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Old March 19, 2013, 09:42 PM   #1
Mike Irwin
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Colt Police Positive Cartridge Markings

A friend of mine spotted a very nice circa 1935 Colt Police Positive with black rubber grips.

I'm very interested in it, but I'm not exactly sure what cartridge it's chambered for.

The tag says ".32 Police."

I know Colt called the .32 S&W Long the .32 New Police, but I've never heard of a .32 Police cartridge. He can't remember how the barrel was marked, and it doesn't show up on the photo he sent me.

Can anyone verify exactly what cartridge we're talking about?
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Old March 19, 2013, 09:48 PM   #2
SIGSHR
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IIRC ".32 Police" in Coltspeak translates to 32 Smith & Wesson. That was Colt's way of avoiding using ("gasp"!) their competitor's name. I have a Police Positive marked ".38 New Police"=.38 S&W in Standard English.
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Old March 19, 2013, 09:53 PM   #3
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The only problem with that is, from what I can tell, the Colt Police Positive was never chambered specifically for the .32 S&W round, only the longer .32 New Police/.32 S&W Long.
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Old March 19, 2013, 09:57 PM   #4
James K
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I think whoever made out the tag used a little shorthand.

Jim
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Old March 20, 2013, 07:11 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
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OK, I found a few clear pictures of caliber markings on Gunbroker. It looks as if Colt marked the guns .32 Police, which I am going to have to assume means .32 Colt New Police.

They also had a second issue Detective Special from about 1960, but I'm not much interested in it.
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Old March 20, 2013, 07:31 AM   #6
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I suspect you are correct, that it'll take the S&W cases, but, If you happen to get the gun & find it's chambered for the smaller diameter 32 Colt, I have a box of both short & long "Colt" cases, ( I think the long cases are even primed ), that are in my gun show box, that didn't sell at the once a year gun show I sell at... just in case you'd need them
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Old March 20, 2013, 07:33 AM   #7
Mike Irwin
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thansk for the offer, but if it is chambered for .32 Long Colt I'm not even going to touch it. I don't want to try to get into reloading, or finding reloading components for, such an oddball cartridge.
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Old March 20, 2013, 10:02 AM   #8
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Just got off the phone with the owner of the gunshop where it's located...

I'm picking it up Saturday.

I now own three Colt revolvers...
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Old March 20, 2013, 10:05 AM   #9
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only 1 colt revolver in my collection so far...
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Old March 20, 2013, 10:09 AM   #10
Mike Irwin
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I blame Johnny Depp for this newfound appreciation for Colts...

In one scene in Dillinger where he's breaking out of jail, he opens the arms locker and it is just chock full of Colts.

At that moment something went click in my head and I said "I gotta get me some of those!"
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Old March 20, 2013, 10:14 AM   #11
Magnum Wheel Man
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fortunately for my wallet my local retired builder buddy doesn't really like Colts, his opinion means a lot to me, so it's saved my wallet...

though it's pretty hard to not start drooling, when you see one of the classic Colt blued guns in nice shape
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Old March 20, 2013, 11:34 AM   #12
Mike Irwin
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Don't worry.

One of these days your tastes will change just enough that the money flies out...
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Old March 20, 2013, 01:24 PM   #13
Magnum Wheel Man
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I noticed you were suggesting those Colt snubbies in my other thread... trying to start me further down that dark path I see
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Old March 20, 2013, 05:43 PM   #14
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As I've learned recently, it's not such a bad path...
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Old March 20, 2013, 05:50 PM   #15
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Only one Colt? only 3 colts? You guys gotta pick up the pace here! They're not growing on trees, you know. You gotta go out an pan for gold if you want to have it!

Anyways, yes I encountered this same question myself, and I deduced that they abbreviated "32 COLT NEW POLICE" to "32 POLICE". Although for me, I didn't care about firing the gun, I just loved it as a collectible.

The gun below is a scarce "32" (whatever Colt referred to the S&W caliber as), PP target G model from 1911. I remember when I bought it, the guy wasn't exactly hip to it being a target model, so I got for the right price. I remember thinking if only it was in 22lr, it would be perfect BUT when I got home with the gun I found out that the PP target in 32 is very scarce as most are 22lr or 22 WRF.

Here she is, 1911 vintage.



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Old March 20, 2013, 08:38 PM   #16
James K
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I checked a Colt Pocket Positive at a remote location (my own safe) and sure enough it is marked

"POCKET
__OSITIVE" and ".32 POLICE CTG." No "new" in sight. But it is clearly chambered for .32 S&W Long.

(I apologize for my poor attempt to show the marking; as usual, the P is two line size and so serves as the first letter of both "Pocket" and "Positive".)

Jim
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Old March 20, 2013, 08:50 PM   #17
Mike Irwin
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Thanks for the affirmation, Jim.

And yes, only three Colts. I had a Detective Special as a carry gun years ago. A nice 1960s version with a Colt factory hammer shroud. I wish I had kept it, but I couldn't get used to it as a carry gun.

At heart I am, and remain, a Smith & Wesson devotee, and that's never going to change.

I still think Colt's styling and ergonomics are seriously lacking compared to Smiths, but I have begun to appreciate their subtle charms.

I've attached the picture that my friend sent me.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Colt.jpg (227.7 KB, 11 views)
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