|02-04-2004, 06:07 PM||#1|
Join Date: Oct 2003
What is more collectable? Devel or ASP?
i have been able to find some rough price data on ASP, but i have not found anything on Devel. in general, which is worth more or is more collectable when discussing the customized s&w 39 series?
|02-08-2004, 09:44 AM||#4|
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Pipersville PA
Paris Theodore a N.Y. City cop I believe designed and built the Asp. He was quite a big man and I remember him coming on stage at a police gathering with 17 concealed pistols. He was quite a guy
|02-08-2004, 03:04 PM||#5|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Paris Theodore was not a NY Police officer though he did work as an operative in covert operations and designed and made a fair bit of kit for covert ops that covered a wide range of devices from a restricted and secure area in his old Seventrees Ltd offices.
The ASP produced by Seventrees had a comparatively short life span. Along the way, Paris subcontracted the work to a well known, at the time, gunwriter and "self proclaimed" gunsmith and this fellow's substandard and shoddy work almost bankrupted the company in making the man's unsatisfactory pieces right.
Subsequent ASP production by another organization that had zero connection beyond an initial association with Paris or with Seventrees is a bit cloudy in the manner in which the ASP rights were procured.
Paris was severely hurt financially by the requirement to provide his own legal defenses as a hostile witness summoned by the Church Committee when they raked thru the clandestine and covert operations community in the early 70's. He withdrew from any participation in the weapons field for a number of years thereafter, and he sold all of his patents to another fellow for the sum of a dollar. This did NOT work out to his benefit, but some of the legal suits entered into by this associate created a fair bit of hostility around the industry. In addition, some twits used his absence to smear his name and use the Church Committee appearance to label him a convicted felon....this was, of course, absolute BS. The Church Committee thankfully just disappeared into the hot winds of Congress and no action was ever taken against Paris other than the grotesque amount of money spent on his legal counsel.
The ASP has seen some serious duty use, though it was not one of my personal interests. I did experiment with a GUTTERSNIPE SIGHT mounted on a 1911 slide for a bit but opted not to continue with it. On the other hand, a mutual friend carried one of the Seventrees ASP's to Vietnam (actually, if I remember correctly, it was Paris's personal weapon) when he worked in clandestine ops and also did a tour in charge of the Saigon Embassy detail.
There has been an idea from a long term acquaintance of Paris's to do a book on the ASP, and other associates of Paris have deferred to that, but so far, it hasn't been published. There is very little printed data on the ASP and the Seventrees records are long gone. To me, at least, the real ASP's came only out of Seventrees in New York and with only a few discriminators to distinguish the two, most folks I've seen with ASP's have just bought them as ASP's for the name without any knowledge of the distinction between the two guns bearing the ASP name.
One of Paris's sons is putting together a film biography and several years ago, a major network did an extensive interview with Paris at the Palace in Manhattan. They latter project is still sitting on the shelves---or wherever film is stored.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding Paris Theodore and a fair bit of hostility. He had horrible bad luck in selecting partners and associates, but his work and ability to design holsters and weapons was so far ahead of his time that we are just seeing some of his innovative ideas coming out---needless to say without credit to the originator.
For a while, ASP's of one variation or another seemed to be popping up everywhere, now I don't see them all that often and most that I've seen are the later production ASP's by ASP and not SEVENTREES LTD. Perhaps, though, that only makes a difference to me.
Sadly for Paris, the factory production of the bobbed 39's & 59's--ASP's in all but a few refinements from the factory from which he received neither acknowledgement nor cash--serve just about as well and are, based on my old 669 and 439 are a bit more accurate and a lot cheaper and easier to replace parts on. Still, his idea for a proper defensive weapon that could be concealed by folks who are required to dress as adults and would be roughly the size of a PPK was unique at the time.
When he showed them the concept of the ASP initially, he was laughed at by the company who later copied it in gross form. The ASP surely set the stage for the mini- and micro-mini service calibre weapons that exist today. Unfortunately for the serious gunman, most aren't as controllable as the little ASP and many are a fair bit thicker and clumsier.
|02-09-2004, 04:23 AM||#6|
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Pipersville PA
Hi, very sorry for the misinformation on Paris. At age 85 my mind is sometimes abit cloudy. I met the man a few times and handled a couple of the ASPs he made. He sure was ahead of his time.
I can vouch for his inabillity to get the right respect from the mfrs on his products as I had some of the same problems with Colt, Hi Std and S & W and Browning and Ruger over the years. The smith does all of the R & D and when the company sees its a good idea they copy it. Too bad some of us oldtimers never had the money to get some patent coverage on these innovations. I can tell some beauts about these type situations.
|02-09-2004, 12:12 PM||#7|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Apologies hardly required, Mr. Behlert.
With a few less years mileage, I suffer grossly from CRSS (Can't Remember Shite Syndrome) a significant amount of the time.
Your posts are always interesting to this reader and very obviously to many others.
There is just SO much mis- and dis- information circulated about Paris Theodore from a variety of sources....some out of ignorance, some from honest mistakes, some from parroting others, and some from hostility. As an old friend, I try to correct it when possible and useful especially since Mr. Theodore is not in a position to answer for himself. That's too bad since he was an early computer user and I think he would have enjoyed some of the interchanges over the InterNet Forums.
Always look forward to reading your posts.
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