As military sales of their revolvers dropped off, Colt searched for an alternative market and realized the popularity and strong sales of their product line with civilian law enforcement agencies could form their replacement market.The changes included adding checkering to the trigger, matting the topstrap of the frame and widening the rear sight groove.Introduced to the firearms market in 1927, the Colt Official Police is a medium frame, double-action revolver with a six-round cylinder, primarily chambered for the .38 Special cartridge, and manufactured by the Colt's Manufacturing Company.The intended specific target market for the Official Police was mainly law enforcement agencies and it became one of the best selling police firearms of all time, eventually in the 1950s coming to exemplify typical peace officer weaponry.It was available with barrels of 2 1/2", 4", 5", and 6". Hard rubber grips were used until 1923 after which checkered walnut with silver Colt medallions were standard. The Police Positive Second Issue added a grooved top strap to cut glare, and had a slightly heavier frame.The distance between the rear of the trigger guard and the front of the grip frame was increased to allow more room for fingers. The Police Positive Target Model First Issue, Model "G" was a target version.By 1933 the Colt sales catalog listed many law enforcement agencies as having adopted the OP as a sidearm, including the New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Kansas City police departments. Army also bought some of the revolvers, issuing them to military police and to federal agencies in need of a revolver for their armed agents, such as the Treasury Department, Coast Guard, and the Postal Inspection Service.In addition many state police organizations and even the Federal Bureau of Investigation chose the OP as their issue revolver. Many Official Police revolvers were also bought by the police forces and militaries of various South American countries. government requested contracts to supply .38 revolvers required for arming security personnel charged with the security of government buildings, shipyards, and defense plant installations against sabotage or theft.
The action wasn't tuned to Python standards and the blue job was not the Royal Blue as used on the Python.
It was produced in various forms from 1907 to 1947.
The Police Positive First Issue was available in .32 Colt , .32 Colt New Police, .38 New Police which is essentially the .38 S&W.
Colt also upgraded the quality of the gun’s finish from a dull blued finish to a highly polished blued surface.
In 1930, Colt scored a marketing coup when they publicized that their Official Police model could easily handle the firing of heavily-loaded .38 rounds intended for competitor Smith & Wesson's new large N-frame revolver, the .38-44, none of the comparable S&W revolvers could manage this feat.