Jump to content


Photo

My Collection of 1930s Lawman Guns


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Brick Davis

Brick Davis

    New Member

  • Regular Group
  • 5 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 June 2018 - 10:34 PM

Good day,

Here is my collection of old firearms of the types used by the FBI and local law enforcement throughout the 1930s.  I hope I was able to manage the picture part properly. 
First up is my pistol collection:
Attached File  IMG_20180629_184358.jpg   107.59K   18 downloads
The top one is a Colt Police Positive in .38 S&W with a serial number that dates it to 1916.
Below that is a Colt 1903 Hammerless Pocket Pistol in .32 Auto (1917) This one, I don't think was used by LE, but it's the first gun I ever got, so it has enough sentimental value for me to add it in here.
On the left is my favorite, the Colt Police Positive Special (1916).  This pistol handles like a dream, and she's in great condition. 

Next is my Winchester Model 12
Attached File  IMG_20180629_183628.jpg   169.78K   15 downloads

I reallllllllly hope this picture doesn't come in upside down (the thumbnial shows it as being upside down...sooooo, that's a bit worrisome). 
This gun is in amazing shape and it's really tight.  Serial number dates it to 1927.  It says "FULL" on the barrel, which I imagine means full choke, which I can't imagine would have been factory-installed on an 18" barrel like this, so I'm willing to bet it was cut down at a later date (though I know not when).  It also has a plastic Winchester buttplate which is attached with phillips head screws, so I think that was put on later.  But, boy, do I love this gun.  The Model 12 is accomonaied by what I was told are two pre-war boxes of 12 gauge ammo (if you have reason to doubt the boxes or their contents are pre-war please let me know, so I have some idea as to how to date such boxes) a well as some loose 12 Gauge No. 1 buck paper shells.  Again, no idea how to date paper shells, so let me know if you have any thoughts on their age. 

Next is my Fed Labs Tear Gas Gun
Attached File  IMG_20180629_184943.jpg   106.39K   23 downloads
There are a lot of aspects that make me think it's not 1930s.  There are also some bits about it (low serial number, no "201-Z marking", etc.) that do make me think it's somewhat early...just not early enough.

Still, neat to have.

Alright.  Here she is.  My newest acquisition.  A Winchester 1907 .351 SLR. 
Attached File  IMG_20180629_183034.jpg   121.86K   20 downloads
Attached File  IMG_20180629_183047.jpg   97.43K   21 downloads

I do, so love this gun.  The serial number dates it to 1909.  I got it for a decent price...well before shipping and tax and transfer fees anyway.  It has a Lyman sight on it, as well, and I'm not certain if that was put on by the factory, installed early on, or put on more recently.  While I know the FBI used this gun, I am unsure if they would have had the Lyman sight on there...but it is nice.  She's in good condition.  I have not yet fired her, but the listing indicate she shoots just fine. 

Also pictured is some loose ammo that I got at a gun show the week before, as well as a box of Remington .351 round (35 rounds left in it), which I think dates from the 60s.  The seller told me the box came from a vault in Sing Sing.  True?  I know not.  But it sure is in good condition. Also pictured is something that has proven to be an invaluable resource: "Winchester Model 07 Self-Loading .351 Caliber its Past and its Future with Modern Brass Bullets and Powders" by Leonard Speckin.  It details everything I need to know about reloading this gun and where to get the components for it...which will be great when I learn how to reload. 

Finally, we have this:

Attached File  IMG_20180629_185142.jpg   208.52K   14 downloads
It's a modern reproduction of the FBI Thompson hard case (sold by IMA-USA).

And what's inside that case?  That's right:
Attached File  IMG_20180629_185657.jpg   117.98K   17 downloads
...part of a Thompson...you know, the parts that aren't rare or exciting.  I don't foresee ever having enough money to own an original 1930s Thompson Submachine Gun.  I hope some day, to get one of those modern-made Thompson SBR Deluxes to keep in this box.  Probably get some new furniture for it. 

Attached File  IMG_20180629_185908.jpg   120.07K   17 downloads

Sprawled out in front of the case is all of the original pieces I have:
Three war-time clips and a clip I'm pretty sure is pre-war.
Stock, pistol grip, some pre-war boxes of .45 ammo (by the way, theammoboxguy on e-Bay makes osme fine reproductions of these boxes), a bunch of hardware, and a Cutts Compensator. 

Also pictured is a new-made vertical foregrip (also IMA-USA) and an airsoft drum clip...yeah, I'll replace that some day. 

Not as impressive some of the collections I've seen on here, but for the first quarter-century of my life, it's a good start.

 


  • 2

#2 Brick Davis

Brick Davis

    New Member

  • Regular Group
  • 5 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 June 2018 - 10:37 PM

*Sighs.

The Model 12 came in upside down, as did the picture of the closed hard case.  Oi.

I tried to re-do it, to no avail. 

Anyway, the book in the first hard case picture is "American Submachine Guns 1919-1950" by Luc Guillou.  It's a great book. 


  • 0

#3 timkel

timkel

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Board Donor
  • 1093 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:NRA Patron member
    Atlas Shrugged

Posted 30 June 2018 - 06:02 AM

Some very nice pieces. I'm sure it took a lot of time and sweat to put that together.


  • 0

#4 ron_brock

ron_brock

    Respected Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 1708 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wolverine State

Posted 30 June 2018 - 07:34 AM

Could you post closer images of the left side plate of the Fed Labs gun? Is it marked Pittsburg or Saltsburg for the address? On the base of the long range site, I think left side, is it marked Marbles or is it plain?

Thanks for sharing the collection. Very nice to see.

Ron
  • 0

#5 ppgcowboy

ppgcowboy

    Regular Member

  • Board Donor
  • 726 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South West Montana
  • Interests:Guns, aviation, didgeridoo, banjo, metal detecting.

Posted 30 June 2018 - 07:56 AM

I held a Thompson when I was 10, it took 40 years to finally get one. Don't give up hope.
  • 0

#6 dalbert

dalbert

    Website Owner

  • Admin
  • 4544 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ohio

Posted 30 June 2018 - 11:15 AM

I fixed the two images that were upside down.

 

Thanks for posting, and welcome to the board!  I also enjoy firearms of this era...a lot!

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com


  • 0

#7 jim c 351

jim c 351

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 2777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ohio

Posted 30 June 2018 - 07:19 PM

Very nice collection.

I noticed that the box of 351 ammo is the 177 gr FMJ load. You don't see this load very often. No doubt used by police and prisons, not hunters.

The peep sight on he 07 looks post WW2.

Congratulations on a nice collection.

Jim C


  • 0

#8 Brick Davis

Brick Davis

    New Member

  • Regular Group
  • 5 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 01 July 2018 - 09:45 AM

Thank you everyone, for the kind words.

Ron:
Here is a closeup of the side plate. 
Attached File  IMG_20180701_050806.jpg   105.3K   10 downloads

It says Pittsburgh, PA.

There are no markings at the base of the receiver.

David:
Thank you.  I'm not sure why they didn't come in right the first time. 

Jim:
You wouldn't have any clue about what date range that box of ammo might be from, have you?  The guy I got it from conjectured that it was from the 1960s. 
I have the creeping fear you are correct as regards to the Lyman sight.  I think I recall hearing that this particular model was introduced in 1935, and was produced until 1956.  And of course, this particular one might have been installed even later than that.  I had been considering taking it off, but, of course, that would leave at least a couple unsightly holes.  Another told me to just enjoy my gun, and keep my eyes open for another 1907 without a Lyman sight later down the road.


There are two other things in my collection I wanted to share, but could not get to.  Granted they are not firearms, but I think they fit with this thread alright.

The first is a reproduction of a WWI U.S. gas mask. I have an original bag around here somewhere, but I seem to have misplaced it. 

Attached File  IMG_20180701_044725.jpg   120.68K   11 downloads

The reason I got this?  trying to recreate the look of these Newton (MA) police officers as they do a drill in 1935.
Attached File  Newton police do sham to test guns, 1935..png   332.47K   10 downloads

Finally, an acquisition from e-Bay.  Is it original?  I know not.  What I do know is the following:
1) It's heavy as all get out.
2) It has no markings or tags that I can find (perhaps you learned scholars know of a hidden spot where I could find more info).
3) It has a navy blue wool shell. 
4) It does not offer side protection, so, I wager, this is not the bullet proof vest that was advertised in my reproduction 1934 Federal Laboratories catalog.
5)  One of the side straps on the back plate is missing, so it cannot be worn properly.
6) There is no six.
7) I'm not sure I would want to wear it and risk damaging such an eat piece ( would use it as inspiration to make a repro, though).
8) Each of the steel plates seems to overlap each other ever so slightly.
9) At least in the front, the plates seem to be contained in a leather barrier between them and the shell and vest lining. 
10) The back piece fastens to the front piece via two snaps on each shoulder. 

If anybody has any information on this type of vest, I would, of course, be very interested.  Thank you.

Attached File  IMG_20180701_043856.jpg   142.54K   7 downloads
Attached File  IMG_20180701_043859.jpg   72.74K   6 downloads
Attached File  IMG_20180701_043903.jpg   91.89K   7 downloads
Attached File  IMG_20180701_044036.jpg   100.51K   5 downloads
 


  • 1

#9 jim c 351

jim c 351

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 2777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ohio

Posted 01 July 2018 - 10:41 AM

Brick, As far as the ammo box is concerned, compare your box to the boxes on the Remington forum, link below. As far as the rear sight is concerned, I installed a similar sight on a Win M94 in 1970. It was a new sight. Jim C http://thegreatmodel...om/?page_id=332


Edited by jim c 351, 01 July 2018 - 10:41 AM.

  • 0

#10 dalbert

dalbert

    Website Owner

  • Admin
  • 4544 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ohio

Posted 01 July 2018 - 04:16 PM

I'm sure Ron Brock will chime in about the body armor when he sees it.  Good stuff!

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com


  • 0

#11 ron_brock

ron_brock

    Respected Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 1708 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wolverine State

Posted 02 July 2018 - 09:12 PM

I'm sure Ron Brock will chime in about the body armor when he sees it.  Good stuff!

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com

Very nice vest (did it come out of Wisconsin)?  It looks very similar to one I have that was made by DunRite.  The label for mine is on the inside near the neck (on the front half).  Mine also separates at the top with the four snaps.  I have a different vest that has only one set of snaps to separate.  It was made by American Armor Corp, if I recall.  I'm fairly certain all the Federal vests had side plates with them.  There should be a label or traces of one somewhere on the inside of your vest (maybe in the pockets)?

 

Regarding the gas gun, it is one of the later Pittsburg guns.  Earlier ones had a raised cheek comb (step in the rear of the frame at the top where the buttstock meets).  Also they had checkered grips.  I recently just got an example like yours (ser 2050) that I initially thought was a Saltsburg era gun (straight stock).  I need to dig out my notes to see exactly when they moved locations.  Originally I though mid 50s, but I think we had located evidence that the move was still in mid to late 40s.  I'm certain your gun is not 30s, but still perfectly acceptable to display with a Thompson.  Keep in mind Federal Laboratories was the sole distributor of the Thompson for a while so there is a nice connection.    

 

Great stuff.  We have lots more posts over the Gangster section of the form with Tear Gas guns and vests covered in some detail.  I need to get back to documenting and posting.  I think I can pretty well document the lineage of Federal Guns now and hopefully spur some new examples coming out of the woodwork (or not so I don't have to search out any other variations).  

 

Ron


Edited by ron_brock, 02 July 2018 - 09:13 PM.

  • 1

#12 dalbert

dalbert

    Website Owner

  • Admin
  • 4544 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ohio

Posted 04 July 2018 - 07:37 AM

I'm going to move this post to the Gangsters, Outlaws & Lawmen of the Early 20th Century Forum, and leave a link here.

 

David


  • 0

#13 Merry Ploughboy

Merry Ploughboy

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 965 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 July 2018 - 09:35 AM

Well, the good news is that a fairly high percentage of transferable Thompson submachine guns were owned by law enforcement agencies/organizations.  For example, of the five Thompsons that I have been blessed with being able to own at one time or another, the only non-LEO example was a West Hurley gun.  Of course, the bad news is the cost.

 

In any case, you've got a good LEO equipment collection going there.  Enjoy it, and I hope you'll be able to add a Thompson submachine gun soon.


  • 0