Search This Blog

Sunday, January 12, 2014

AAR- The Colt Police Positive Special

The .32-20 cartridge has been tersely dismissed by Edward Matunas in his book American Ammunition and Ballistics with this statement. "Because it is too big for small game and too small for big game, the .32-20 is left in a useless limbo." 

Ok, but I have a blues song about the cartridge from 1936. So there Mr. Matunas! 

h/t to my friend over at the blog "By Other Means" for that!

The .32-20 cartridge (also known as the .32 Winchester Center Fire or WCF) was introduced in 1882 as a black powder load for small game, varmints, and deer. 

The Colt Police Positive double action revolver holds the record for DA production for the blue dome with over 750,000 thousand made from 1908 until about 1977 with a short interruption in the mid 70's. 

Colt hailed the revolver in its 1908 catalog as "the most compact and the lightest revolver ever produced to take this powerful ammunition (they were talking about it chambered in the .38 SPL).

This revolver was also chambered in the .32-20 and .32 New Police. Six different barrel lengths in .38 SPL from 1 1/4 to 6" were available. Since 1947, these are as D-frame revolvers.

The US Treasury Department in 1952 contracted for 400 of these known as the Border Patrol. I doubt I will run across one of them! If you see one marked as such, let me know=) !

So here we go!

Tam talks about the historian letters from Smith and Wesson and Colt. She also talks about dead ponies. This one is not and has a historian letter. 


So I never fired it until today. All of us at the range took a stab at it. 7, 10, 15 yards. Minimal sight picture for those of us spoiled with Novacks, fiber optics, etc. but respectable IMHO.


My friend Old NFO had a great post on checking Colt revolver timing. This thing locks up tight! Everything works as it should! 

I am glad to have this 103 year old pony here. Again, I wish it could talk! 


  1. Way cool. And it could not have wound up in better hands.

  2. I own two -- and I wouldn't trade 'em for anything! Fun to shoot and plenty accurate. And don't be fooled; as .32 cartridges go, the .32-20 has plenty of zip.

    1. They ARE fun to shoot! No, I would not want to underestimate the round. I would not like getting shot with one at any rate.

  3. Outstanding Keads!!! And yes, if only they could talk! And 'bad' sights or not, that's still minute of bad guy! :-)

  4. Love the old revolvers. I need to start looking around now that my 3 Gun collection is pretty much finished....