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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 07-20-2010, 10:33 PM
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Default Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police

A few shooters in our rural community have enjoyed a fascination with Model 10s/earlier M&Ps this spring and summer. A few nay-sayers in the area claim they can remember the good ol days when owners of Colt Official Police revolvers regularly whupt up on the S&W boys.

Long tale short, a local shop came up with a tight example of a 6" Colt's O.P. I couldn't resist and traded for it today. Best I can cypher from the 'net, it was born about 1943 or '44 (serial # 7051XX), sports a heavy, tapered barrel (about which the Blue Book makes no mention of availability), decent non-adj. sights and a trigger only a few ounces heavier than my 6" 10-5.

First impressions during limited range-time this afternoon:

*15 rounds of 158 gr. cast RNFP/3.5 gr. Titegroup fired from each gun

*All shots fired two-handed at 15 yards, unsupported

*The Model 10's almost round, center-to-center group measured 2.125" with 5 shots impacting the 1" "10 ring"

*Although the Colt steered 6 shots into the 10 ring, its over-all center-to-center group spanned 3.375", in a somewhat vertically strung group

*In fairness to the O.P., its plastic (Coltwood?) grips are way too skinny for me. Twice I felt the gun move as the shot broke and called its two highest shots.

Until the Colt can wear grips that fit me better and other bullets/powder combinations can be tried, the temporary nod goes to the Model 10.

Either IBM No. 44 or LBM No. 44 has been inscribed on the Colt's butt in an Old English hand-done font. Could someone offer enlightenment as to what those letters might stand for (if not someone's initials)?
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:09 PM
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Thank you for the range report. It sounds like you had some fun with it. It's always interesting to shoot the guns that used to be carried by LEO's all around this country, and see how it felt - especially, as you discovered, sporting some of the grips they were issued with!

I suspect that the S&W vs Colt accuracy question is a lot like comparing Chevy to Ford - everyone will have their own opinion. My KCPD RM shoots a little more accurately than my Colt New Service (also in .357 magnum), but the S&W has a super-smooth trigger pull - compared to the almost new, stiffer trigger on the Colt. I just picked up a Colt Officer's Model in 22LR which I'll soon put up against my K22 - both from 1948 - to see if one is clearly superior.

Thanks for your post,

Jerry
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:41 AM
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Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police  
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According to Pate's US HANDGUNS OF WWII, Colt shipped over 10,000 Oficial Police revolvers to the Army and DSC (Defense Supply Corporation) between 4/42 - 3/43 in the serial number range of 638,000 - 725,000. Page 157 of his book, shows a revolver similar to yours, a 6 inch Official Police, serial number 688695, which was shipped to Bethlehem Steel Co on 1/7/42. DSC orders mainly went to Defense plants. It was not uncommon for the plants to mark the revolvers with the initials and rack number. Possibly IBM was the recepient of your revolver and 44 was the rack number. By the way it would have served alongside a lot of S&W M&Ps acquired for the same purpose. Hope this helps
Dennis
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:27 AM
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j38, I agree with the Chevy/Ford comparison. Inside 20 yards I've been unable to best the slow-fire, single action accuracy of my 1940ish New Service in 45 Colt with any other 45 Colt or ACP chambered revolver or auto. A short-cylindered, Douglas-barrelled S&W Pre-Model 26 modified about in the manner Elmer shows on page 105 of his SIXGUNS comes closest of any of the handguns I've been lucky enough to own.

Unfortunately, the old Colt was without original grips when I acquired her. I had hoped it would be a Sunday afternoon plinker, fit for use in genteel company, as some of the old gun writers may have said, but that wasn't to be. This bellowing old gal refuses to approach her accuracy potential until the load surpasses 900 fps. and stacks like an overdrawn Osage bow when fired double action. In that mode, the 45 ACP S&W wins going away. The Official Police also exhibits the stacking tendency.

dhartz, that indeed helps. Thanks for the information from Mr. Pate's book. I had found mention on another forum of other OPs bearing similar butt markings and suspected mine fell into that category.

Rich
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:03 AM
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I believe both Colt & S&W produced excellent handguns in the time frame mentioned and each has their own fan base and die hards just like the Ford to Chevy comparison mentioned earlier. I went with S&W revolvers because I can get them cheaper and they are still factory supported. That said, I still secretly lust for a 6 inch barreled Colt Python like the one my friend had as it is a work of art.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:11 AM
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Colt bored the barrels a shade tighter and most times a Colt will shoot lead bullets slightly better than a comparable S&W. But of course individual results can vary from gun to gun and shooter to shooter. I have compared my S&Ws to my similar model Colts and about 70% of the time I shoot a tad better with the Colts.

The Official Police would be the closest model to compare to the Military & Police. It's actually just a hair larger in frame size but the Police Positive Special is a hair smaller.

I think most shooters favor the S&W stock shape.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:30 AM
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I'm pretty sure that back when revolvers were still used in formal bullseye shooting, mainly Centerfire, Colts vastly outnumbered Smiths, and I'm pretty sure that it wasn't because of better triggers, although they could be made pretty good, too, especially in SA. There might be a couple of reasons why Colts were usually more accurate, but certainly individual samples vary, and the grips have to fit your hand if you want to shoot really well.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:47 AM
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This thread gives me a good idea for a future test. I have a Colt Official Police that dates from 1954. It is an ex NYPD gun. I also have a Smith & Wesson Military & Police that also dates from 1954. It gives every appearance of a background in a lawman's holster. Both are somewhat worn but in great mechanical condition. Perhaps a side by side test would be fun.

The Official Police (top) shown with a WWII Colt Commando (bottom).



This Military & Police dates from the same time as the Official Police.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:50 AM
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I've also done a few Colt vs SW tests.

I have about twice as many Smiths as Colts but like them both equally. I've always been a non-combatant in the Ford vs Chevy, 9mm vs .45, Colt vs S&W, Glock vs The World, Tastes great vs Less Filling wars.

Any way , here's the result of testing 3 inch barrelled model 36 and Detective Special at 7 yards, 4 inch barrelled model 10 and Metropolitan at 15, and 6 inch barrelled model 14 and Officer's Model Match also at 15 yards.

If I recall correctly, I was using 158 grain LSWC over 4.2 grains of 231 in all guns.

While the guns feel different in the hand with factory grips and trigger action also quite different, the results are remarkably similar. If I hadn't labeled the targets at the range, I'd had a hard time telling which went with which gun.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:38 AM
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sjmjax, my groups with several 4" Model 10s are similar to the results from your 4" guns. I've had to switch to 125 gr. bullets and use a center hold with some guns and a six o'clock hold with others to get the bullets to impact in the 10 ring.

I've noticed others on this forum reporting good results when they used 158 gr. bullets in their 4" guns. My notes show at 15 yards they strike 4 to six inches high out of the 4" guns I've tested this summer but shoot to point of aim out of the 6" Colt OP and strike about two inches above p.o.a. out of my 6" Model 10-5.

The three Pre-10s whose serial #s reflect a b-date of 1946-1953 have all shot to point of aim and grouped tightly with a 125 gr. bullet travelling about 900 fps.

Obviously, YMMV,

Rich
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:37 AM
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Colts are superb shooters with factory wadcutters. This one dates from the early war years.
Bob

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Old 01-17-2011, 06:56 PM
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nice grouping! What range is that from the target
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:50 PM
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"I have about twice as many Smiths as Colts but like them both equally. I've always been a non-combatant in the Ford vs Chevy, 9mm vs .45, Colt vs S&W, Glock vs The World, Tastes
great vs Less Filling wars."


Very well stated. I have about a one third-two third balance
favoring Smiths, but I appreciate both equally.

I am always a bit bewildered by people who feel sheepish
about acquiring or owning Colts on this best of all forum.

We are Gun Guys first and foremost.
We all know "More IS Better"

I really enjoy the comparisons.
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:01 PM
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One of the first real experiments I ever did.

The Gun Zone -- Police Revolvers
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:09 PM
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Hi David;

That is an eyecatching article and very good. I remember stumbling onto it a while back but didn't realize that you were its author.
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:37 PM
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I have improved the DA pull on Colt revolvers by removing the grips and placing a round rod inbetween the leaves of the mainspring and then cocking the hammer. On a OP, a 3/16" drill bit works nicely.
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:50 PM
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I always thought the Police Positive was a nearly ideal size for a 4" .38 revolver. I have one but it seems Colt forgot to regulate the sights, it hits so far to the right and low it might as well not have sights. If I could find another 4" PP that shoots to POA I would use it as a CC piece.

Other than that, Colts don't shoot any better than S&W for me to notice. I am too set in my ways as a S&W guy to ever become a "Colt guy", although I wouldn't turn down another nice Police Positive or an Official Police.

All the stories of Colts going out of time after 10,000 rounds kinda scare me off too.......so whenever I think of picking up a Colt, I just buy another S&W
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
I always thought the Police Positive was a nearly ideal size for a 4" .38 revolver. I have one but it seems Colt forgot to regulate the sights, it hits so far to the right and low it might as well not have sights. If I could find another 4" PP that shoots to POA I would use it as a CC piece.

Other than that, Colts don't shoot any better than S&W for me to notice. I am too set in my ways as a S&W guy to ever become a "Colt guy", although I wouldn't turn down another nice Police Positive or an Official Police.

All the stories of Colts going out of time after 10,000 rounds kinda scare me off too.......so whenever I think of picking up a Colt, I just buy another S&W

If you have a Colt that is a pre-MK III that holds its timing to 10,000 rounds, you have an exceptional gun.

The cylinder timimg issue and the way that so few Colts shoot to the sights has put me off of them.

But I did own a very accurate .45 New Service made about 1935-36 that shot right alongside of a M-29 S&W. Usually, the S&W's shoot more to the sights and at least as tightly.

I once owned both a four-inch M-19 and a Colt Trooper .357 with the same barrel length. The Smith shot tighter groups. But the Colt was at least sighted well It did, of course, have adjustable sights that I dialed in for my eyes and hold. But a Diamondback had sights that didn't have enough range of adjustment to get the groups on the bullseye. A Colt spokeswoman told me to use Kentucky windage! I haven't bought a Colt since.

I like their .45 autos better and some of the current ones are very nice.

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Old 01-17-2011, 09:12 PM
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For me, neither one is worth very much without a grip adapter. After that, I could discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, but it has been done above. I like both, but only with a grip adapter.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:14 PM
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I think you will like your Colt, they shoot well, but for me being used to the S&W DA trigger they are a work in progress. I included a pic of my 1944 five inch Offical Police in 38 special and a pic of my 1921 four inch Police Positive in 38 special. I was so impressed with the PP's shooting that I got it with it's target. I own a Chevrolet and a Ford so am the same with my six guns, they are all good!
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:15 PM
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Texas Star- I bet 98% of shooters never get close to 10,000 rounds in any CF revolver. I have a couple Colts that may have been used that much and all still time perfectly. I think the timing issue with early Colts is exaggerated. Not as nearly as common as some think and when a Colt does start to fuss a bit it really doesn't affect the shooting at all. It's just a little annoying when you play with the gun.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:15 PM
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Here is a pretty keen old Colt revolver that is close kin to an Official Police.

A couple of weeks back I picked up this predecessor to a Colt Official Police in the form of a late vintage Colt Army Special. Serial number indicates a 1925 production date and is actually a higher number than the earliest serial number shown for the Official Police. There was apparently some production overlap. The difference in the Army Special and the Official Police, other than the model roll mark, amounts to the sights. The Army Special has a smaller U-notch sighting groove and thin blade front sight and the Official Police has a more visible square sighting groove and correspondingly thicker front sight. Perhaps Colt was fishing for government orders when they named the revolver in 1908. The military jumped on the .45 automatic instead but the Army Special proved very popular with law enforcement agencies so it was renamed in the mid 1920s.

The greatest majority of both the Army Special and the Official Police models came in .38 Special but this one is different in that it is chambered for .41 Long Colt. Some few Army Specials also came in .32-20 but apparently the .41 Long Colt is most uncommon. The .41 Long Colt could be had in the Official Police only until 1930 but is downright scarce in that model. The Official Police could also be had in .32-20 until about World War II. Of course the Official Police revolver also could be had in .22 Long Rifle.

This Army Special is only the second Colt revolver I've owned that won't shoot to point of aim but it isn't too far off. If one "sort of thinks to the right" as the trigger is squeezed it will hit well at most reasonable handgun distances.


Here is the best 10-yard group fired single action out of several fired.



Here is the best (and worst as it is the only) double action group fired at 7 yards.



Colt double action triggers and my finger don't really mesh well. Too many years of double action Smith & Wesson K-Frame shooting has spoiled my trigger finger. I don't even care for the vaunted Python's double action trigger. This .41 Army Special actually has the very best double action trigger of any Colt I have ever shot, even beating out my good, unfooled with Python. Of course the single action trigger is very crisp. Colt craftsmanship, as it existed in the 1920s, is fully exhibited in the quality of this old gun's action. Frame dimensions and internal parts are the same as a Python.

The .41 Long Colt won't do anything that the .38 Special can't do with heavy bullets but it still would be a great self defense choice with its 200 grain bullet and make a slightly larger hole. Bore diameter checks out to be .402" on this particular revolver even though the cartridge designation says ".41."

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Old 01-17-2011, 11:00 PM
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I just wanted to post the picture. I can't say which one shoots the best, I haven't even shot the Model 15 yet, and it's from 1971, so it's too new to be in this forum, but the Official Police is from 1950. I've been told it may have been rebarreled. Judging from the scratches on the barrel, I'd that that's possible, but it DOES shoot well. The grips I'm sure are not period either.

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Old 03-07-2019, 06:48 PM
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Bumped because I've been interested in this topic lately.
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:59 PM
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As a collector of both Victory and Commando revolvers I find they group about the same for me.

Of course the smooth Victory grips versus the "checkered plastic/Coltwood" grips may be a detractor for the S&W when it's warm and my hands are a little sweaty.

Other than that they are both 4" fixed sighted 38spl revolvers, with each and every one having a slightly different personality.

Dale
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:12 PM
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I've got one of each. Here's the part I like about the Colt from Wikipedia.

Quote:
In 1930, Colt scored a marketing coup when they publicized that their Official Police model could easily handle the firing of heavily loaded .38 rounds intended for competitor Smith & Wesson's new large N-frame revolver, the .38-44, none of the comparable S&W revolvers could manage this feat.
I prefer the action of the Smith though.



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Old 03-07-2019, 09:50 PM
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"In 1930, Colt scored a marketing coup when they publicized that their Official Police model could easily handle the firing of heavily loaded .38 rounds intended for competitor Smith & Wesson's new large N-frame revolver, the .38-44, none of the comparable S&W revolvers could manage this feat."

That part is untrue. The .38-44 cartridge was considered safe to use in any .38 Special revolver, but its recoil was difficult to handle in lighter frame revolvers. That was the only warning shown in Remington ammunition catalogs of the 1930s. The principal advantage of the S&W N-frame .38/44 revolver was its greater mass which provided better control of recoil when using heavier .38-44 loads.

On a similar topic, the S&W historical letters for some reason often state that the .38/44 revolver was designed to shoot the ".38 Special Super Police" cartridge. Of course it would do that, but the .38 Special Super Police cartridge was nothing more than the standard velocity loading of the .38 Special cartridge but using a 200 grain RN lead bullet, which did not approach the power of the .38-44 factory loaded cartridge.

Last edited by DWalt; 03-07-2019 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:34 PM
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Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police  
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Originally Posted by tenntex32 View Post
As a collector of both Victory and Commando revolvers I find they group about the same for me.

Of course the smooth Victory grips versus the "checkered plastic/Coltwood" grips may be a detractor for the S&W when it's warm and my hands are a little sweaty.

Other than that they are both 4" fixed sighted 38spl revolvers, with each and every one having a slightly different personality.

Dale
As the old saying goes, "It's the Indian, not the arrow".

I like all of the old Colt or S&W revolvers.
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:29 PM
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Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police  
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Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
"In 1930, Colt scored a marketing coup when they publicized that their Official Police model could easily handle the firing of heavily loaded .38 rounds intended for competitor Smith & Wesson's new large N-frame revolver, the .38-44, none of the comparable S&W revolvers could manage this feat."

That part is untrue. The .38-44 cartridge was considered safe to use in any .38 Special revolver, but its recoil was difficult to handle in lighter frame revolvers. That was the only warning shown in Remington ammunition catalogs of the 1930s. The principal advantage of the S&W N-frame .38/44 revolver was its greater mass which provided better control of recoil when using heavier .38-44 loads.

On a similar topic, the S&W historical letters for some reason often state that the .38/44 revolver was designed to shoot the ".38 Special Super Police" cartridge. Of course it would do that, but the .38 Special Super Police cartridge was nothing more than the standard velocity loading of the .38 Special cartridge but using a 200 grain RN lead bullet, which did not approach the power of the .38-44 factory loaded cartridge.
This is not how I understand it. I thought they made a hotter round so it would defeat car doors better and such. And I thought it was like 1200 fps, 158 grain. Now I gotta find out where I read all that. You could be right, but my memory tells me something different.

According to PALADIN85020:


Smith & Wesson already had .44 and .45 caliber revolvers that were large and robust, so it was a simple matter to chamber and barrel a similar large-frame revolver for a more powerful .38 special. The first order for what Harold Wesson called the .38/44 Military Revolver was issued in late 1929 for 500 guns. On April 1, 1930, the new gun was announced, and shipments began the following day. It was now called the .38/44 Heavy Duty. The “.38/44” designation was to indicate that this was a .38 built on a .44 frame. The “Heavy Duty” name signified that the gun was heavily built for powerful ammunition and severe police use. Remington loaded a new round for these revolvers called the .38/44 S&W Special. It had been designed in collaboration with gun writer Elmer Keith, and launched a 158-grain bullet at 1175 feet per second, producing 460 foot-pounds of energy. The bullet could go through car metal into the engine area, and also defeat most “bullet proof” glass and vests of that era. The round was demonstrably able to penetrate eleven 7/8” thick pine boards. It was understood and publicized that this more powerful ammunition should not be used in standard .38 special revolvers.

In this thread:

Examining the .38/44 Heavy Duty (Model 20) revolver...

Maybe I'm agreeing with what you said but not completely understanding what you said. So I apologize if I'm coming off as argumentative or not respectful.

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Old 03-08-2019, 05:40 PM
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Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police Model 10/M&P vs. Colt's Official Police  
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I've got one of each. Here's the part I like about the Colt from Wikipedia.



I prefer the action of the Smith though.



I read yesterday from an article that the Official Police is good to go with +p's. I'm guessing that is true????
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:59 PM
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I read yesterday from an article that the Official Police is good to go with +p's. I'm guessing that is true????
And they take the 586/686 speed loaders.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:14 PM
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About 1966,I wrote to S&W asking if I could safely fire .38-44 (.38 Hi-Velocity) ammo in an M&P/Model 10.

Sales Manager Fred Miller replied that it was safe, but if I did that much, the gun would loosen sooner and that recoil would be uncomfortable. He strongly advised getting a .38-44 or a .357 Magnum if I expected to shoot .38-44 ammo extensively.

Gun writer Jan Stevenson said that Colt's metallurgy was superior to that of S&W, and I think he was right. But I still wouldn't fire a lot of that hot ammo through a Police Positive Special or Detective Special. I wouldn't fire it at all in a Cobra or Agent, unless there was an emergency and only that ammo was on hand.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:34 PM
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I read yesterday from an article that the Official Police is good to go with +p's. I'm guessing that is true????

Keep in mind that that model was made from 1927-1969. I suspect metallurgical changes along the way. I'm not real eager to see how a OP made in, say, 1928, would fare with a constant diet of hot Buffalo Bore or Underwood loads.

But I think one from the 1950's-on is certainly okay for reasonable Plus P use.

Look at what Colt said for the much smaller Cobra and Detective Special: They warranted both with Plus P, but warned to return the steel guns for factory inspection after firing 3,000 rounds of Plus P and the light alloy frames after just 1,000 rounds. Frame stretching was a concern and writer Massad Ayoob once stretched the frame on a Bodyguard .38 with just 500 rounds of Plus P. I forgot if it was an alloy M-38 or the steel M-49. He's a member and if he sees this, may comment on that.

Keep in mind that after the USAF began using high velocity ammo in their S&W M-15's, the guns shot loose sooner and they begged for 9mm autos, hence the Beretta M-9 adoption.

The Colt Official Police is a tough gun and Colt has warranted it for high speed ammo since the 1930's.

But don't pound it all the time with Plus P and it'll last longer without repairs.

Plus P and .38-44 class loads are meant FOR KILLING and are not needed for normal range use. Of course, this also applies to .357 revolvers firing full Magnum ammo.

I'd usually carry a .38 with Plus P loads, because you don't know what might force you to use the gun in earnest. A big dog or rabid raccoon or coyote needs stopping right now, as does a human foe. Those in cougar or bear country relying on a .38 should carry Plus P. It's just common sense. But don't pound the gun all the time in practice with warm loads.

Be advised that most Colt .38's don't shoot to the sights and the cylinder timing wears much sooner than on Ruger and S&W guns. Famous pistolsmith Jim Clark told a friend of mine that he'd re-time his Python, but warned that in 500-1000 rounds of .357 ammo, it'd probably need re-timing again.

I think your Official Police will perform well with Plus P assuming that the sights are on target. You may need a good gunsmith to turn the barrel slightly to get it sighted-in.

Last edited by Texas Star; 03-08-2019 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:48 PM
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I read yesterday from an article that the Official Police is good to go with +p's. I'm guessing that is true????
The Official Police revolver has the same frame as the Python.
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:14 PM
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"Plus P and .38-44 class loads are meant FOR KILLING and are not needed for normal range use. Of course, this also applies to .357 revolvers firing full Magnum ammo."

No, no, no. If you are using a firearm for self defense, regardless of police or non police, "I was in fear of my life (or the life of another) and I fired my weapon to STOP THE ACTIVITY THAT ENDANGERED ME OR THE PERSON IN CLOSE PROXIMETRY."
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:31 PM
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The Official Police revolver has the same frame as the Python.
The Colt "E" size frame (as it is now called) remained essentially unchanged from 1908 until the early 2000s, and includes the Army Special, the Official Police, the Colt Officers Models, the .357, the first Trooper, and the Python. I don't know if the metallurgy changed over that period or not. Will an OP handle a +P load? No question about it. Some gunsmiths convert OPs and Troopers into (sort-of) .357 Pythons with a barrel change.

Last edited by DWalt; 03-08-2019 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
Keep in mind that that model was made from 1927-1969. I suspect metallurgical changes along the way. I'm not real eager to see how a OP made in, say, 1928, would fare with a constant diet of hot Buffalo Bore or Underwood loads.

But I think one from the 1950's-on is certainly okay for reasonable Plus P use.

Look at what Colt said for the much smaller Cobra and Detective Special: They warranted both with Plus P, but warned to return the steel guns for factory inspection after firing 3,000 rounds of Plus P and the light alloy frames after just 1,000 rounds. Frame stretching was a concern and writer Massad Ayoob once stretched the frame on a Bodyguard .38 with just 500 rounds of Plus P. I forgot if it was an alloy M-38 or the steel M-49. He's a member and if he sees this, may comment on that.

Keep in mind that after the USAF began using high velocity ammo in their S&W M-15's, the guns shot loose sooner and they begged for 9mm autos, hence the Beretta M-9 adoption.

The Colt Official Police is a tough gun and Colt has warranted it for high speed ammo since the 1930's.

But don't pound it all the time with Plus P and it'll last longer without repairs.

Plus P and .38-44 class loads are meant FOR KILLING and are not needed for normal range use. Of course, this also applies to .357 revolvers firing full Magnum ammo.

I'd usually carry a .38 with Plus P loads, because you don't know what might force you to use the gun in earnest. A big dog or rabid raccoon or coyote needs stopping right now, as does a human foe. Those in cougar or bear country relying on a .38 should carry Plus P. It's just common sense. But don't pound the gun all the time in practice with warm loads.

Be advised that most Colt .38's don't shoot to the sights and the cylinder timing wears much sooner than on Ruger and S&W guns. Famous pistolsmith Jim Clark told a friend of mine that he'd re-time his Python, but warned that in 500-1000 rounds of .357 ammo, it'd probably need re-timing again.

I think your Official Police will perform well with Plus P assuming that the sights are on target. You may need a good gunsmith to turn the barrel slightly to get it sighted-in.
I don't have an official police. I'm just interested in them. But I'm also interested in a tapered barrel 10. I have a Colt Detective Special. And it shoots to point of aim better than my 442. For what it's worth. I group tighter with the 442 though. 442 shoots high.

I like them both. But I may end up starting to carry the DS more. The 442 has been the main carry gun for a while. The DS was when I first started carrying but I was not very accurate with it back then. And the 442 gave me a boost in confidence when I started shooting it. I think I'm starting to understand how to shoot the Colt now though. And I like the extra round in basically the same sized gun, other than the grip.

So then I was thinking I might want a bigger Colt to practice that trigger more.

But the other thing that dawned on me was that a model 10 and the DS use the same size speedloaders. That could be handy.
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
"Plus P and .38-44 class loads are meant FOR KILLING and are not needed for normal range use. Of course, this also applies to .357 revolvers firing full Magnum ammo."

No, no, no. If you are using a firearm for self defense, regardless of police or non police, "I was in fear of my life (or the life of another) and I fired my weapon to STOP THE ACTIVITY THAT ENDANGERED ME OR THE PERSON IN CLOSE PROXIMETRY."

Politically/legally, you're right, of course. I was speaking from a practical biological angle. And I don't mean to discourage firing a reasonable number of Plus P rounds to maintain proficiency.
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:42 PM
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I seldom shoot full .357 loads in any of my .357 revolvers as there is not much reason to do so. Paper targets don't care. If I were carrying a .357 revolver routinely (I don't), I might feel safer with .357 loads in the chamber just in case. But I very infrequently use them at the range, maybe to fire a few rounds occasionally just to feel what it's like.
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