Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This Old Colt - A Colt Official Police Revolver

I just acquired this Colt Official Police Revolver.

Made in 1956, it has proudly served the Hamtramck Police Department in Michigan until now. Hamtramck is a city with a majority Polish population that is almost completely surrounded by the City of Detroit. While the revolver is unmarked, it was acquired by my friendly local FFL from the Police department in a trade and now this .38 special revolver rests in my collection.

It has some good, honest holster wear and clearly has seen some use but that's all real character wear and it is in nice condition with perfect cylinder timing and a nice crisp trigger and has the original Colt grips.

First made in 1927, the Colt Official Police Revolver was one of the best selling firearms for police of all time, with over 400,000 produced. Made during the time when police were transitioning from .32 to .38 special, the Colt quickly gained a following, especially as it could handle the heavier .38-44 loads that comparable Smith and Wesson revolvers could not. The pistol also served in World War 2 as the Colt Commando and was produced for then British in .38-200 caliber.

There's a few interesting features that readily distinguish the Colt revolvers' operation from Smith and Wesson's guns.

First, the cylinder release on a Colt works by pulling it back toward the grip. On the Smith you push it forward to open the cylinder.

More importantly, the Colt cylinder revolves in a clockwise fashion while the Smith rotates counter-clockwise. This is important if you have less than 6 cartridges to load and want to make sure your first shot goes bang rather than click. It is also an important feature to keep in mind if you're dumb enough to play Russian roulette.

This blog of course is completely against people doing such a stupid thing and recommends that you find some non-firearm method of removing yourself from the gene pool if you really are dumb enough to try Russian roulette for real to prevent your death being one used by the media and antis against responsible gun owners. You have been warned.

The Colt Official Police fits the hand well with the sights lining up nicely when raised. The rampant colt on the grips and on the frame memorialize when Colt was the top name in American firearms. Now outdated in terms of stopping power and capacity and replaced in policeman's holsters by higher capacity, more ergonomic polymer semi-autos, the Colt Official Police takes us back in time to when officers with revolvers on their hips and far less technology and resources than the officers of today have patrolled the streets to keep them safe. A nice piece of American history indeed.