.38 Colt New Police Military/Police Contract Box?


A Remington Arms Company .38 Smith & Wesson / Colt New Police military contract is described in History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition Vol. II pages 3-4. The contract drawing No. MP-86 was dated August 2, 1944, entitled “.38 S. & W. 125 GR. (STEEL) M.C. (MIL).” and illustrates a cartridge with REM-UMC 38 COLT NP headstamp.

I have found a picture of another .38 Colt New Police box that looks like a military or police contract. Headstamp reads REM-UMC 38 COLT NP but it’s loaded with a typical NP lead flat nose bullet so I asume it’s not military.

It is not described in Chapter 8 (Miscellaneous Ammunition of Conventional Calibers) of History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition Vol. II (including 2009 addendum). The reason could be it is post 1945.

It is also not described in any OSS or CIA inventory lists that I know of (some lead bulleted cartridges are indeed included).

Does anybody knows something about this contract? Lot number? Year? Purpose?


Notice that at some time in its history this box was stamped to point out the interchangeability of the cartridge with the .38 S&W. Many Smith and Wesson Victory Models in .38 S&W (The British Model, so to speak), went to private companies in the various defense industries of the US during the war, for their Plant Guards. Also used were a myriad of other revolvers, both in the .38 S&W caliber (Colt NP) and .38 Special.

Ammunition of civilian guard at civilian factories, even though supplied by the U.S. Government, is outside of the scope of the HWS series of books and not generally covered unless it was also used by the military. You see these white contract boxes in other pistol calibers - I think I have samples in .38 Auto, .380 Auto and .32 Auto. Some were for foreign countries, some for US Federal Police Agencies and some for the defense industry aguard forces (police). Because of the original Colt NP marking, I would think this box is for the latter, but I have no documentation for that - purely speculation.


Any chance there’s a lot number?


The field of “U.S. secondary martial” arms covers an amazingly broad number of guns and calibers, and thus ammunition.

I highly recommend the superbly researched “U.S. Handguns of WW2” by Charles Pate to get a feel for the multitude of handguns used for OSS, CIA, military police, training, plant guards, Merchant Marine, military training use, issue to Generals, "lend lease procurement for shipment to our allies, etc. Virtually every contemporary U.S. made handgun model and caliber got purchased, ranging from a handful to many thousands. And, of course they all needed ammo. While Pate really does not get into the ammo aspect, his careful research provides great info on the timing of purchases of the guns, intended use, and often the delivery point.