Wanted: 3" barrel Police Positive .38 special Old Model - Pistolsmith

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Old 09-01-2017, 09:15 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 1
Wanted: 3" barrel Police Positive .38 special Old Model

Greetings All,

I am looking for a 3" Blued Barrel for an Old model Police Positive in a 38 Special. If any one has one or knows of someone that might have one. Please send me a message.

Many Thanks,

God Bless
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:30 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,801
You need a barrel for a Colt Police Positive Special, not a Police Positive.

The Police Positive has a shorter cylinder and frame for use with obsolete cartridges like the .32 and .38 S&W.
The Police Positive Special has a longer frame and cylinder for longer cartridges like the .38 Special and .32-20.
Because of the way Colt marked barrels in the pre-war guns this often confuses people. Most people think the Police Positive and Police Positive Special are the same thing because of the way the way the barrels were marked.

You aren't going to find a 3 inch Police Positive Special barrel in .38 Special since Colt didn't make them in 3 inch, only in 4, 5, and 6 inches.
Colt made the Police Positive in 2 1/2", 4, 5, and 6 inches, but the .38 caliber is the .38 S&W or .38 Colt New Police which is Colt's version of the .38 S&W. This is NOT .38 Special.
The .38 S&W-.38 New Police barrels have a bigger bore then the .38 Special so accuracy would be poor as the smaller .38 Special bullet will be loose in the bore.

The only way to get a 3 inch Police Positive Special barrel is.......
1. Cut a longer barrel down and braze a front sight on, which will destroy the bluing.
Soft solder like the 3% "silver solder" that melts around 450 degrees sold most places will NOT hold a revolver sight.
Real silver solder (braze) is needed and that melts at temps above 1100 degrees.
Also, Colt machined a slot in the barrel for the sight to fit into when brazed in place.

2. Buy a 3 inch Detective Special or Cobra barrel and fit it to the Police Positive Special frame.

Installing a revolver barrel is a MAJOR pistolsmiths job and requires some expensive tooling, including a lathe or bench barrel shoulder trimming tool, a frame wrench with the polymer inserts made for the Colt small frame, a barrel vise, and an expensive set of cutting tools for trimming the rear of the barrel to set barrel-cylinder gap, and to re-cut and gage the forcing cone at the rear of the barrel.

Unless you're going to be doing a lot of barrel work, you'd be much better off sending the gun to a Master pistolsmith and have him do the job right.

I can recommend Frank Glenn in Arizona. He's a Colt Master pistolsmith and offers Colt factory level workmanship and factory specification work.
His pricing and turnaround is excellent.
He can also cut a longer barrel down and fit it to the frame.

Frank Glenn-Glenn Custom Complete Gunsmithing Service Glendale AZ

All this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but many people seem to think a revolver barrel is just a piece of fancy pipe they can screw off and on without any fitting or adjusting and it'll be fine....... it won't.
As example, the old gag of locking the barrel in a vise and sticking a hammer handle or 2x2 through the frame window and twisting the frame off will pretty well be guaranteed to bend or crack the frame through the barrel thread area.
People will tell you all about how they did it this way, but they won't tell you about the times the frame bent or they heard that "PING" as the frame cracked.

For Colt Police Positive Special or Detective Special barrels in .38 Special, here's some possible sources:

Watch ebay and Gunbroker.com.


NOTE: Remember that the .38 New Police is NOT a .38 Special. The bore of the .38NP is larger.

Last edited by dfariswheel; 09-01-2017 at 06:42 PM.

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