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Old 06-05-2012, 08:21 PM
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Default Joe Friday's S&W Snubbie

Watching Dragnet today and it involved our favorite cop with an Officer Involved Shooting. They read off the Serial Number and said it was a Smith & Wesson .38. The number was either 175806 or 1755806 [sorry, I wasn't quick enough]. Any ideas on what model or year it would be, or is it just Hollywood's spouting off?
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:27 PM
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Thumbs up

I watch that ol' show on Netflix all the time.

Don't know about that particular episode/revolver but this is a period correct holster for LA cops...





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Old 06-05-2012, 08:32 PM
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Got a lot of his shows on DVD. My best guess is a two inch model 10. I can clearly see that it has a round butt with the "flat" style cylinder release latch. You can see him apply thumb pressure forward towards the muzzle to open the cylinder. If it was a Colt, you would have to be pulling that latch to the rear to open the cylinder. No doubt about, Joe Friday is a S&W fan !!
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:33 PM
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GF,

I really like the looks of your holster. Does that say "Police Special" and then Lewis something?
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:35 PM
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Says, " Police Special - Lewis LA Cal." Late 50's thru the 60's, it's a great breakaway holster.



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Old 06-05-2012, 09:41 PM
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Lewis Leather, Sunset Blvd (where else in LA?), just behind the Academy. We used to run past the place during PT when I was in the Academy. Many older LA Detectives carried their 6" K38s in one. Cool holsters. I have a few.
Bob
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:42 PM
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They said Smith and Wesson on the show, so I'm hoping it might be accurate, Jack Webb was a stickler for accuracy.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:43 PM
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Smile Just the facts....

He used a 2" M&P in in the TV series. If you saw a flat latch, it must have been an M&P Airweight. There's a pretty good photo here, but it doesn't show the latch: http://www.imfdb.org/w/images/d/d4/Dragn67_5.jpg


The serial number doesn't jive. C175806 is too early for an M&P Airweight, it wasn't produced yet. It would date to around 1950 and would have a half moon front sight. There's a ramp front sight in the photo. D175806 would date to 1969-1970 which is too late for a flat latch. Neither of those series went over 1,000,000 so it couldn't have been 1755806.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob L View Post
GF,

I really like the looks of your holster. Does that say "Police Special" and then Lewis something?
I have one of those for a 4" K frame that I carried for years. It is stamped:

"Police Special
Lewis
LA CAL K 4"

The one in GF's photo has some additional stamping on it. It looks like, "59" and a "2." The 2, of course, is the barrel length.

These were made by Lewis Leather. I met Mr Lewis once in the 1970's but he closed up shop since then. I never knew just when or why but he was quite elderly when I met him. I believe he was a one man band who sold from his shop.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:11 PM
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Thanks GF and All! I'm going to have to keep my eyes open for one of these in the used bins. It just really caught my eye!
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:11 PM
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In the episode we are talking bout with the SN, it never gave a close up, the gun was only seen briefly in his hand as he was shooting. There is no indication whether it is a 5 or 6 shot.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:25 PM
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I also saw that episode today. The title is "The Shooting Board" as Friday exchanges shots with a miscreant who dies a short time later, causing Friday to have to submit to an internal investigation.

They definitely said it was a S&W .38. I heard the serial number but was too slow to get it all. I know it ended in 806. Must be they didn't think they needed to xx the last two digits.

The date on the show was MCMLXVII (1967). You would assume that a veteran detective like Friday had been carrying the same revolver for years, so my guess would be it should date to the late '50s or early '60s.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:48 AM
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Here's another photo from the episode in question. It sure looks like a six shot revolver to me; notice the cylinder.

http://www.imfdb.org/w/images/9/9e/Dragn67_3.jpg
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:18 AM
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Model 12 Airweight.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:03 AM
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Default Joe Friday's S&W snubbie

I like the Lewis holsters.
Here's one made for a Colt pocket auto:


The only Lewis shoulder holster I've ever seen:

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Old 06-08-2012, 09:20 PM
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According to the "Movie Guns" website:

"the Smith & Wesson Model 10 snub revolver is the sidearm carried by Sgt. Joe Friday (Jack Webb). In Season 2's "The Shooting Board" (S2E21), Sgt. Friday uses his S&W when confronting a robbery suspect at a laundromat. When asked to give up his weapon for tests, Friday hands it over and the profile of the gun is seen. Friday mentions that it is his Smith & Wesson revolver."

Here's the web page, complete with photos of the episode:
Dragnet (1967) - imfdb :. guns in movies :. movie guns :. the internet movie firearms database

Looks like the bad guy was carrying a New Service!
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:02 PM
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That was one of my favorite episodes, especially since I'd been the subject of a shooting board investigation myself back in the day. My agency issued both the 2" model 10 & 4" model 15.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:17 PM
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I watched as a younger person. Still, I liked when he wielded a shotgun and offered to have the bad guy's head roll down (forgot name) avenue. I think that was Sgt Friday, but it's been many years.

Jack Web also played a good drill instructor.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottieG59 View Post
I watched as a younger person. Still, I liked when he wielded a shotgun and offered to have the bad guy's head roll down (forgot name) avenue. I think that was Sgt Friday, but it's been many years.

Jack Web also played a good drill instructor.
Click the link in Rute Boye's post, then scroll down to see Friday with the Ithica shotgun. The caption says:

"Flinch and you'll be chasing your head down 5th Street!"
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:27 AM
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Guys, I love it.
You fellas get down TO it, good investigatory work.
Those old holsters, do they have spring steel sandwiched between the layers to retain the weapon?
I ask, because I make quite a few holsters, but have never got to eyeball one of these.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:05 AM
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I recall one program where Joe removed his holster & weapon directly from his cross-draw position without undoing his belt. His holster was secured by a metal clip on the back of the holster. I had one of those holsters for my J frame 60, and it was made by Bucheimer (Clark). Don't know if the TV program holster was this brand or something else....The clip held the holster very stable.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:25 PM
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"Guys, I love it.
You fellas get down TO it, good investigatory work.
Those old holsters, do they have spring steel sandwiched between the layers to retain the weapon?
I ask, because I make quite a few holsters, but have never got to eyeball one of these."

Yes, a piece of spring steel runs around the holster in the sewn pocket.
I would be happy to send you one to examine if you'd like. PM me if you want to examine one.
regards,
turnerriver
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:17 PM
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Default Pure Class

Quote:
Originally Posted by turnerriver View Post
"Guys, I love it.
You fellas get down TO it, good investigatory work.
Those old holsters, do they have spring steel sandwiched between the layers to retain the weapon?
I ask, because I make quite a few holsters, but have never got to eyeball one of these."

Yes, a piece of spring steel runs around the holster in the sewn pocket.
I would be happy to send you one to examine if you'd like. PM me if you want to examine one.
regards,
turnerriver
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You are one of the type of guys that keep bringing me back.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:28 PM
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5" k-frame in a Lewis Leather left-handed cross-draw:

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Old 06-11-2012, 07:44 PM
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I was about eight when Dragnet aired, but had a Joe Friday cap gun that had silver plastic grips with his Badge 714 in them. The gun was an obvious copy of either a Model 36/37 or a M-12 Airweight as it had the flat cylinder release. It had a ramp front sight.

I read here and there that Jack Webb was presented by S&W with both an M-12 snub and an M-39 9mm auto, maybe others. Actor Raymond Burr got a M-29, but I have no idea why, as he wasn't asociated with guns much in his roles. They did appear as evidence on his, "Perry Mason" show, of course.

If the cap gun was really patterned after the gun from the show, it was a flat latch M&P Airweight or a Chief. The cap gun was just a bit larger than a Chief's Special.

I agree that the gun seen in the link above is a K-frame snub .38. LAPD did issue the Ithaca M-37 shotgun, so it was a logical item on the show.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:33 PM
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There was a Dragnet in the first series in which Friday had to go under a house to chase some plague-infected mice. I remember him shooting one off the top of a water pipe (I hope it wasn't a gas pipe!), and there was a closeup of his snubnose revolver. Does anyone recall that episode and if he was using a S&W at that time? For some reason I think he had a Colt in the black and white years, maybe a Cobra.

I only saw this one once and may not recall it that well. Mid- to late '50s, I think.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:05 PM
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Dragnet guns in movies:

Dragnet (1967) - imfdb :. guns in movies :. movie guns :. the internet movie firearms database
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:14 PM
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Default 1953



IMFDB also has a page for Dragnet 1951 but remember not to trust everything you see. They let just about anybody post there.....

Adam-12 is a good page too.

Last edited by SG-688; 06-11-2012 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:24 PM
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Inspired by all this chat, I went on Netflix and played some of the early 50s Dragnet episodes. I was immediately impressed by how low the production cost must have been. No action sequences, no fancy sets, and mostly dialogue taking place in an interrogation room, office, living room, etc. along with simple plots. A young Lee Marvin was in the S1E1 as a murderer. Otherwise, I did not recognize any of the supporting cast actors.

There was some gun and ballistics lore in a couple of episodes I saw - one featuring a M1911 used in a wife's suicide (which looked like a murder), in which the husband was cleared by the appearance and location of the fired casing (and some other evidence). Another was a murder made to look like a suicide, in which a Winchester M94 .30-30 was used. The bullet trajectory made suicide impossible and the murderer was caught.

Anyway, there was enough of interest in the gun sense that I may watch a few more episodes if I get bored.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:57 PM
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Guys, this has been a great read. How little I expected so much interest in this post. Thanks again!
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:00 AM
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Deacon
Thanks to you for starting this thread. Brought back some good memories. Watched these shows when I was a kid. Think it helped shape my character (?). Still love to play with guns....
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
I was about eight when Dragnet aired, ...
IIRC, Dragnet was originally a radio program. Then there was a tv series in the 1950s which was revived in the 1960s. I don't know about the radio show, but Jack Webb starred in both of the tv series.

In the show mentioned in the OP (The Shooting Board), Friday states that during his career he had to fire his revolver twice in the line of duty (not including manditory firing range qualifications of course). I thought that sounded like a real low-ball number, especially if you included the shootouts he was in in the 1950s shows.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
I was about eight when Dragnet aired, but had a Joe Friday cap gun that had silver plastic grips with his Badge 714 in them. The gun was an obvious copy of either a Model 36/37 or a M-12 Airweight as it had the flat cylinder release. It had a ramp front sight.

I read here and there that Jack Webb was presented by S&W with both an M-12 snub and an M-39 9mm auto, maybe others. Actor Raymond Burr got a M-29, but I have no idea why, as he wasn't asociated with guns much in his roles. They did appear as evidence on his, "Perry Mason" show, of course.

If the cap gun was really patterned after the gun from the show, it was a flat latch M&P Airweight or a Chief. The cap gun was just a bit larger than a Chief's Special.

I agree that the gun seen in the link above is a K-frame snub .38. LAPD did issue the Ithaca M-37 shotgun, so it was a logical item on the show.
We had a good conversation about Jack Webb's early 44 Magnum on this forum. It turned out that one of the forum members found it and his Model 39 on display at the Police Academy in LA. I'll find the thread and bump it up...
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:26 AM
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There is a later color episode of "Dragnet" in which Sgt. Friday shows his revolver to a robbery victim to help her ID the type of handgun carried by the suspects. I remember that close up as being of a S&W Model 12 with a flat latch and "fish hook" hammer. I recall the front sight on that pistol as being of the half round variety, not the later ramp. I could be wrong on that though. Don't know the name of the episode...

In Adam-12 , I noticed that Malloy also has a "fish hook" hammer on his K-38 and his later Model 15. His revolvers also have "Fuzzy Farrant" stocks.

Adam-12's Officer Reed starts out with magna stocks on his S&W, but later adopts a set of Farrant stocks. In the later part of the series the hammer and trigger of his Model 15 appears to have been polished or plated.

Great shows... Jack Webb was a class act!
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:39 PM
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I'll confirm 1755806 as the serial number in "Shooting Board."

As I recall, the names used for the command staff officers on the shooting board were the actual names of LAPD officers - notably Pierce Brooks who wrote a book on police procedures and was later police chief in another city.
Edited to add: Doh! Forgot about him being the lead detective in the Onion Field case.



I'm old enough to have watched the first Dragnet but young enough that my memories are vague. A "before they were famous" article in a late 60's TV Guide showed then famous actors appearing in the 1950's Dragnet - like the suspect on the right in this pic.

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Old 06-12-2012, 10:25 PM
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While in the Air Force and stationed in New Jersey at Mcguire AFB in the mid 1960s one of our guys made use of his Joe Friday cap gun when traveling home to Brooklyn N.Y. The guy ( Joe "Bear" Osakoski ) would carry the cap gun in a sholder holster under his jacket and expose it slightly when he felt threatened while riding the subway. Seemed to work for him.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:50 PM
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Jack Webb's .44 29 and 9mm 39 are in a display case at the LAPD Academy, in the hallway in front of the old PT Staff office. Used to look at them daily when walking up and down that hallway to the Captain's office or the Academy store.
Bob
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:04 PM
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Quote:


I'm old enough to have watched the first Dragnet but young enough that my memories are vague. A "before they were famous" article in a late 60's TV Guide showed then famous actors appearing in the 1950's Dragnet - like the suspect on the right in this pic.
Fascinating.

"Ah, the renowned Tholian punctuality."

I guess Friday is a kind of proto-Tholian in his timeliness.
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:02 AM
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So, the crook in the striped shirt is Leonard Nimoy? It does resemble him a lot.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:42 AM
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So, the crook in the striped shirt is Leonard Nimoy? It does resemble him a lot.
The same and no one else.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:24 AM
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The picture sure looks like it is from the black and white '50s Dragnet. I don't think Friday ever wore a hat in the '60s revival of the series.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:50 AM
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Yes, I believe that is the original series as that looks like Ben Alexander on the left with the hat on and his face partly hidden. He played Webb's partner long before Harry Morgan came along.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:51 AM
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Back in the 50s, a lot of actors/actresses who are now well known started off doing bit parts in such TV series. "Twilight Zone" was full of them. As I earlier noted, Lee Marvin was in the very first Dragnet episode playing the part of a very talkative and hungry murderer.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:43 PM
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Come on guys and help me out here! I’m old enough to have watched the show way back when; of course I was only a kid.

I (at about age 9) very vaguely remember a show where they had a guy holding up places and he was wearing some sort of a body armor and the cops regular .38s would not do the job.

Somehow Friday got his hands on a .357 and put an end to the perp’s successes. Anyone else on here remember that show or can fill in more details!
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:58 PM
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Could be but it could take some research to find out. The IMDB website has plot summaries of some of the 1950s Dragnet episodes, but by no means all of them. I have seen a lot, but I don't remember that one.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S. Kelly View Post
Model 12 Airweight.
I remember Joe was sitting at his desk and Frank, (Ben Alexander) his patner at the time came in and handed him a package and joe set it on his desk. Then Frank says "Aren't you going to open it" and Joe says "no". Then Frank gets real nosey and says "why not" and Joe says "because I know whats in it".
Then Frank says "Well what is it?" And Joe says it's a new Airweight 38 or something like that and Frank says "Well, lets see it" so finally Joe opens the package and Frank gets to see it.
That's as I remember it from several decades ago.
Somebody look it up and see if I didn't come pretty close.

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Old 06-13-2012, 04:14 PM
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Dragnet - TV.com

there is a synopsis of each episode when you click on it.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:50 PM
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I recall a guy asking Friday if he knew what an "Army .45" looked like and he said yes. Some holdup man was using one.

I certainly recall the episode where the new Airweight .38 arrived and how Friday tantalized his partner by not wanting to open the box. It amused him to make the other guy wait. I think Friday had a mean streak.

As a cop, I liked Martin Milner better on, "Adam 12."

I agree with a post here that the Korean cop Cho on, "The Mentalist" reminds me a little of Friday's attitude. Not much humor or joy in living, but he probably got that cynical from dealing with the scum that he's had to. He was even right about that "ho" who went back on drugs after I hoped that she'd straighten out and they'd get together.


Of course, these days, they all carry autos. But that reflects cop reality. Now that I think about it, Dick Tracy in the comics was the only cop with an auto, or a wrist radio, but some civilian good guys had autos, like Smilin' Jack. I may open a topic about that, in The Lounge.

Last edited by Texas Star; 06-13-2012 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:15 PM
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Remember "The Phantom?" I think he wore a pair of M1911s. At least that's what they looked like.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
Remember "The Phantom?" I think he wore a pair of M1911s. At least that's what they looked like.

I recall him well! Check my topic now in The Lounge. I just forgot him earlier.
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