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Old December 4, 2010, 03:25 PM   #1
TheTinMan
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Colt Officers Model 38

"Heavy Barrel"
S/N 6210xx

Can't find it on proofhouse.com and would like to know date of manufacture.

Went to a gunshow this morning and for the first time in years there were 3 used pistols that grabbed my interest. This one came home with me. Everything looks original, virtually no pitting anywhere, cylinder gap looks right, the lockup is tighter than any other revolver I own, and trigger pull is very smooth at about 4-1/2 pounds (single action of course).

Thanks for any additional info.

Last edited by TheTinMan; December 4, 2010 at 03:42 PM.
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Old December 4, 2010, 10:58 PM   #2
RJay
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My guide from Wilson states the the Officers model stated with serial number 1 in 1930 and went to 88843 in 1969. Even taking in consideration of the Officer Model Special, Nothing with a 6 digit serial number . The Officer Model Special starts at 783001.m Even the Officer Model Match doesn't jibe with your serial. So, don't know. Perhaps someone with more resource references can help.
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Old December 4, 2010, 11:43 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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That is in the Official Police range for 1937.

Colt has not always been careful about numbering; I have an Ace with a G.M. serial number and have reliably heard of some the other way 'round.
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Old December 5, 2010, 12:51 PM   #4
RJay
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Deleted because I had my foot in my mouth and my brain was not in gear

Last edited by RJay; December 7, 2010 at 12:29 AM.
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Old December 6, 2010, 08:32 PM   #5
TheTinMan
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I'm truly confused now. A woman at Colt (not in Archives though) insisted that it must be a "Police Positive Special" made in 1952.

Left side of barrel:
OFFICERS MODEL 38
HEAVY BARREL

Top of barrel:
COLT'S PTFA MFG CO HARTFORD, CT U.S.A.
PAT'D AUG. 5, 1884, JULY 4, 1905, OCT. 5, 1926

i shot it yesterday and it has the best trigger I've ever touched. Lockup is tighter than any other revolver I ever handled.

Here are some pics:







And just for fun, here's my small family of Colts. The 1903 belonged to my grandfather. He carried it patrolling the coast of Maine during WWII.

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Old December 7, 2010, 12:00 AM   #6
DG45
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Your Officers Model looks almost exactly like my 1953 Official Police model, except you have adjustible sights on your gun while my OP has fixed sights; the hammer spurs are slightly different; and in your 2nd picture there is a double screw stetup just in front of and above your trigger, where my OP just has a single screw.

I'd bet that the frame and 95% of the parts from my OP would directly interchange with your guns parts. You'd just have to drill another hole for the double screw setup. If the Officers Models used OP frames, cylinders, and barrels, Colt probably just used them pre-stamped with serial numbers from the OP line. (Thats a guess, folks.)

EDIT: I posted the previous information last night. Then I looked at your photos once more today, and realized that your guns serial number is shown in the 3d photo, and its not a 6 digit number at all, but a 4 digit number. Its the number shown inside the open crane. It looks to my old eyes like that serial number begins with an 8 too, instead of a 6, but that could just be my eyes playing tricks or the photo playing tricks.

If your 4 digit serial number actually begins with a 6, it was manufactured in 1931 according to the information shown for Colt serial numbers in the following hyperlink. If it actually begins with an 8, the gun was manufactured in 1934. http://proofhouse.com/colt/index.html

Last edited by DG45; December 7, 2010 at 03:00 PM.
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Old December 7, 2010, 08:48 PM   #7
TheTinMan
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I'm now pretty confident that my revolver was manufactured in 1937 on an Official Police frame. Just the trigger guard shape is all wrong for a 1950s Police Positive Special.

Quote:
EDIT: I posted the previous information last night. Then I looked at your photos once more today, and realized that your guns serial number is shown in the 3d photo, and its not a 6 digit number at all, but a 4 digit number. Its the number shown inside the open crane. It looks to my old eyes like that serial number begins with an 8 too, instead of a 6, but that could just be my eyes playing tricks or the photo playing tricks.
Photoshop is a wonderful thing. I made the last 2 digits disappear but there are six digits and they begin 6210__.

My daughter isn't computer savy in the normal sense (like trouble-shooting a network problem, for example) but she's hell on wheels with PhotoShop. "I don't like those people in the background so I'll just make them disappear!" Got an ugly telephone pole & wire in the photo? NO PROBLEM! Blending out a couple of digits against a dark background is child's play.

You can't trust any electronic image today.
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Old December 7, 2010, 09:26 PM   #8
Jim Watson
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Your gun has nothing to do with a Police Positive Special.
It is clearly marked as to model.

It may have been made in 1937 and given a serial number in the Official Police series (I think so.) but it is not built on an Official Police frame. The topstrap contour to accept the adjustable sight is entirely different, even though the frames are the same size.
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Old December 8, 2010, 01:28 PM   #9
DG45
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Comparatively few of these Officer Models were made. The basic difference between it and the Official Police Model are the adjustible sights. To me it looks like the heavy barrel, the trigger assembly, and the grips of the gun in the photos are identical to my 6" OP except for the barrel markings that say Officers Model instead of Official Police. The frames look to me like they came off the same assembly line as those of the OP's, but were just machined differently afterward, with the top straps of the Officers Model frames left mostly flat on top to accept adjustible sights instead of getting the fancy fixed rear sight grooving that was given to the OP's.
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Old April 25, 2012, 03:27 PM   #10
jervin
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I have one that appears identical to the pictures above. My Serial number is 6434xx. I believe that my father used it as a police officer sometime right before or after his service in WWII.
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Old April 26, 2012, 07:25 PM   #11
James K
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The Officers Model shared serial numbers with the Official Police from 1927 through c. 1949. Wilson's wording is confusing, but the table on P. 354 is for .22 revolvers. He says to refer to other sections for other calibers. 621xxx was made in 1937 as listed under the Official Police Model, and 643xxx in 1940.

It is not a matter of an OP or OM frame; the frames were the same, and the same as the old Army Special.

Jim
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