A Colt Police Positive revolver used by air mail pilots flying for the Thompson Aeronautical Corporation. TAC was founded in 1928 and flew the contract air mail route CAM-27 from Bay City, Michigan, to Chicago; this was later extended to Cleveland, a route first flown by Amelia Earhart on May 14, 1929, the only time she flew an official CAM route. Thompson became Transamerican Airlines in 1931, and in 1932 was acquired by American Airways. Although TAC also flew passengers, it was the airmail contracts that required their pilots to be armed.
This Colt Police Positive revolver is serial # 337095, caliber .38 New Police, with a 4″ barrel and factory checkered walnut grips. The revolver retains about 70% factory blue blending with a plum patina. The bore is in excellent condition, the mechanism is in perfect working order, and the grips show only light wear. The sideplate is factory engraved with the insignia of the Thompson Aeronautical Corporation, a wing over the letters “TAC.” The included Colt factory letter confirms this unusual engraving and indicates that this was one of sixteen identical revolvers shipped to TAC on October 28, 1929. It is interesting to note that on the next day the infamous stock market crash of 1929 occured. The factory letter also states that the number 4 was engraved on the butt, however this has been skillfully removed and no trace remains. A period black leather holster, in fine condition, accompanies this revolver. Lightly scratched into the leather and only visible in proper lighting is “AIR M.” This is the only one of these 16 special ordered revolvers that we are aware of. This transfers as a modern firearm. RR Auction COA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.