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Old 08-09-2018, 12:16 PM
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Default Another King Super-Police! (Post yours!)

My first one is this example that came to me unexpectedly (David Carroll is the best, if you are reading I need to call you still), very much a top five favorite gun of mine:





A bit odd with the rifle base for the front sight, but overall a hell of a sweet looking gun. The sights are not quite cataloged, but were close:



These sights are glorious, hands down my favorite old timey sights. I'm a little baffled that they never caught on, everyone who holds one of these guns pretty much says whoa the first time they sight down it.

This particular gun is a bit odd in that this was clearly a working gun modification, and this gun was never really used much. I've been after more King Super-Police Night Sighted guns ever since, but the best I was able to come up with half that job:





That one has a red ramp front sight, but the rear sight is the Super-Police:



partially at least. They kept it square for the front sight, instead of rounding it for the bead.

As the years progress I hope to acquire more, but for now I am well pleased with this one. Despite the finish challenges.

Also, with my lens I can't really photograph sights quite right, and I'm lazy, and I don't care enough to buy a new lens or learn how to manipulate photos. I think these sight shots relay the point I want to make anyway.

About the only thing that really kind of annoys me about this gun is that the white inlay was missing on the rear sight. I've been attempting to replace it but the enamel I put in there after cold bluing the area (looks like it was stripped of all blue back there for some reason), is kind of jagged. I'll keep trying to figure out how to do it proper.

Fun fact, this is the first time I have ever used cold blue!

Anyway, here's the gun. Base gun was a 1917, barrel cut down to 3 and 7/8ths", King Super-Police Night Sights installed. Finish borked with maybe some navel jelly(?), and I'm not entirely sure how they made the barrel go plumb.









I'm still well pleased with it.

If you happen to have any King Super-Police Night Sighted guns lurking in your safe post them! (then sell them to me)

Last edited by SixgunStrumpet; 08-09-2018 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:32 PM
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Very sharp looking especially so with the Ivory.

All I have with sights similar is that odd duck 32. It has a marbles ivory front and the U notch rear.
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:25 PM
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... I figured that 1917 went to you
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:40 PM
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Post mine? How can I, you have them ALL!
Such neat guns, of course anything by King Gunsight is neat.
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Old 08-09-2018, 04:50 PM
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Post mine? How can I, you have them ALL!
Such neat guns, of course anything by King Gunsight is neat.
Two can't be *all* of them! Surely.

I wonder if people were dissuaded from having the job done by the line: "Strictly peace officer's sights"?
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Old 08-09-2018, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by SixgunStrumpet View Post
Two can't be *all* of them! Surely.

I wonder if people were dissuaded from having the job done by the line: "Strictly peace officer's sights"?
I doubt it.....probably akin to tactical now.

Here is the sight line up on that 32.
Pretty odd gun. It is a regulation police frame .
The rear sight is pre war and numbered into those 196 post war target guns.

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Last edited by weatherby; 08-09-2018 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 08-09-2018, 06:58 PM
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Paul,

A very special, already rare model!

Yes, the 196 32 RP Targets from 1957 are true anachronisms.

Most features non-conforming to the non-target Model of 1953 New I frame (Pre Model 31) guns of the 1957 period! A very convoluted transition model for sure.

Using common collector terms we're familiar with, it can be described as a “.32 Reg. Police Target Post War Transitional 'I' frame". That's because it has 6 screws w/leaf spring, small trigger guard, pre war style round top rebated sq butt stocks, pre war style hammer spur, and the smaller pre war frame window size with cylinder diameter of 1.267”. The pre war sights are obvious, supplied w/special modified post war blue all steel sight adjusting tool (SAT) to fit tiny sight screws.

But with post war sliding bar hammer block safety, the 3rd and last style straight ejector rod with left hand thread, the 4 line address on frame, 4" (not 4 1/4") barrel w/o patent dates, post war non-chamfered cyl flute corners, post war grooved trigger, and the 3rd type post war non-sculpted thumb piece, (and post 1966 after I frames became J frames), while all other I frames of the 1957 period have the third type flat latch.

Frame serial # stamped on front grip strap above the strain screw matching all other #'d parts including stocks, 9 locations in all, including rear sight, and both front and rear sight blades. Rear sight has single elevation screw, no elevation check screw.
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Old 08-09-2018, 07:47 PM
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Those RP targets are super cool, I love yours. I've seen one in the past but couldn't afford it.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:16 PM
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I love, love, love that S&W .45 at the top.
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:33 AM
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Paul, I'm jealous, That's one of my Grail Guns.
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:59 AM
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Paul, I'm jealous, That's one of my Grail Guns.
Dick
Mines not one of the 196
The rear sight is the only part that falls in the serial number range.
Per Roy it is a totally rebuilt gun.

It was fun figuring that one out with the help of Hondo44 and the other experts here..He may be bald with the head scratching from it.
The joys of living near the momma tree.
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:37 AM
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These King police guns are super cool. They make a better sight picture then Standard service sights. Paul yours has the front & rear sights I wish were sold for the modern revolvers. Larry
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:57 PM
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Caleb

It just so happens that I have a very interesting one of the guns.

This gun was presented (or given) by Ed McGivern to Calvin Robinson in 1926, living in Lewiston Mt at the time. In 1933, he became Sheriff of Flathead County, MT. When I took the grips off the gun, I found this note taped to the inside of one of the grip panels.



The gun has the King Night Sights. According to Calvin's son Robert, who was 100 years young last year, Robert was born in 1916. He was 10 years old at the time McGivern gave the gun to Calvin, and Robert was present when this gift was made, and he remembers this happening. He told me that the gun is exactly as it was given to his father, so it would have had the Night Sights then.

This next picture is is the rear sight. You can see that the white outline is set into a machined semi-circular groove. Seems to me that the white outline must have originally been some kind of insert, and not paint.



This next picture is focused on the front sight, looking through the rear sight.



The front sight blade is a King blade. This next picture shows the front sight blades on two of McGiverns guns. The top half of the picture is the Night Sights gun presented to Calvin Robinson. The bottom half of the picture is McGiverns record-setting gun, that we had on display at the S&WCA meeting in Spokane, where you viewed this gun. The blade on that gun is stamped King, as can be seen in the picture. As can be seen in the picture, this blade is higher than the one on the Night Sights gun. This is because the rear target sight blade on the record-setting gun is higher than the rear notch on the Night Sights gun.



Its interesting to note that, in McGiverns book, there is a page or two discussing his interest and work with low-light shooting conditions. Perhaps the gun given to Calvin Robinson was used for some of that work.

Regards, Mike Priwer

Last edited by mikepriwer; 08-10-2018 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 08-10-2018, 03:02 PM
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Mike,

Awesome. I had not even really thought about McGivern's guns having a variation of this sight, but it does make a lot of sense. They are wonderfully bright and easy to use sights.

On your note about the insert: I completely agree after seeing yours. When I compare my other two to your picture and my new one (which was missing the insert), it's pretty clear that they actually put something into the machined groove. On mine I added some enamel I bought at the local fabric store and it looks very much like yours does. Not as nice and even as my other two.

I have to say, yours being gifted to a man who became the sheriff of my county by McGivern is more then I could have hoped for when starting this thread. I felt that there must be more of these out there, and maybe my enthusiasm for them might bring them out of the woodwork, but yours? Wow. Thank you so much for the addition.
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by SixgunStrumpet View Post
Two can't be *all* of them! Surely.

I wonder if people were dissuaded from having the job done by the line: "Strictly peace officer's sights"?
What the **** is wrong with that?!! Unless you're a bullseye shooter, I would think that what is good for a peace officer is likely good for just about any use I can predict.

??
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:53 PM
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What the **** is wrong with that?!! Unless you're a bullseye shooter, I would think that what is good for a peace officer is likely good for just about any use I can predict.

??
I sort of thought it might be something like all those guns with Social Security numbers scratched into them. Back when local police agencies told people to do that so that if they were stolen they could get returned to the owner.

One of my old neighbors had a perfect victory model. Not sure what exactly the deal with it was, it was clearly a victory model but it didn't have US property on it, one of the guns that went for civilian or guard use maybe? The term is escaping me at the moment.

In any case the gun had never been used, he got it from his uncle many years prior when he lived in L.A. I've rarely seen a victory model that brand new looking.

He comes home one day and his wife has very helpfully spent a couple hours with a file very carefully, and very deeply, gouging his Social Security number into the side of the gun. He was horrified. She said that she had read in one of her magazines that the police required that you do this on all your guns, and this was just the first one that she selected to do it to.

So I'm just kind of wondering if the language that King used in the catalog there was construed as being a sight job that they would only undertake for law enforcement, so that people didn't have the sights upgraded. Just a passing thought to explain why there seem to be so few of these.

After handling them I will say again that I am blown away by how much I love the sights. I can't for the life of me imagine anyone who needed to use their gun for actual police work not wanting such fine sights on their gun. Although I suppose the added expense was a hard thing to justify, and for a lot of people back then sights were kind of an afterthought. Especially sights on a working gun.
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Old 08-10-2018, 05:47 PM
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Hereís mine Iíve posted many times before. Its without a doubt my favorite gun I own.

38/44 Transitional KSP








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Old 08-10-2018, 09:20 PM
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Hereís mine Iíve posted many times before. Its without a doubt my favorite gun I own.

38/44 Transitional KSP








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I can well understand why its your favorite.

I really wish someone hadn't re-finished it like they did though. It would be perfection with an original finish.

I assume you shoot it a lot?
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:05 PM
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Caleb

With you now living in Flathead County, is there any entity you can contact, and see if there is any further information on Sheriff Calvin Robinson ? All that I have came from his son Robert.

Regards, Mike
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:08 PM
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Caleb

With you now living in Flathead County, is there any entity you can contact, and see if there is any further information on Sheriff Calvin Robinson ? All that I have came from his son Robert.

Regards, Mike
I can go down to the sheriff's office. It's just a few minutes away. I'll see what I can find.

Things are slightly strange right now, my daughter is due Monday, but as she's our first it's expected she will not come when due, so we are planning on inducing the Monday after. Might be a little disruptive.

I'll let you know what I find out.
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:50 AM
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... Things are slightly strange right now, my daughter is due Monday, but as she's our first it's expected she will not come when due, so we are planning on inducing the Monday after. Might be a little disruptive...
Your life is about to change forever - and that change will definitely be "disruptive" in a challenging, exciting, overwhelming, unpredictable, WONDERFUL kind of way. Strap in and enjoy the breath taking ride.

All the best to you and your bride!
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:19 AM
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Default Another King Super-Police! (Post yours!)

Here is a pretty neat Colt DA .38 I recently picked up with the King treatment. It sports the traditional super police rear sight cut and white outline but has a front reflector base and red bead sight which makes for a really neat combo. It came to me with some later factory stocks and I am currently searching for an interesting set of Custom or Stag stocks for it. If anyone has a set let me know Another King Super-Police! (Post yours!)













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Old 08-11-2018, 09:29 AM
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Here is a pretty neat Colt DA .38 I recently picked up with the King treatment. It sports the traditional super police rear sight cut and white outline but has a front reflector base and red bead sight which makes for a really neat combo. It came to me with some later factory stocks and I am currently searching for an interesting set of Custom or Stag stocks for it. If anyone has a set let me know Another King Super-Police! (Post yours!)













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That gun is super neat. In a way I think its cool that it doesn't have the original stocks, gives you a chance to match some that fit it's character.

Personally I'm just mad about Jigged Bone, not only do they look amazing but they feel so dang good (if they are made well). A set like you see on my New Service above would make your gun pop like nobody's business.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:35 AM
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That gun is super neat. In a way I think its cool that it doesn't have the original stocks, gives you a chance to match some that fit it's character.



Personally I'm just mad about Jigged Bone, not only do they look amazing but they feel so dang good (if they are made well). A set like you see on my New Service above would make your gun pop like nobody's business.


That's what I'm looking for Another King Super-Police! (Post yours!)


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Old 08-12-2018, 03:59 PM
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Caleb

Thanks. Don't worry about the baby being born, on schedule or not. There is not much science to due dates. In fact, they are little more than estimates. Just roll with the punches, for now. As to information about Calvin Robinson, maybe you will get lucky.

in 1968, we were expecting our first baby, much like you are now. My wife's father was a GP in the small town of West Frankfort, Ill, a town of about 8000 back then, in thecoal-mining area of Southern Illinois. We drove down to visit with them, about a month or two before the birth. He had delivered hundreds, if not thousands, of babies at that point, a lot right in their house where he had a subsidiary office.

So, I asked him what he thought the baby was going to be. Back then, there was no ultra-sound exams, etc, to show the sex. He listens carefully with his stethoscope, and with a big smile, says it a boy.

Our oldest daughter will be 50 this year. So much for medical opinion about matters related to babies and birth!

Regards, Mike
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:29 PM
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I am a huge King fanatic! I just love thier work. The sights work so well and being low tech. Though I am ashamed of only owning one gun with thier treatment and it's a Colt. Anyhow the question I am dying to know the answer to is how in the world did they machine that little U shaped notch into the rear of service sights?? So little room in that notched area to work and it would have to be perfect otherwise the whole gun is ruined. I am contemplating buying a old King catalogue just to see the variety offered. But a catalogue is not going to explain how they machined a tiny notch into a rear sight. Anybody have a clue how it was done??
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:22 PM
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Skilled labor. Some of the same kind of labor that made lots of things that are view as darned near artistic now.

FWIW, what's old is new again; I had a big (.156") U notch 10-8 rear sight and a an XS standard size dot for sights on my duty 1911, and have similar on my Wilson KZ9. They are essentially as fast as the XS express sights with the big dot, which are similar to what used to be on dangerous game rifles in the 1920s or so, but more precise.
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:59 AM
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Interesting...
Ya learn something new every day.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:55 AM
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codenamedave codenamedave is offline
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Beautiful guns, the kind I like, built for real use.

Random thoughts:

- I seem to recall the banded front sight base, "rifle base", was a popular mod with Uncle Elmer and his pals. In later days I recall one of Keith's followers, Ross Seyfried, had them on his big bore hunting revolvers. Linebaughs and the like.

- I can believe that a good portion of the then-shooting public might've been turned off by the "strictly police officer's sights" line. As mentioned, back then in the pre-Cooper/Weaver days, using the sights at all in a defensive shooting was practically heresy, and competition-wise Bullseye was pretty much the only game in town. Both factors would lead to a user not wanting to spend money on custom mods to make dim alley shooting more accurate, and that's besides want we'd call nowadays "for law enforcement use only" prohibitions.



Also just wanted to say that it's posts like this that make this forum so fascinating:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
Paul,

A very special, already rare model!

Yes, the 196 32 RP Targets from 1957 are true anachronisms.

Most features non-conforming to the non-target Model of 1953 New I frame (Pre Model 31) guns of the 1957 period! A very convoluted transition model for sure.

Using common collector terms we're familiar with, it can be described as a ď.32 Reg. Police Target Post War Transitional 'I' frame". That's because it has 6 screws w/leaf spring, small trigger guard, pre war style round top rebated sq butt stocks, pre war style hammer spur, and the smaller pre war frame window size with cylinder diameter of 1.267Ē. The pre war sights are obvious, supplied w/special modified post war blue all steel sight adjusting tool (SAT) to fit tiny sight screws.

But with post war sliding bar hammer block safety, the 3rd and last style straight ejector rod with left hand thread, the 4 line address on frame, 4" (not 4 1/4") barrel w/o patent dates, post war non-chamfered cyl flute corners, post war grooved trigger, and the 3rd type post war non-sculpted thumb piece, (and post 1966 after I frames became J frames), while all other I frames of the 1957 period have the third type flat latch.

Frame serial # stamped on front grip strap above the strain screw matching all other #'d parts including stocks, 9 locations in all, including rear sight, and both front and rear sight blades. Rear sight has single elevation screw, no elevation check screw.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codenamedave View Post

- I can believe that a good portion of the then-shooting public might've been turned off by the "strictly police officer's sights" line. As mentioned, back then in the pre-Cooper/Weaver days, using the sights at all in a defensive shooting was practically heresy, and competition-wise Bullseye was pretty much the only game in town. Both factors would lead to a user not wanting to spend money on custom mods to make dim alley shooting more accurate, and that's besides want we'd call nowadays "for law enforcement use only" prohibitions.
This is an excellent point and I believe exactly right. I'm annoyed it didn't occur to me before you spelled it out.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:42 AM
Bakebfr480 Bakebfr480 is offline
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Good lookin' shooter!
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:45 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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There was a member of this forum several years ago who was finishing up at one of the gun smithing schools and was interested in revolver work. We had discussed the possibility of him doing this type of sight conversion on a Baby Chief for me when he got his own shop up and running. I need to see whether he is still interested.

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Old 08-16-2018, 11:21 PM
Pantera Mike Pantera Mike is offline
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Coincidentally I just reached into my safe a few minutes ago and withdrew a revolver I haven’t fired in about 25 years. It’s a Model 1905 Hand Ejector 4th version target model with a 6-inch barrel and Roper thumb rest stocks that was gifted to me by my godmother 35 years ago or so. It belonged to her uncle who was a Mississippi riverboat gambler, and carried a pair of Colt Detective Specials with the front sights filed off. She kept those but gave me his target gun.

It has the King rifle base front sight with gold bead, and adjustable rear with U-notch. I was intrigued by it and was going to start a new post because tonight I read this in Wikipedia in a photo caption:

“Smith & Wesson 1905 4th change 1915 Target model. "NRA"Slow Fire at 25 yards. This one left the factory in 1929 and was sent with ten others to a firm in Buenos Aires. The hammer was added later and is in the general form of the King Gun Shop modification usually intended for the timed and rapid fire portions of the NRA course.”

I know nothing about the King Gun Shop, and would like to learn more. I happened to see this post and decided to ask here instead.

Here is a fun anecdote. I grew up in San Francisco. When I was given this revolver it was missing the rear sight blade. I took it to the only gun shop in town, run by a very Yoda-like old Chinese man named F. Bob Chow, who I later learned was a true legend in shooting circles. (RIP)

I asked him if he could help sort out my rear sight problem. He explained to me that the gun had King sights, which were very rare, a pre-war thing. He asked me if I knew what he did before he opened his shop, and of course I didn’t. He said, “I was the manager of the King Gun Sight Company”. He chuckled and walked to the back room, and came back with a fishing tackle box. He opened it up and explained that when they folded, he was given all their leftover inventory. He rooted around for a second, and came up with a perfect rear sight blade, installed it, handed it to me and refused to take payment!

A true gentleman!

Okay, having said all that, can somebody please educate me as to what this company was? Perhaps post some links where I can learn more? My gun had an unbelievable hair trigger (he characterized it as being extremely dangerous, and he kept the gun that day to fix it and turn it into a safe but very light trigger). Could it be that this gun was given the treatment by King?

It looks quite unremarkable, has a lot of the bluing worn off, and is almost supernaturally accurate. I think I’m going to fire up my press and load a bunch of .38 HBWC rounds and start shooting it again....

Last edited by Pantera Mike; 08-17-2018 at 02:22 AM.
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