A Nurse with a Gun

Friday, September 22, 2006

Blogiversary Gun: A Colt Official Police

I love a good .22 revolver. A good .22 revolver has a unique combination of a finely fitted gun with old world craftsmanship, and an affordable caliber that will allow one to shoot all day long. For a long time, I did not understand why a .22 revolver cost so much, but after I purchased a K-22, I understood.

The double action revolver in .22 long rifle is a handgun that allows a shooter to develop excellent trigger mangagement skills, which are integral to superior marksmanship. I own several .22 revolvers, but when I saw this .22 caliber Colt Official Police in Neil's shop, I was not going home without it.

The Colt Official Police revolver is what the Colt Army Special became in 1927. Colt simply changed the name of it's .41 caliber framed revolver, to market it aggressively towards police departments. As I examined the old wheelie, the revolver exuded craftsmanship. The double hand lock-up had not a hint of movement. The cylinder release is finely checkered, as is the trigger and hammer. The cylinder had it's chambers recessed and numbered. That, I thought, was a nice touch.

I did not have the opportunity to shoot the gun this afternoon, but I will over the weekend.

The deciding factor on this revolver though was the grips it wears. Roper grips are unmistakable. There are few craftsmen today who can checker a set of grips like the father and son team who carved Roper grips to fit a shooter's hand.

Neil was wanting $350 for the revolver. What Neil did not realize is that the grips themselves would likely sell for more. Roper grips were hand carved from finely grained carciasian walnut. The ribbon through the checkering is a telling feature, as are the notches in the reverse side of the grips. Nothing like them has been produced since.

I pulled out my billfold and counted out Neil's money. He slid a 4473 across the counter towards me, and I began to fill it out. In retrospect, $350 may have been a bit much for a Colt Official Police revolver, according to the books. I don't think so, however. This is an old school Colt revolver, and they aren't making any more. I'm glad to have found it. Considering this auction for Roper grips, I may have bought the grips for cheap and had the revolver thrown in for free!

I will take it to the range this afternoon.
Range results

Update: I see that Impact Guns has this revolver listed for $800....... Without the Ropers!

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6 Comments:

Blogger Keith Walker said...

Be sure to post us a picture of how it shoots. You have convinced me that I need to buy a similar gun to work on trigger control. I'm also looking forward to practicing with something that doesn't cost as much to shoot.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Carl said...

Nice find. Like those grips.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Tam said...

"In retrospect, $350 may have been a bit much for a Colt Official Police revolver, according to the books."

Ten minutes on any auction site will confirm that, on vintage Colt & Smith wheelies at least, the books are so pessimistic as to be a joke. I'll buy every 4" 95% P&R Model 28 that S.P. Fjestad will sell me for $300, and retire on the profits...

2:43 PM  
Blogger Hyunchback said...

Very sweet score!

I second the motion to show your blogiversary gun's work!

5:33 PM  
Blogger DirtCrashr said...

That is so cool, I love the numbered cylinder! I don't believe anything "the books" say anymore either. ;-) The world has changed, and besides that where I live the book-values just don't reflect reality. Let's talk book-value real-estate, hahahaha.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I purchased a Colt Official Police .22 this past weekend for $240 and just got to try it out today , excellent quality smooth trigger pull, the only thing I disliked was the rather narrow front sights , the Colt Offical Police in .22 was Colt's answer to Smith and Wesson's K-22 another excellent .22 revolver .

12:24 AM  

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