Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 738: Colt Lawman "Air Marshal" Double Action Revolver

Auction Date: February 16, 2022

Rare Colt Lawman "Air Marshal" Double Action Revolver with Unique Plastic Cylinder and Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $1,500 - $2,500

Rare Colt Lawman "Air Marshal" Double Action Revolver with Unique Plastic Cylinder and Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Lawman
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 357
Barrel: 2 1/4 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 1199
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Class: Modern Handgun
Bore Condition: Shiny - Very little wear

NC - FINE- All original finish 90% - 94% or better, some dings in wood wear commensurable with percent of finish. In working order.


Developed by Colt Technik (a subsidiary of Colt) in Jericho, New York at the request of John Edward Shields (manager of operational security with Eastern Airlines) as a way to arm pilots aboard airliners to prevent hijacking. Hijackings were much more common in the late 60s and early 70s and in response the FAA started the Air Marshal program that would put armed officers on board commercial flights. Shield's specifications for the revolver were: the ammunition should not be able to penetrate the fuselage, over penetrate the target, or ricochet. It would also be stored and carried by the pilot and copilot in two pieces, to be assembled and then placed in a safe in the cockpit. This two-piece design renders the gun useless, as the frame will not accept a standard revolver cylinder, and the cylinder cannot be placed into a standard frame. Built on a modified Lawman Mk. V frame with blade and frame notch sights, standard barrel markings, left side of the frame marked with a "RAMPANT COLT/V" roll stamp, serrated casehardened trigger, and checkered hammer. The cylinder is a black plastic called Zytel and has six steel sleeves that would have been individually loaded with a primer, low power propellant charge, plastic sabot, and plaster of Paris projectile, the cylinder is not reloadable, and the revolver is reloaded by discarding the fired cylinder and inserting a whole new one. The revolver correctly does not have an ejector rod, as there are no shells to eject. The cylinder is numbered "64" but is otherwise unmarked. Fitted with factory checkered walnut grips with gold medallions. The accompanying factory letter lists the revolver with a 2 inch barrel in .357 Magnum when shipped to Nationwide Sports Dist. of Southampton, Pennsylvania, on August 26, 1983. Provenance: The Dr. Robert Azar Collection

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