The Alienest -- Teddy Roosevelt's .32 Cal Police Revolver

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by 50 Cent, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. 50 Cent

    50 Cent

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    Anybody else ever watched the period Crime Drama The Alienest?

    In it is a scene with NYC Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt unpacking/gloating over crates of Colt DA revolvers in .32 cal being delivered for distribution to his officers.

    As I recall that IS accurate and Teddy was responsible for uniform arming of the NYC force, correct?
     
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  2. Gray_Rider

    Gray_Rider

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    The series was quite impressive, beginning to end. As to Teddy's arming the NYPD I am uncertain. I do know that NYPD was the last or dead last in converting from revolver to auto and from .38 cal ball and 9mm HB to far more efficient and safer JHP due to their fanatical criminal coddling communist liberalism.

    I believe they fought arming the police tooth and nail to start with, and then with only the pipsqueak .32 SW! The change to .38 SW was another battle, and another battle yet to move on the .38 special RNL (aka "The Widow maker") for it's profound lack of stopping power and the resulting deaths of NYPD officers who shot and shot and shot again only to be killed themselves by the under affected criminals they were trying to stop.

    I believe they were dead last of all the major PDs in going to HP, but would have to check on that.

    Gray_Rider
    Unapologetic
    Old Secessh
     
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  3. Sgt127

    Sgt127

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    Really, Back in the day the .32 was considered an acceptable weapon.

    Lots of Colt Single actions in .32.

    Our OSS was armed with the Colt 1903 and the Nazi Honor weapon was the PPK in WWII.

    Maybe people just tipped over easier back then.
     
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  4. porschedog

    porschedog

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    +1 ^what he said
     
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  5. Deltic

    Deltic

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    Maybe their data base software was not up to modern standards. OTOH this is about the same time the Army decided that .38 was not enough and .45 was required.
     
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  6. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Better bullets should be allowed, but I wonder if you know of any good links describing failures of .38 special LRN, and the origin of the term "widow maker" in this context. I'd think with hits on vitals it'd still be effective.

    If you don't happen to have a suggested link handy, that's ok. Not a challenge at all, just an interesting topic. I'm off searching on my own to see if I can find some history about it.

    Would like to own a Teddy R .32 revolver :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  7. Patchman

    Patchman Florist

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    I believe Roosevelt, by issuing the .32, standardized how NYPD cops were armed. Before that, it was whatever individual cops can get their hands on.
     
  8. ibewshooter

    ibewshooter

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    Back in the day, you did not have Trauma Centers like you have now. Getting shot was a problem, you may not die today, but you will die. It will be a long, drawn-out, painful process.
     
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  9. deputy tom

    deputy tom Gringo Viejo

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    ^^ This is what I've read in the past. tom.
     
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  10. Gray_Rider

    Gray_Rider

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    Chuck Taylor and Col. Jeff Cooper's findings were that a RNL had about a 50% one shot stop rate with a solid upper body chest wound in actual gunfights. Same with 9mm hardball. That means shot dead or out of the fight there and then. .45 ACP ball had a 62-65%, though Col. Cooper believed it to be much higher.

    I will go back over my volumes of studies concerning stopping power and see it I can find said references. The NYC Stakeout Squad and NYPD police in general knowing the legendary unreliability of the .38 Special round nose lead, but locked into their use by PC minded bosses, began practicing actual combat shooting more heavily. Not just paper punching.

    The main problem with .38 special round nose lead (as with 9mm ball) was that the bullet zipped through flesh punching icepick like holes that seldom had the damage dealing of even early JHP bullets. If they couldn't have modern reliable fight stopping ammo, they learned to shoot faster and with greater precision. The Stakeout Squad was so effective that it was disbanded as holdup men were being shot dead in alarming numbers during holdups. They would stake out suspected targeted stores, and wait for the stick up men to make a robbery while disguised as store workers. If the robbers tried to shoot it out with the "employees" they were cut down like wheat before the scythe. The squad also used cut down pump shotguns and they too were practiced with till they were virtually unstoppable.

    The FBI went to what is now known as the "Treasury Load" a lead semi wadcutter hollow point (LSWCHP+P) and stopping power was raised substantially. The soft unjacketed lead mushroomed easily in flesh, not having the pesky jacket slowing down or stopping the mushrooming of the bullet.

    The LSWCHP+P is just about the cream of .38 ammo for personal combat ammo with the possible exception of modern alloys and powders in HP defensive ammo.

    Like the 9mm, the .38 works, but with the right ammo and NOT ball.

    Gray_Rider
    Unapologetic
    Old Secessh
     
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  11. Patchman

    Patchman Florist

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    This thread tickled something in my memory... It has to be verified!! But IIRC, after women in the NYPD were allowed to be "Patrolman" (before that their title was "Matron") they (the women) were still issued .32s while the guys were carrying .38s.
     
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  12. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Awesome post. Thanks for the background info.

    (Just as a side, I wonder how well those early .32 did for the police)

    It'd be interesting to read the critcisms of the "stake out squad". Leftists complaining that criminals are getting killed. There's probably a good record of that discussion in the NY Times. I wonder if "Dirty Harry" was made with the same sort of debate going on.
     
  13. Gray_Rider

    Gray_Rider

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    Our own Mr. Mas Ayoob would probably have some info on it. There is also the book "Tales from the Stakeout Squad" by the late great Jim Cirrilo. Paul Kirchner, Barnes and Noble. I read some articles about him and his exploits in Combat Handguns. Cirillo had one shooting that was so utterly amazing and altogether impossible, he nor anyone else has been able to recreate it, and under ideal conditions too!

    Try a robbery with Jim and his boys at the register? You were really were going to "check out"!

    They had guys placed behind one way mirrors with 870's too I think. Them boys didn't fool about. Stick up men had been murdering store owners and employees during hold ups if memory serves. They didn't miss when they aimed their gun as the song goes.

    "Roaches check in. They don't check out!"

    Gray_Rider
    Unreconstructed
    Old Secessh
     
  14. norton

    norton

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    Great report Gray_ Rider. I have read stories about Cirrilo and his men in gun mags. He was an expert on stopping power.
     
  15. Pawcatch@aol.co

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    According to Forgotten Weapons, Teddy also ordered 100 Burgess folding shotguns for the New York penal system as well.
     
  16. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Just want to share a couple related links I found:

    NY Times article about the disbanding. The police sayin the reason was "efficiency" ha, ha, ha.
    https://www.nytimes.com/1973/06/20/...disbandingas-cawley-shifts-special-units.html

    Recreation of a stake out, narrated by a past member:

    View: https://youtu.be/Tempcmb5hZU
     
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  17. Sgt127

    Sgt127

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    Get this book:

    Jim Cirillo's Tales Of The Stakeout Squad
     
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  18. 50 Cent

    50 Cent

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    Its a great read authored by a real life shootist and wheel-gun guy.

    It kinda pains me how Cirillo checked out in a traffic accident.
     
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  19. 50 Cent

    50 Cent

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    Well as I recall the .32 had a satisfied customer in Archduke Franz Ferdinand (through a bulky uniform no less) -- then 20 odd million hangers on.
     
  20. DonGlock26

    DonGlock26

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    "Prior to 1895, most law enforcement agencies relied on whatever firearm was available at that time. Departments didn’t issue guns, so it was up to each officer to provide their own, whether they were a sheriff, constable, or marshal, they shouldered the expense of their own sidearm.

    1895
    Colt New Police Revolver - .32 S&W Long

    [​IMG]
    The Colt New Police Revolver in .32 S&W Long.

    web photo

    Things changed in 1895 when Theodore Roosevelt became the President of the New York City Board of Police Commissioners. Roosevelt resolved to standardize all the firearms in the department and placed an order for 4,500 Colt New Police revolvers.

    This six-shot, double-action revolver was chambered in .32 S&W Long, had black checkered hard rubber grip, and were available with 2.5”, 4”, and 6” barrels. The Colt New Police was manufactured from 1896-1907 by Colt’s Manufacturing Company in Hartford, CT. "