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  #1  
Old 05-24-2020, 12:05 AM
Whit Whit is offline
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Story of a 1967 Government Model That I Never Got to Carry

Waaaay back in 1967, prior to becoming a full time police officer, I was a reserve officer. Being newly married, going to college and working part time, money was an issue. My lovely wife agreed to the expenditure to purchase a duty weapon. I remember making that purchase as if it were yesterday.

We went to Sharpstown Mall in southwest Houston to Oshman’s Sporting Goods. Neither entity exists today. Being a young 21 year old and wanting the best sidearm I could afford it was a difficult choice picking a handgun from that glass counter. I eyed a Python, Diamondback 38, Smith Model 10 and Colt Government Model 45. The Python, at a whopping $125 was out of my price range. All the rest were reasonably close in price. I finally chose the Government Model. Using a letter from the city stating the pistol would be used for LEO duty I became the proud owner of that Colt for $85.

The city only furnished uniforms, shirts and pants. All other equipment, cuffs, leather, boots and firearms had came out of my pocket. My wife lovingly sewed on departmental patches on my uniform shirts. Decked out in all my new gear I reported for duty for the first time. A veteran Lt. inspected me and too my disappointment informed me I could not carry a semi auto on duty. Somehow that tidbit of info had not been passed along.

So back to Oshman’s to see what my options might be. The store was most helpful, giving me full credit for the Government Model. Sure did want the Python, but wound up with a Diamondback 38, which was the same price to LEO as the Government Model. Believe it or not, while I didn’t own that GM long, I still miss that pistol.

One of the things on my bucket list, if I don’t kick the bucket first, is to find a 1967 Colt Government Model. The search began 3 years ago when we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. My bride got a new shiny diamond wedding band. My goal is to find a ‘67 GM and have it engraved to commemorate out 50 years together. Might be looking for a needle in a hay stack but who knows, even a blind hog finds an acorn every once in a while.

As a footnote, once I became a full time officer we still, with exceptions, had to carry revolvers on duty. However off duty semi auto’s were permitted. Eventually a military surplus GM became my off duty carry. Occasionally the rules would relax allowing semi auto’s on duty. By that time I had acquired a Gold Cup which would ride along on patrol. It even saved my bacon a couple of times (another story or two for a later time). But I still miss that first GM that I never got to carry.
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:25 AM
ProjectCamaro ProjectCamaro is offline
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Thanks for sharing. I also started as a reserve officer and had to buy all my own gear and firearm before I became full time.

I hope you find exactly what you're looking for and congratulations on 50 years together.
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  #3  
Old 05-24-2020, 07:17 AM
.45_COLT .45_COLT is offline
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Somebody here must have a ‘67 that they would be willing to part with!
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  #4  
Old 05-24-2020, 07:56 AM
bp52 bp52 is offline
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wonder if you think about that Python with there price today
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  #5  
Old 05-24-2020, 08:03 AM
bradsvette bradsvette is offline
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Originally Posted by .45_COLT View Post
Somebody here must have a ‘67 that they would be willing to part with!
That's about the only thing I could think of. You could continuously check Gunbroker.com for one, but you don't typically see a date of manufacture in the ads. You'd have to obtain the serial number and look it up yourself. That would be hit or miss. Probably miss.

There are new pistols that look very close to what was produced in that era. Before the Authenticity Nazis jump down my throat, I'd look at the Colt Classic or the Colt Series 70 Re-issue. They're really nice and look pretty similar to what you're looking for. Or, you could look for a nice pre-owned A1, pre-Series 70, or an original Series 70. The Series 70 came after 1967, but it looks very close, at least to me.
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  #6  
Old 05-24-2020, 08:19 AM
Infidel525 Infidel525 is offline
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The Series 70 came after 1967, but it looks very close, at least to me.
The series 70 rollmark doesn't even remotely resemble a pre series 70 rollmark, even Ray Charles can see the difference.

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  #7  
Old 05-24-2020, 09:18 AM
bradsvette bradsvette is offline
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The series 70 rollmark doesn't even remotely resemble a pre series 70 rollmark, even Ray Charles can see the difference.

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Wow, what a tool.
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  #8  
Old 05-24-2020, 09:40 AM
filson filson is offline
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Whit
Drop me a note. I've several 1967 GMs.
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  #9  
Old 05-24-2020, 09:46 AM
bmcgilvray bmcgilvray is offline
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Nice life story Whit. Thanks for posting.

Perhaps your '67 Government Model ended up migrated to Abilene, Texas in the intervening years.

I went in to an Abilene pawn shop where they had five Colts in their display case. Government Models and a Commander, all really nice and all a part of an estate they were selling for a family. All were pricey too, commensurate with the nice condition. Except one. At first glance it looked as nice as the rest, but when they got it out of the case the difference became apparent.

Seems the pawn shop staff had dropped this one onto the concrete floor. It landed full on the top of the slide, squushing both front and rear sighs. No other marring could be seen. They further bargained on the pistol and it came along home with me. With the addition of some Harrison Retro sights it has become my favorite "toter."



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  #10  
Old 05-24-2020, 10:26 AM
.45_COLT .45_COLT is offline
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Whit
Drop me a note. I've several 1967 GMs.
Several even!
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2020, 10:28 AM
filson filson is offline
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bmcgilvray
Good story on your 1967 Government Model. I own 310256-C. Probably same day production pistols
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2020, 11:21 AM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whit View Post
Waaaay back in 1967...

Using a letter from the city stating the pistol would be used for LEO duty I became the proud owner of that Colt for $85.
You got a good deal on that too. My dad paid $87.50 for this one a year earlier:



According to www.coltautos.com Colt produced a total of 7100 Government Model .45 pistols in 1967 with numbers ranging from 308500C to 315599C.

And by the way, it's great that you want to mark it to commemorate your 50th anniversary, but may I make a suggestion? Have a set of custom grips inscribed to mark the occasion. Not only will it look nice but you won't reduce the value of the pistol itself that that of a paperweight if you grind on the metal instead.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.

Last edited by dsk; 05-24-2020 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:15 PM
dakota1911 dakota1911 is offline
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Hope your quest is successful. I agree with dsk suggesting you put some custom grips/stocks on it and not engrave the actual pistol.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2020, 03:19 PM
Whit Whit is offline
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Gentlemen, the pistols in your photos are very nice as are the stories that go with them. Nostalgia is a good thing.

I should clarify one part of the incident I refers to where the old Gold Cup saved my bacon a couple of times. Fortunately, for everyone involved, I did not have to fire to end the adventure. Just the mere unlimbering of that old Cup convinced the miscreants of the err of their ways, causing them to surrender their weapons (multiple knives by multiple misguided young men and a revolver in the other case) and go somewhat peaceably to the cross bar hotel. Like the vast majority of LEO’s, thankfully I never had to shoot anyone. Stay safe and God bless.

Folsom: you have an email inbound.
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Old 05-24-2020, 03:32 PM
Whit Whit is offline
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With regard to the prices of both the Python and GM in those days, in hind sight buying several of each one would have been a very good investment. At the time it was a struggle to come up with $85 without going to bank to ask for a loan. Young, in love, happy to be a cop and BROKE! Those were the days. I’d do it all again.
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  #16  
Old 05-24-2020, 03:53 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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My dad bought his along with a flurry of other guns in the few short years between his first divorce and meeting my mom. I guess suddenly being single again gave him the urge to enjoy it while he could.

I have two stories regarding my dad's pistol. The first was when I shot it just after midnight on New Years, at the ripe old age of ten. I barely managed to hang onto it, but I was hooked. Just one magazine of ammo, and I spent weeks afterwards trying to find the bullets in the hillside to no avail.

The second was actually years earlier, when I was maybe five. I only heard it secondhand from my mother, who told me that one night she and my dad were awoken to a sound inside the house that they thought might be somebody walking up the stairs towards the bedrooms. My dad jumped out of bed in his full naked glory and grabbed the .45, and listened by the door. However he must have been a little too nervous as he began farting uncontrollably. My mom told him to just get back in bed, because whoever it was had to have been scared off by the sound.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.

Last edited by dsk; 05-24-2020 at 04:00 PM.
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  #17  
Old 05-24-2020, 06:51 PM
Che Che is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whit View Post
With regard to the prices of both the Python and GM in those days, in hind sight buying several of each one would have been a very good investment. At the time it was a struggle to come up with $85 without going to bank to ask for a loan. Young, in love, happy to be a cop and BROKE! Those were the days. I’d do it all again.
When I was a rookie (1979) you could buy two new S&W revolvers (M10 & M36) or one Colt Python. Eventually I bought a used Python for $357

I look at www.gunsamerica.com or www.gunsinternational.com

Good luck in your search.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:57 PM
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It always made me wonder how so many police departments back then could issue Pythons to their officers. Granted they were nowhere near as common as Smiths, but still...
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  #19  
Old 05-25-2020, 06:59 AM
VF-1 VF-1 is offline
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Great story, OP! Thanks for sharing!! I even got a little chuckle (scared off by the sound) from yours dsk!!
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  #20  
Old 05-25-2020, 11:02 AM
Whit Whit is offline
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Hey dsk, your suggestion to get custom grips for a ‘67 GM is great. Do you have any suggestions for a maker and material to be used? My experience with custom grips is pretty much limited to a couple of pair of Nutmeg Sports elephant ivory grips purchased years ago (which I still own). Sure wish ivory was still readily available as I would use that with something appropriate engraved on one of the panels.
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  #21  
Old 05-25-2020, 11:20 AM
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A quick Google search of custom grip makers/engravers turns up several hits:

https://www.westvirginiawoodarts.com/Gungrips.html

http://www.chuckaroos.com/Grips/grips.htm

https://www.ravenwoodgrips.com/shop/...ved-1911-grips
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #22  
Old 05-26-2020, 10:06 AM
JPD158 JPD158 is offline
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Whit. VZ grips makes a synthetic polished ivory grip that looks really nice.

I enjoyed your story, congrats on the 50 years!
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  #23  
Old 05-26-2020, 01:37 PM
havanajim havanajim is offline
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.... Do you have any suggestions for a maker and material to be used? .....
I highly recommend Bob, from Cherokee Hills Exotic Grips. Not only is his work stellar, but if you have specific dimensions that you'd like for your panels, he can work his magic on that too, in addition to designs, inlays, etc.

Here are a couple of examples of grips he made to my dimensions - I prefer hand-filling grips for larger hands:

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