Guns, Firearms, Projectile Weapon Sports/Colt Police Positive .38


I have been given a .38 Colt Police Positive revolver and want to know more about it. I is marked with A 45646 M with a E under it. It has a 4" barrel and is a satin nickle. Any information would be great!

Good Morning Bob... Thank You for submitting your question to I hope I will be able to answer your question to your satisfaction.

Your .38 Colt Police Positive was introduced by Colt's Manufacturing Company in 1907. It was a small frame, double action, revolver that was originally designed for the police at local, state, and federal levels. The original guns were chambered in .32 and .38 caliber. The guns were offered both in polished blue or nickel plated.

The Police Positive revolver was actually an upgraded design of the Colt New police revolver that was produced from 1896 through 1907. The upgraded gun (the Colt Police positive) utilized an internal hammer block safety. This internal safety allowed the gun to be carried safely with all 6 chambers loaded and prevented the gun from firing if the hammer were struck or the gun was dropped by accident. Colt named this internal safety the Positive Lock, hence the use of the word positive in the name Colt Police Positive. As an interesting side note... The Colt Police Positive was the first revolver that Colt advertised using the fact that all Colt cylinders rotate clockwise (to the right) where as the S&W revolvers all rotate counterclockwise (to the left). Colt claimed that by rotating to the right the action of the cylinder turning forced the cylinder crane against the frame resulting in a much tighter cylinder to barrel alignment which increased accuracy.

The Police Positive revolvers manufactured from 1907 through 1927 were considered the First Issue. They were offered with barrel lengths of 2.5" (available only in .32 caliber), 4, 5, and 6 inches, and were chambered for the .32 Long Colt (it would also accept the .32 Short Colt), .32 Colt New Police, and .38 Colt New Police cartridges. The guns came with the standard Colt hard rubber grips from the factory. Checkered Walnut Grips were used after 1923.

The Second Issue Police Positive revolvers were produced from 1928 through 1947. The Second Issue revolvers were different in that they featured a serrated top strap as well as a heavier frame. They continued to use the Walnut Grips. The serrated top strap cut down on glare making it easier to see the front sight.

It is interesting to note that in 1908 Colt added another model of the Police positive called the Colt Police Positive Special. The Colt Police Positive Special was offered with a slightly lengthened cylinder and lengthened and strengthened frame to allow the chambering of the longer, more powerful .32-20 Winchester and .38 Special cartridges. The police Positive Special was successfully manufactured from 1908 through 1995 with more than 750,000 guns produced.

Some of the more famous people connected with the Colt Police Positive are President of Brazil, Getúlio Vargas, who committed suicide in 1954 with a Police Positive, gangster Al Capone, and Charles Bronson, as Paul Kersey, in the movie "Death Wish". Al Capone's Police Positive was sold at auction in 2011 for $109,000.

For more information on your gun as far as production date, etc try this website..... it covers all Colt handguns.

I hope I have been able to provide you with information you can use and were looking for. If you have other questions please do not hesitate to post them.

Thank You again for your question....


Guns, Firearms, Projectile Weapon Sports

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Don Orem


There are always questions pertaining to any subject that even an expert can not answer. That being said, I am very well equipped to answer questions concerning rimfire firearms due to experience, research, and discussion of rimfire firearms with many people I consider experts. I collect old, different, or unique examples of Rimfire firearms. I also have an extensive collection of handguns and rifles from all over the world. I reload, shoot black powder, and have a nice collection of military firearms dating back to the 1800's.


I started shooting in 1953 when I was 5 years old. My father bought two .22 single shot rifles, mine was a Springfield Model 15 that I still own to this day. Today it would not be tolerated or politically correct, but back then he taught me gun safety and how to shoot by taking me to the town dump where we shot rats. Maybe that is to much information but those are some of my best memories of spending time with my father. I am at my gun club range at least 2 or 3 days a week. I am a certified NRA instructor and I teach both Basic Pistol as well as Home Firearms Safety. I also teach Concealed Carry Classes here in Florida. I have been a squirrel hunter all my life and for the last 4 years I have been active hunting feral hogs in the Everglades. I have been to every Shot Show for the last three years on my media credentials and I have attended the NRA National Convention for the last 2 years. I have my own on-line gun forum called Gun Tips and Talk and I have also served for a number of years as a Moderator or Administrator on the National Gun Forum and the Florida Gun Forum. I do a lot of gun and equipment reviews on-line. I also have my CCR FFL, a personal UPIN number with the Justice Department, and I enjoy shooting my suppressed .22's. As a side hobby I build competition bench rifles for others on the 10/22 platform. There are a number of reports on my "project" guns on my personal website at .

NRA, NSSF, and the Dade City Rod and Gun Club in Dade City, Florida.

I am a high school graduate with an additional 2 years of college with a major in Commercial Marketing. I am also a disabled Viet Nam Vet.

©2016 All rights reserved.