Positive Ideas

The Police Positive had a cylinder 11/4" in length and was normally chambered for the .38 Colt New Police which is basically the same as the .38 S&W. The later Police Positive Special had its cylinder increased to 15/8" and was chambered for the more powerful .38 Special. The former arrived in 1905 while the latter came on the stage in 1908.

My particular Police Positive has a 4" barrel and is chambered in .38 Colt New Police/.38 S&W and is particularly easy to shoot with very little recoil and also shoots very accurately. In this day and age it’s probably considered under powered, however I would still prefer the .38 S&W cartridge over such “acceptable” defensive cartridges as the .380 ACP and .25 ACP. The .38 Colt New Police/.38 S&W is a shorter cartridge than the .38 Special and is also slightly larger in diameter. It also takes a bullet of 0.360" instead of the standard 0.358" of the .38 Special. Starline still offers .38 S&W brass.

The first shortened versions maintained the square butt of the Police Positive Special, however this was soon round-butted to the standard Detective Special .38 we are most familiar with. One year later the Police Positive received the same treatment to become the .38 New Police Bankers Special. Since the Detective Special started as the larger of the Police Positive models it’s also slightly larger than the Bankers Special.