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Old 04-27-2011, 01:16 PM
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I watched the 1979 film "The Onion Field" last night. I watched it many years ago, but saw it was available on Netflix Instant and took the opportunity to watch it again. Great cast - a very young James Woods as the killer Greg Powell, along with John Savage, Ted Danson, and Ronny Cox.

If you haven't seen it, its a very good account of the 1963 kidnapping of two LAPD plainclothesmen (Karl Hettinger and Ian Campbell) and the cold-blooded murder of Campbell. Hettinger escaped, but was treated badly by the department and later resigned under a cloud.

Both cops were shown carrying six-inch K38s, which is probably fairly accurate. I seem to recall from Joseph Wambaugh's excellent book of the same name both cops carried six inch guns, with 200 grain ammo.

One of the cops asks the kidnappers to pitch their guns in the bushes after the bad guys let the cops go (which obviously didn't happen) because they bought the guns with their own money.

I'd be interested to see if anyone here has a former LAPD K38 to show off. It seems like with the size of the department and the length of service of the K38 there should be a few of them floating around.

http://www.odmp.org/officer/2723-pol...an-j.-campbell
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:54 PM
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A while back, last year I think, LAPD displayed many evidence items from famous cases in the department's history. I believe Ofc. Campbell's 6inch barrel K-38 was one of the firearms displayed. I recall that the revolver had Mershon (sp) rubber stocks.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:32 PM
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Here's a photo of my two. The blue M15-3 was issued to me in 1980.

Mg

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Old 05-11-2011, 01:25 AM
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Here's a photo of my two. The blue M15-3 was issued to me in 1980.

Mg

I'm curious about the front sight on the M15-3. Looks more like a Patridge sight rather than the Baughman sights I've seen on Model 15s. A retired LAPD officer told me that at one time (early '70s), the Department decided to move away from six inch K-38s and cut down the barrels to 4 inches. Is yours one of the Department modified guns?
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:54 AM
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The other gun an M-68? I read the barrel inscription.

I, too, think that's not a normal M-15. If the frame is marked that way, I bet it was re-barrelled. I'm glad that the officer who was issued it still has it. Those grips look very comfortable!

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Old 05-11-2011, 12:19 PM
Mike Grasso Mike Grasso is offline
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It's actually a model 10 barrel that has had a pinned sight placed on it. Our armory used to make them up for officers who shot Expert or better as a perk to shoot more!

Mike
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:42 PM
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The two cops on the TV series Adam-12 carried the same model earlier in 6" and later the 4". An excellent weapon I carried as my issue gun before we transitioned to semi autos.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:07 PM
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The two cops on the TV series Adam-12 carried the same model earlier in 6" and later the 4". An excellent weapon I carried as my issue gun before we transitioned to semi autos.
ADAM-12, probably one of the reasons I came to LA from Brooklyn! Chief Davis (the Chief at the time of Adam-12) gave me this picture that was given to him by the artist. It sit's in my Office so my guys can remember their lineage.

Mike

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Old 05-11-2011, 10:54 PM
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As much as anything else, ADAM 12 got me interested in LE. I have been watching it again, now that the first few seasons are on DVD. Still a great show...

My wife, an LAPD copper, recently had the opportunity to meet Martin Milner, the actor who played Malloy. He was very nice and clearly still a big fan of the Department and the officers.

Yes, the first couple of seasons they are using 6 inch K-38s, in swivel holsters. The grips on Malloy's gun look custom. In the later seasons, the guns have 4 inch barrel's and the holsters are clamshells.

When my wife watches the show, she's astonished at how authentic and timely it is, in terms of terminology and slang that are still in use. The tech advising is evident.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:59 PM
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Back to "The Onion Field" for a moment...the film is excellent. Gripping and tragic. I highly recommend the book by Joseph Wambaugh.

I read an interview of Wambaugh in which he recounted meeting Truman Capote, the author of "In Cold Blood". That "true crime" account heavily influenced him. At the time he met Capote, he'd already published his first novels. He discussed the Onion Field incident with Capote, who indicated that it should be recounted in a book. Wambaugh said the conversation helped motivate him to write the book.

I believe the book is must reading for anyone in or interested in LE.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
The other gun an M-68? I read the barrel inscription.

I, too, think that's not a normal M-15. If the frame is marked that way, I bet it was re-barrelled. I'm glad that the officer who was issued it still has it. Those grips look very comfortable!

T-Star
I bought a used Model 68-2, identical to the one in the photograph, except for the grips. I gave it to my wife, since she's the LAPD copper in the family. It's double action only, per LAPD policy. The gun I bought for my wife has Hogue grips, rather than Pachmayr's. Great revolver!
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:31 PM
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The custom grips he had were made by a policeman at the time from the LAPD Shooting Team, I believe his name was Hogue (corrected - John Hurst). Here is my pair that he made for me, in 1981. They need refinishing and a screw, anyone can help? Also in 80 my Training Officer (who came on in 1955) gave me his "speed loader" cause he wanted one of those new ones! I still have it along with his leather ticket book which I recently passed on to a new Officer...

Mike


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Old 05-12-2011, 01:20 PM
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You may want to give forum member VM a shout regarding your grips. Adam 12 and Emergency were the two shows that had the greatest impact on my career choices...Reed and Malloy's badges (replicas) sit in my cabinet. Kinda makes me wish I had stayed on the West coast.

As as aside, following the "Onion Field" incident, were officers allowed or encouraged to carry a back up?

Thanks...
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:49 PM
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Strange I just saw the Onionfield recently on Netflix also. Very tragic storyall the way around.

As far as Dragnet and Adam 12, didnt the LAPD have to approve the scripts? I believe they had a unit specifically to go over and approve Hollywood scripts. They were very protective of the LAPD image.

I never saw speedloaders like that. I got on NYPD in '83 and we were only allowed dump pouches, until '86 when they allowed speedloaders.

A lot of guys on my job suspect that they allowed speedloaders after PO Gadell was killed by a perp while reloading. I don't know if that is the entire story. It is conjecture on my part, but a few months after his murder, we were called into the SH and had to swap out our ammo for new ammo, right then and there. I think the officer may have had defective ammo. They refused to tell us why the ammo was swapped out.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Grasso View Post
ADAM-12, probably one of the reasons I came to LA from Brooklyn! Chief Davis (the Chief at the time of Adam-12) gave me this picture that was given to him by the artist. It sit's in my Office so my guys can remember their lineage.

Mike

I love this picture, Mike! I was a big fan of the show and it's one of the reasons that the 6 inch K-38 is one of, if not my favorite, guns.
Chris
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:40 PM
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Adam 12 was an influence on me getting into LE in 1974. Naturally, I have the first five seasons on DVD as well as all of "Emergency" and most of "Dragnet". I carried a K-frame Magnum, usually a 6 inch M19 or M66.Bob!
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:59 PM
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a long time ago i lived out in bakersfield near the onion fields where he were murdered.i thought of them everytime i drove by.sad story.hettinger's life went down the toilet after that too.
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:30 PM
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The custom grips he had were made by a policeman at the time from the LAPD Shooting Team, I believe his name was Hoag. Here is my pair that he made for me, in 1981. They need refinishing and a screw, anyone can help? Also in 80 my Training Officer (who came on in 1955) gave me his "speed loader" cause he wanted one of those new ones! I still have it along with his leather ticket book which I recently passed on to a new Officer...

Mike

I think your grips are Hurst. OIF2 where are you?

"Reed" and "Malloy" on Adam-12 had Farrant grips.
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:46 PM
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According to Waumbaugh's book, Campbell had a 6" Smith .38 and Hettinger had a 6" Colt .38. Both carried in cross draw holsters under their jackets (plain clothes).
As far as Adam-12, I think it definitely pushed me towards law enforcement as well.

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Old 05-12-2011, 09:09 PM
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Three excuses to post this LAPD photo... 1955 ... Mershon grips ... and clamshell holsters.
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File Type: jpg LAPD training 1955.jpg (122.6 KB, 122 views)

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Old 05-12-2011, 09:15 PM
Mike Grasso Mike Grasso is offline
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Three excuses to post this LAPD photo... 1955 ... Mershon grips ... and clamshell holsters
I was excited in 1980 when I went into the Academy until the first day when they said we were going to wear two tone blue instead of Khaki. The other Recruit Classes and Instructors ribbed us about being Postal Inspectors!

Mike
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:12 PM
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To the thin blue line that stands between society and the animals...

Under paid, over worked, and never appreciated until the wolf is at the door...

Thank you.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:25 PM
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I don't mean to jack this thread, but figured some LAPD guys (Mike) out there might know if the Ithaca "LAPD specials" had sling loops and slings ? I just bought one, it has the factory studs but no loops. Also, were they stamped with property markings ? Thank You

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Old 05-13-2011, 12:17 AM
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Adam 12 was a great influence on my choice of a law enforcement career. I carried a 4 inch model 19-3 that my dad purchased new in 1967 (my dept did not issue weapons) 26 years ago at the academy and for some time afterward. I shot many a HBWC through it and never felt under gunned. It is in my safe right now, but there is no doubt it could still take care of business. I too am enjoying Adam 12 on dvd. Boy I miss the good ol days.
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:19 AM
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Another show I liked was "Police Story". With 60 years of television cable should come out with a "Police Channel". Show the oldies like Dragnet, Adam 12, Police Story, Barney Miller (almost an NYPD Documentary) FBI etc
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:07 AM
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Adam 12 was a great influence on my choice of a law enforcement career. I carried a 4 inch model 19-3 that my dad purchased new in 1967 (my dept did not issue weapons) 26 years ago at the academy and for some time afterward. I shot many a HBWC through it and never felt under gunned. It is in my safe right now, but there is no doubt it could still take care of business. I too am enjoying Adam 12 on dvd. Boy I miss the good ol days.
My first year on the street we didn't have hand held radio's, went Code 6 and you were off the air in someones house, you cruised by locations to make sure coppers were ok, laid the mike out the window on traffic stops. Had Adam 12 cars for the first two years, coffee can lights facing forward and rear....

Mike


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I don't mean to jack this thread, but figured some LAPD guys (Mike) out there might know if the Ithaca "LAPD specials" had sling loops and slings ? I just bought one, it has the factory studs but no loops. Also, were they stamped with property markings ? Thank You

Sling loop screwed into the barrel lug and it had a stud in the stock. No markings but there was a brass circle with numbers that was nailed to the pistol grip.

Mike

I've been looking for one also...





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Old 05-13-2011, 11:18 AM
Mike Grasso Mike Grasso is offline
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I think your grips are Hurst. OIF2 where are you?

"Reed" and "Malloy" on Adam-12 had Farrant grips.

YES! John Hurst, Northeast Division, coming back fast!!! Fuzzy, Hogue, Hurst all were the Old Timers and made grips up at the Academy! Back when OIF2 and I were there...

Mike

Just finished refinishing these, dragged out my issue helmet!

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Old 05-13-2011, 03:23 PM
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So there was no issue sling, Mike ? Also were the receivers unmarked, or did they have the typical Ithaca "game scene" rollmarked on the sides ?
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:26 PM
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Another show I liked was "Police Story". With 60 years of television cable should come out with a "Police Channel". Show the oldies like Dragnet, Adam 12, Police Story, Barney Miller (almost an NYPD Documentary) FBI etc

Great idea!
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:21 PM
Mike Grasso Mike Grasso is offline
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So there was no issue sling, Mike ? Also were the receivers unmarked, or did they have the typical Ithaca "game scene" rollmarked on the sides ?

No sling, you could buy your own and swivels but it was frowned upon because you were issued a different shotgun from the kitroom every night, you didn't have one assigned to you. (didn't prevent some of us from doing it anyhow)

Clean sides, some were marked from the factory LAPD, some weren't. Those shotguns are still around. They were never offered for public sales, even to us. So it's usually BS if someone says it's a LAPD shotgun. I know there were over runs but I don't think they had the LAPD in the receiver. I'll call the Armory and get the straight scoop and PM you or if Bob (OIF2) sees this he can chime in.

Mike

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Old 05-13-2011, 07:55 PM
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thank you kindly
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:08 PM
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hi guys , I believe Bob (OIF2) is still over seas , lets pray for his safe return , robbt
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:21 AM
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Great thread. Love those photos. More please.
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:04 PM
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hi guys , I believe Bob (OIF2) is still over seas , lets pray for his safe return , robbt
I don't think he's left yet but an extra prayer won't hurt. He's a good man, few of those left.

Mike
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:24 PM
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We didn't have hand held radios the first 7 years I was on the road. You knew the phone number to the places you normally checked out at and advised dispatch. When out on a call you took care of business or went back to the car to call for backup. Most of us actually didn't want walkies to start with, Sam Brown belt was already too heavy and crowded. Today the younger deputies wouldn't know what to do with out a hand held.


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Originally Posted by Mike Grasso View Post
My first year on the street we didn't have hand held radio's, went Code 6 and you were off the air in someones house, you cruised by locations to make sure coppers were ok, laid the mike out the window on traffic stops. Had Adam 12 cars for the first two years, coffee can lights facing forward and rear....

Mike



Sling loop screwed into the barrel lug and it had a stud in the stock. No markings but there was a brass circle with numbers that was nailed to the pistol grip.

Mike

I've been looking for one also...




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Old 05-14-2011, 01:48 PM
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Many eons ago when I started LE the FBI and LAPD were the top of the heap.
IIRC the issue sidearms for FBI were 4" Colt Official Police and S&W Model M&P.
LAPD were Colt Officer Model Match 6" and S&W Masterpiece 6" (Model 14).
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:54 PM
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NA225

We didn't have hand held radios the first 7 years I was on the road. You knew the phone number to the places you normally checked out at and advised dispatch. When out on a call you took care of business or went back to the car to call for backup. Most of us actually didn't want walkies to start with, Sam Brown belt was already too heavy and crowded. Today the younger deputies wouldn't know what to do with out a hand held.

Hey I resemble that last part! Actually my father was a cop from 1970 - 1994. For at least his first ten years that was how he conducted business. Times change.
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Old 05-14-2011, 05:26 PM
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Nice shot of that "black and normal."
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:05 PM
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Ref. handheld radios - I started in 1980 and a FEW were available to check out for the shift, but they were basically worn out, big, heavy and unreliable. You had to get to work about an hour early if you wanted one.

It was common prctice on a traffic stop to turn on the PA, loud, with routine radio traffic blaring as that was considered a psychological indicator to any suspects that other officers were close at hand.
Seems funny now - I recall difficulty conversing with drivers and occupants due to that darn PA being on.
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:47 AM
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I retired from Kern County SO, working there from 1971 to when I retired in 1995. The Onion Field was in our Lamont Substation area, which I was in charge of for a time in the 1980's.

Karl Hettinger worked for a large commercial nursery near the intersection of Rosedale Highway and Allen Road, on the west side of Bakersfield. He ran for County Supervisor and was elected. If I remember correctly, he served one term and was "on our side". He ended up with a serious drinking problem and I believe that was what finally did him in. It was a shame, since he was a good guy.

I shot alongside John Hurst in PPC matches in the 70's, along with John Pride and bunch of other great shooters and cops. I was never in his class, but right under them. There was great competition between the LAPD, LASD and CHP Blue teams for the Governor's Twenty every year.

Those were some great times, and great people.

Hope this helps.

Fred
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:55 AM
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Hi Fred
Great post; lots of memories there. John Hurst had already retired but lived down the street from me; we used to practice together. John told me he occasionally went unarmed on duty and put a sock in his flap holster to fill it out when he worked traffic in Hollywood. His 6" was back home being used as a check frame for the stocks he was making. Different times.
Bob
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:25 PM
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The custom grips he had were made by a policeman at the time from the LAPD Shooting Team, I believe his name was Hogue (corrected - John Hurst). Here is my pair that he made for me, in 1981. They need refinishing and a screw, anyone can help? Also in 80 my Training Officer (who came on in 1955) gave me his "speed loader" cause he wanted one of those new ones! I still have it along with his leather ticket book which I recently passed on to a new Officer...

Mike


Took me a couple of days to get around to looking it up. The strip loader appears to be a "Speed-D-Loader" or "Spee-D-Loader" circa 1970 from an LA company. Both names are written in the 1st edition LE Handgun Digest. Anything written on it??
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:17 PM
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Mike's issue gun looks like a cut-down K-38. Those were around quite a bit when I was working patrol in the early 80's. My old training officer was given the option of turning in his 6" and receiving a new 15 or getting his 6" cut back. Keeping the 6" wasn't an option. Other coppers were allowed to keep their 6 inchers unmolested. Don't know why some were allowed to keep them uncut. Harry Davis and Phil Harris (two LAPD Armorers) retired long ago, so I guess the question will remain. Any thoughts, Mike?
Bob
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:52 PM
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Lots of memories coming back from this thread. K frames, 158 grain round nose, no portables or speedloaders. Men were men, and women were dispatchers.

Oops..... I didn't really say that did I?

Speaking of Adam 12, I've met Martin Milner and Kent McCord many times at law enforcement charity events over the years, and you couldn't meet two nicer guys. They've sure given back a lot to the LE community.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:55 PM
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Most of the shotguns went to the S/O after they were turned into beanbag guns,or just to them ,some still remained and I think there were some returned by S/O. Talk of offering them for sale to officers,but will probably run into the same issues as when we tried to sell the old revolvers. Ocassionally a pristine one comes in from some DET Bureau or somewhere.Most are in pretty rough shape.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:46 PM
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Default Some of mine from the years

Here a few LAPD guns, the model 67 was modified by Harry in the armory with a heavy barrel.Some old some newer ,PPC-14 and later mod 14. that I carried b-4 switching to semi auto. Bobguns revolvers.jpg

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Old 05-15-2011, 09:18 PM
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It's been a couple of years since I posted this excerpt. The full article also covers the special LAPD Ithaca shotgun.

Jack Harper, "LAPD – All Purpose Firepower", July, 1970 Guns & Ammo.

...Along with standardization of technique has come fairly complete standardization of duty revolvers. Unless an officer has had his 6-inch pistol for over two years, he must soon turn it in on a 4-inch job.
On the other end of the scale, no officer - even plainclothes detectives or those uniformed men who
are off-duty - may carry a 2-inch gun. Generally, this is to insure that an officer qualifies with, and carries, only one gun.

The 4-inch barrelled revolver is thought to be the best compromise for power, accuracy and concealability. The LAPD Academy has been issuing the 4-inch S&W Combat Masterpiece (I think that’s a mistake – should be 6-inch K-38) for some years now, although there is a choice of other' Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers on the "approved" list.

Recently, as an experiment leading up to the full changeover to double-action shooting, one class of the LAPD Academy had all of its revolvers issued double-action only. The men had some initial difficulty but soon caught up with the qualification schedule.

Observing qualification on the combat range included watching some 20-year veterans. This group have only recently been made to continue regular qualification, and while they swung their 6-inch K-38s and Colt Officers Models with ease, there were some hits pulled into the shoulders of the silhouettes, on double action.

On the question of loads, it's hard to avoid the .38 Special Versus Everything Else controversy. The duty load now recommended by the LAPD range officers is the Remington .38 HighVelocity 158-grain round-nose leadbullet cartridge. In a 4-inch barrel, this load gives the regulation 950 fps thought desirable for urban police use.

Many range officers at the Academy have expressed a preference for a brand of .38 Special ammo that offers a full-weight, round-nose bullet with a higher velocity and a hollow point. Tests showed, to their satisfaction, that the round is more effective for police purposes. Somewhere along the line, the word came back down, "no dum-dum bullets – bad public relations!"

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Old 05-15-2011, 09:29 PM
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hi guys . Remington .38 HighVelocity 158-grain round-nose leadbullet cartridge ?/
what did the box look like ??

robbt
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:40 PM
Mike Grasso Mike Grasso is offline
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Here's the photo of the original Spee-D Loader....




Correct me if I'm wrong, but my 15-3 was modified (Harry) by using a model 10 bull barrel that had a sight pinned to it. You can see that the sighted frame does not line up with the original non-adjustable sight height barrel...








The HB has a low rib and the K-38 has a higher one....




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Old 05-18-2011, 04:30 PM
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WOW, what memories. At this point I feel compelled to impart some more history as I have learned it.

William H. Parker became Chief in 1950 on a platform of ending the rampant corruption that was prevalent in that era. Soon after Parker took office Jack Webb began production of his Dragnet series. Webb worked closely with Parker using an experienced police officer as a consultant to ensure that the department was portrayed as Parker envisioned it. Later, Jack Webb produced the Adam 12 series with the same ties and loyalty to the LAPD. Several of the Adam 12 shows were used as training films in 1970 and 1971while I was in the academy.

Until the late 1960s (approximately 1968), the Los Angeles Police Department issued 6 revolvers, manufactured by S&W or Colt, to the uniformed officers and issued 2 revolvers, also manufactured by S&W or Colt, to detectives. To simplify the accountability of firearms and their repair parts, the LAPD standardized on the 4 S&W revolver for issue to all new officers in the late 1960s. At that time, they cut two inches from the barrel on some remaining 6 S&W Model 14 revolvers and issued them to new officers.

The S&W Model 14-2 serial number K754XXX, with a blue steel finish and 4 barrel that I was issued in December of 1970 is one of those that had the barrel shortened. A tool mark is visible on the Muzzle crown, which is inconsistent with S&W manufactured barrels and the stampings on the sides of the barrel are not centered but are well forward of center.

As per a letter from S&W historian Roy Jenks, this revolver was shipped to Olympic Wholesale Co., Los Angeles CA. on October 24, 1967. When shipped it was equipped with a 6 barrel and no grips.

The original grips, installed by LAPD, were of hard rubber by Pachmeier. These were later replaced with Hogue grips by the Los Angeles Police Department. Those Hogue grips remain on the revolver. This revolver was carried by me daily until January of 1989, after the department approved the use of 9MM semi-automatic pistols.

I was originally issued dump pouches for spare ammo and I purchased the Spee-D Loaders that fit in the dump pouch. As I remember it took a lot of practice to load any faster with them than to load loose ammo, especially during night combat qualification on a moon-less night.

When I retired in January of 1999, I bought the revolver from the City of Los Angeles for the paltry sum of $46.00. Presumably, this was what the city paid for it in 1967.
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