Autry Museum of the American West

Cutaway Police Positive .38 Model Revolver

left side

left side

1924; serial number 159941
Manufacturer: Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company

To demonstrate the mechanics and special features found on Colt firearms, Samuel Colt introduced cutaway, or skeleton, arms in 1850. The tradition continues to this day, but very few firearms receive such treatment. The model that was cut away the most throughout the company’s history was the Police Positive .38 Model Revolver. Manufactured from 1905 to 1943, approximately sixty Police Positive .38 Models were cut away from a total production run in excess of 200,000. This example, serial number 159941, is cut away to reveal the complexity of the double-action, positive-lock system. The double-action mechanism allowed the user to fire the gun simply by pulling the trigger.

  • right side

    right side
  • trigger mechanism 1

    trigger mechanism 1
  • trigger mechanism 2

    trigger mechanism 2


Jeffrey Richardson

Web Development

Gary Cannone

Electronic Cataloging and Imaging

Marilyn Kim, Vlasta Radan, Carmel France, Rebecca Menendez, David Benitez, Susan Eisenstein


Marlene Head

Special Thanks

Greg Martin, R. L. Wilson

4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462 Phone: 323.667.2000

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