) has Winchester 38 S&W in stock.

.38 Colt is the same round, but with a flat-nosed bullet. I don't know if anyone sells the caliber with that name, but it'll work just fine, too. Same with ".38 S&W Corto", which is what Fiocchi sells.
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Old August 5, 2011, 11:28 AM   #7
JACKAL0PE
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Outstanding. Thanks so much guys for all the info.

Just one more question. This damn thing is almost 100 years old. It looks to be in good shape, but is it really safe to fire? I'm thinking metal fatigue and all that. Not really very knowledgeable about firearms so I thought I'd ask.

Is this the ammo I need?

WINCHESTER AMMUNITION SUPER-X CENTERFIRE PISTOL AMMO

Winchester 38 S&W 145 Grain Lead Round Nose

Offers a unique combination of power, precision, reliable functioning, and on target performance. Delivers optimum penetration and rapid energy release with virtually no weight loss or bullet fragmentation.

SPECIFICATIONS:
Mfg Item Num: X38SWP
Category: AMMO CENTERFIRE
Caliber :38 S&W
Bullet Type :Lead Round Nose
Bullet Weight :145 GR
Muzzle Energy :150 ft lbs
Muzzle Velocity :685 fps
Rounds/box :50 Rounds Per Box, 10 Boxes Per Case

UPC: 020892201224

Shipping Weight: 1.56
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Old August 5, 2011, 05:14 PM   #8
Chris_B
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This is a revolver I would not mind owning myself!
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Old August 5, 2011, 05:27 PM   #9
Jim Watson
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The Gunstore Guy and Hardcase are calling for the wrong ammo.

You need .38 S&W which Colt called .38 New Police and .38 Police Positive so as to not put the competition's name on their guns. The .38 Short and Long Colt cartridges are entirely different and were dropped by Colt some years earlier.

The catalog listing in your last post is the right stuff.
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Old August 5, 2011, 05:41 PM   #10
JACKAL0PE
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Sorry Chris. Like I said earlier, the sentimental value of that gun far exceeds what I could get for it. But if I ever get ready to sell, I'll shoot you a PM.
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Old August 5, 2011, 05:43 PM   #11
JACKAL0PE
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Quote:
The Gunstore Guy and Hardcase are calling for the wrong ammo.

You need .38 S&W which Colt called .38 New Police and .38 Police Positive so as to not put the competition's name on their guns. The .38 Short and Long Colt cartridges are entirely different and were dropped by Colt some years earlier.

The catalog listing in your last post is the right stuff.
Thanks Jim. I'll order me a box today. I really appreciate all the help.

Jack
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Old August 5, 2011, 08:32 PM   #12
Chris_B
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Quote:
Sorry Chris. Like I said earlier, the sentimental value of that gun far exceeds what I could get for it. But if I ever get ready to sell, I'll shoot you a PM.
I wouldn't dream of taking it away from you if you paid me to; it belongs in your family. But that surely is a handsome piece
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Old August 5, 2011, 09:51 PM   #13
JACKAL0PE
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Well thank you.

It's just the piece my grandfather carried. I've got his police badges to go with it and the S&W Sumbbie he carried when he was promoted to detective. I plan on making a shawdow box for them.
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