Where is it from?

Association locations map


Add your own tags:
Separate multiple tags using a comma

Similar items over time

Revolver - Colt Police Positive, 1929 Object Reg. No: ST 024953

Colt Police Positive centrefire revolver, cal. .380 in. Special, rifled round barrel 101 mm (4 in) long.

Made by Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co, Hartford, Connecticut, serial number 333487, 1929. Stamped on R.H.side of frame 'D (broad arrow) D', for Australian Department of Defence. Transferred from Australian Army School of Infantry, number M567.

Shipped by Colt's to Smeth Kirkpatrick, 18 December 1929; see Colt Archive Properties authentication letter, dated 22 March 2007.
Six chambered long fluted cylinder with cylinder stops on outer surface, cylinder is a swing-out model to allow for loading and extraction, solid steel frame, steel rounded trigger guard, steel back strap, all metal components with good original blueing, polishing of corrosion spots on frame R.H. side has removed blueing in some areas, brown two-piece finely chequered wooden grips with rampant Colt logo inlaid in a round silver escutcheon at grip upper on both sides. Bladed front sight, cylinder catch on frame L.H.side. Stamped on L.H.side of frame above grip is the rampant Colt logo. Stamped on R.H.side of frame 'D (broad arrow) D', for Department of Defence. Stamped under grip on R.H.side 'Z', stamped under grip on L.H.side with assorted numerals and letters, presumably inspection marks. One-line Colt address stamped on barrel with second line of patent dates.
Statement Of Significance:
The 'Police Positive' revolvers were an evolution of the preceeding 'New Police' models. Introduced in 1905, the models incorporated several mechanical improvements, among them being the chequered, and later grooved, triggers, and stippled frame top to reduce glare. It was followed onto the market two years later in 1907 by the Police Postive Special which was almost idential to the Police Postive with the exception that the cylinder was 1/4 inch longer to accomodate the new .38 Special cartridge found desirable by law enforcement agencies for its increased stopping power.

In 1926 a shortened 2" inch barrel was introduced for use by the plain-clothed police agencies. In James Severns' early work on the Colt cartridge models, he notes that the introduction of the shortened barrel variant came 'at the urgent request of the chief of one of our (USA) leading Police Departments'. This variant would later come to be known as the Detective Special. The example of a Police Positive here is one used by the Australian defence forces during the first half of the 20th century.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Australian Army, 1957
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 12.30 cm (Height), 3.30 cm (Width), 21.50 cm (Length)
Dimension Comment: Barrel length 10.10cm (4 in)

More information

Tagged with: revolvers american
Themes this item is part of: Arms Collection, Samuel Colt, Gunmaker (1814-1862), Colt Firearms in Colonial Victoria, 1850-1900, Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co., Gunmakers, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Primary Classification: ARMS & ARMOUR
Secondary Classification: Firearms
Tertiary Classification: handguns
Inscriptions: Stamped on barrel: COLT'S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD CT. U.S.A./PAT 'D AUG 5, 1884, JULY 4, 1905, OCT. 5. 1926.
Stamped on L.H. side of barrel: COLT POLICE/ POSTIVE .38
Stamped on R.H. side of barrel: D (broad arrow) D
Stamped under grip on R.H.side: Z
Stamped under grip on L.H.side: 1, 1, T, Q, T, B.

Serial No. -
Frame under swing-arm: 333487; Swing-arm: 333487
Model Name/Number: Police Positive
Manufacturer: Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co, Hartford, Connecticut, United States of America, 1929
User: School of Infantry, Australian Army, Seymour, Victoria, Australia, 1940s-1950s


David Posted on 15 Apr 2010 8:33 AM
I have Just come across a 19XX 38 spcl police positive S/N 243XXX can anyone fill in the blanks
leo melendez Posted on 29 Feb 2012 8:17 AM
I got one of those it is a excelent gun very good quality it has a good size these weapons are definitely made ??for heavy duty this revolver shoots after 82 years as the first day they are a pice of history

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.
Yes No