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Old 10-19-2012, 03:52 PM   #1
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Help with Colt Police Positive 38 Special

I have been searching the web for info on my first revolver that, unfortunately, I just inherited. It's a Colt Police Positive 38 special. I'm trying to find date of manufacture on it. So far, best I can fugure is it's a 2nd issue due to serrated top strap and checked grips, between 1928 and 1947. serial #4634XX. Can anyone help?

colt 38 spcl 008.jpg
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
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Early Colt Police Positive Serial Number 403841 with 5" barrel - Factory inscribed "Inspector Dance Halls" with blue finish and medallion checkered walnut grips. This Police Positive was a single gun shipment to W. Bingham Company on May 20, 1931. It was processed on Colt Factory Order number 10043/1. Letter confirms factory inscription "Insp. of Dance Halls" on the strap.


Colt Pistols and Revolvers for Firearms Collectors - Police Positive .38 Special - Collector's Information
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Last edited by buildit; 10-19-2012 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:02 PM   #3
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Your handgun was made in 1911. Unfortunately it seems as if the front sight was filed down, nice piece just the same.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:21 PM   #4
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thanks BuildIt and Trooper. Trooper, I thought I read the serrated top strap started in 1928? and wouldn't it have black rubber grips? would you mind telling me how you determined the 1911 date? I'm really new at old guns and I'm virginal with revolvers so I would like to learn as much as possible
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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I consulted a list of manufacturing dates referenced by serial number, in one of my Colt books.

I'd think your revolver should have hard rubber grips at that date, but I don't know about the top strap being serrated. Do you mean the trigger? The alteration of your revolvers front sight shows it isn't in original condition. Perhaps a previous owner replaced the grips? The hard rubber ones are notorious for getting brittle as they age so maybe a replacement was required at some point.
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:15 AM   #6
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As far as the black hard rubber stocks go, those suckers are so brittle that a substantial percentage of the originals have been replaced by wood or other materials.

Without checking, I seem to recall they went to wood in the early/mid 1920's.

My oldest PPS dates to 1920 and has pristine rubber stocks. One reason I've not shot it much at all is they can crack just from firing.

The Wilson booklet I carry says that it dates to 1938. Beginning number for 1938 is 457000 and 1939 is 467000.

ColtAutos.com basically says the same. Colt Pistols and Revolvers for Firearms Collectors - Detective Special .38 - Production Information

(Dick Specials are numbered in the same series as the Police Positive Special)

Hope this helps a little.

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Old 10-20-2012, 05:55 AM   #7
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pff is correct. After rechecking my books I realized I was looking at five digit number ranges, not six. Where are those reading glasses..................
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:19 PM   #8
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I would like to have been Inspector Dance Halls. I only got Inspector Trash. And, oh yeah, no Colts PPS. Some guys have all the luck.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:05 PM   #9
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thanks for all your help everyone.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:13 PM   #10
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Not a problem. Glad it helped.

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Pat
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