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govmule84
January 30, 2008, 11:25 AM
I have some theoretical questions for a book I am writing.

First, would Colt dealers have offered LEO's a discount in the early fifties?
Secondly, what would have been the price of a used 1911, used maybe in WWII at that time, in pretty poor condidtion?

Would a LEO have been permitted to carry a 1911 as a duty weapon in any jurisdiction at that time?

Lastly, what would have been an affordable, realistic, (also battered and well used) revolver for a LEO to have carried at that time?

Any help is greatly appreciated. I did some internet searching, but seem to be coming up short on any real hard info.

Thanks!
Liam

NGIB
January 30, 2008, 12:01 PM
Not sure where I found them, it may have been on this site but somebody uploaded 2 gun magazines from the 50s in PDF format. The ads throughout the magazines had me laughing, a 1911 for under 50 bucks. Try a search for a thread about before the GCA 0f 68 either here or on TheHighRoad...

Scorch
January 30, 2008, 12:10 PM
First, would Colt dealers have offered LEO's a discount in the early fifties?Colt and Smith & Wesson both offered police departments special pricing well into the present. Much like today, the law enforcment market was seen as very lucrative, and it is a high-visibility advertisement when a police officer carries one of your weapons on duty. It speaks of reliability and trustworthiness of your firearms that a professional will trust his life to it. Ever seen a cop toting a Charter Arms?
what would have been the price of a used 1911, used maybe in WWII at that time, in pretty poor condidtion?Don't know about the 1950s, but in the 1970s you could buy used military model 1911 pistols pretty cheap, my brother bought one for $100 in 1975.

Would a LEO have been permitted to carry a 1911 as a duty weapon in any jurisdiction at that time?Most police departments allowed officers to carry personal weapons, but often specified what caliber or chambering they had to be, as the departments provided ammunition for duty and training. Due to this, many police officers carried 38 Special or 357 Magnum revolvers well into the 1980s. In response to the specific question, there were several officers in the small town I grew up in that carried 1911s, but since I was pretty young at the time I do not know the specifics of the situation.
what would have been an affordable, realistic, (also battered and well used) revolver for a LEO to have carried at that time?Smith & Wesson Military and Police model, Colt Trooper, Colt 357, Colt Officer's Model, Colt Detective Special (if a snubbie), but the real old-timer would be a Colt Police Positive, in general use by law enforcement and law breakers since 1900.

govmule84
January 30, 2008, 12:28 PM
Thanks! Very helpful.

NGIB
January 30, 2008, 12:40 PM
Try this thread:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=320696&referrerid=57285

James K
January 30, 2008, 02:16 PM
Into the mid to late 50's, M1911A1's could be bought brand new for $39.95, in lesser condition for ten bucks less. I paid $35 for a P.38 and five dollars more for a Luger in the 1956 period.

Then and now larger police departments rarely buy from dealers; they usually contractwith the factory direct. Sometimes the deal includes having the factory mark the guns with a PD property number (like "xPD 10"). A small department or an individual officer might buy from a dealer and most dealers give good discounts on LE sales. In one case I know of personally, a dealer had a verbal agreement from a medium size department to provide new Colt revolvers; his police contact told him, with a lot of chagrin, that the deal was off as the department had signed a contract with a lower bidder - Colt. He later learned that Colt knew about his deal, found out his bid price and undercut him. He never stocked another Colt.

Except on large departments, there was greater leeway at that time on what could be carried, but in the east, very few officers carried other than .38 DA revolvers, Colt or S&W. The tradition was that officers in the north carried Colts, while the south was S&W territory. This was so well known that the Mason-Dixon line became known as the Smith and Wesson line (although MD state police carried Colts to the end of the revolver era).

Jim

HKuser
January 31, 2008, 01:16 PM
In .32 or .38 S&W in the '50's was very common.

...but the real old-timer would be a Colt Police Positive,...

HKuser
January 31, 2008, 01:20 PM
I don't know how widespread this was. I seem to recall S&W (Mdl. 10) being tops with the Philadelphia Police, while guys with the Louisville, KY PD tell me they used Colt Official Police .38 Specials followed by Colt Python .357's.

The tradition was that officers in the north carried Colts, while the south was S&W territory